I’m pleased (I think) to introduce my great uncle on my mother’s side, Harry Foster, who lives at what he calls an “undisclosed location” somewhere in Georgia. He won’t tell anyone, including family, or as he would say, especially family, where he is. We only know that it’s in Georgia, and, according to Harry, “down the hollow from Dick Cheney.” Now, Harry has his reasons for not telling us where he lives. He’s not exactly estranged from the family. Let’s just say he’s (in his own words) “about half a bubble out of plumb.” But everyone has relatives like that somewhere in the family tree. And you don’t have to shake it hard to have a few fall out. I had a student (no lie) whose creepy elderly uncle gave her lacy underwear as a present. I don’t need to tell you, Faithful Readers, that she stuck close to her more nearly normal family members during special occasions at her house. And I am not making this up, as my Humor Idol (a writer’s version of American Idol) Dave Barry has so often written. It’s da troof. I think Whoopi Goldberg said that, among other people.
I can’t verify that story from my student any more than I can verify that Great Uncle Harry actually exists. He’s enough of a, uh, “special friend” (my daughter Amy uses that to describe her students who are half a bubble out of plumb) that I’ve never met him. No one seems to have done that. I’ve tried to, heaven knows, but he communicates with the world through his nephew, Zack Jordan. Harry doesn’t do computers. He will tell you about that in a trice. He will share his many and, well, odd and varied opinions and thoughts (read: rants and screeds) at the drop of his oak walking stick. Actually, it’s more an oak cudgel. Harry prefers chestnut for his sticks. But let me have him tell you about that (and other things, as he is wont to do.) Heeere’s Harry!
You can’t get no darned chestnut any more. The darned government kilt them all off in the ’20’s. Darned shame, too. Remember to pick up some Biscuit City Brand Biscuits at your grocery today! You know they’re good because they have the word “biscuit” twice in their name! That’s Biscuit City Brand Biscuits, Faithful Readers, available by the dozen, the gross, the pound, the ton, any size to feed that growing and hungry family of yours! Look for the big picture of the big biscuit on the label.)
Made with real flour and mostly natural ingredients by elderly grandmothers where allowed by law. Ingredients: Flour, water, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and the other stuff you use to make biscuits.
And now, back to Harry (in progress):
They was fine trees, big and shady. What in tarnation would that poet fellow, uh, that Longfeller person, have writ that famous poem about without the “motley chestnut?” You are surprised I know poetry? Well, friend, we learnt that pome in school when I was a kid. Lemme see if I can remember it. “Under the crenelated chestnut tree the village smithee stands. The smith a mighty man is he with hands as big as cans. He works in iron, not plastic, because everyone know you put plastic in a fire and you got you a big melted mess…” That last part didn’t rhyme, or maybe I’m remembering it wrong. Now, I’m an old fellow, but I don’t take no Social Insecurity checks. No siree. Don’t trust the dadblamed guvmint to get onto where I live and come creepin’ around my property and find my still. Zack, is this thing going to be read by a lot of our no-count relatives? ‘Cause I don’t want to have to share my moonshine with anyone but folks I like, and they ain’t too many of them.
“Anyhow, we learnt pomes in school back when school involved real learning and not that play-time recess all day crap they call school. And you know who’s responsible for that? It ain’t the guvmint as far as I can tell, though they probably got their pointy noses stuck in that business somewhere like they do with everything else. No, it’s the parents and teacher who have ruint schools and by extention (bet you didn’t think I knew that word. I got a huge vocabaluary. And I spell good, too) the youths of the U. S. of A., God bless her! Makes me want to sing a old-time patriotic song like “God Bless the U.S.A.,” but I won’t because you wouldn’t be able to hear it anyways. Zack says you can put songs on here, but I don’t believe it. How would you hook a Victrola up to a device like a computeer? I have a windup machine for my Willie Nelson songs. It was hard findin’ the wax cylinders of his songs, but I done it! I can do anything I set my mind to, which ain’t much. It would skeer people if I went at it whole hog. Don’t want that. People scared enough especially of the guvmint and rightly so with them big black helicopters huntin’ my patch of Mary Jane. If they did find it, I’d tell them it grew like that naturally. I wouldn’t know what it was if I did stumble upon it taking one of my healthy walks which I didn’t (wink, wink). I won’t go on about that now because I like to say my piece and clear out real quick lest someone shoot me because my opinions and statements ain’t what you’d call popular with most people, but if someone don’t like what I say, they can kiss a certain part of my anatomy which I won’t mention in polite company because I am somewhat raffeeneigh as the Frenchies like to say because they can’t speak proper English like real Americans. So I’ll share what I think about schools and a whole bunch of other stuff like those cheese eatin’ surrender monkeys if Zack comes by with my groceries like he’s supposed to. He generally remembers but sometimes gets to spending time with that girl of his and forgets everything because he’s thinking with certain part of his anatomy which my delicate sensibilitees do not allow me to mention that word in polite company. That’s a problem because Zack is my pipeline to the outside world because I don’t have a computer. H*ll, I don’t have electrical power here, and you need that to run on of those machines that has ruined education and so many peoples’ lives. I didn’t mean to go on so long when I started tellin’ you about walkin’ sticks, but one thing leads to another, you know and pretty soon it’s time to eat but I’ll be danged if I’m going to feed a bunch of people I don’t know. I don’t even want to feed my relatives which is another good reason to live where I do. I’ve said enough, but I’ll be back if Zack can pry himself loose from his honey for a few minutes, which might take a power tool and a strong man. I’ll refrain from making a crude comment here because you know I am, well, you know what I am by now. Later, taters. Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down no matter what you’re flyin’.
For better or worse (you decide), I expect to hear much more from Harry. Let me know if you need to unsubscribe. I’d be sorry to see you go, but I would understand.