ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again.
Well, summer's got a good grip on July and is tryin' to pull it kickin' and screamin' into August. It's just about got the job done, too. It's hotter'n the dickens from here plum to the North Pole. Seems like everbody's either talkin' about takin' off and goin' somewheres on vacation, gettin' packed up to go, or they've already gone. And, speakin' of goin' somewheres, that reminds me of the time me and Rosebud and Denver took a trip to Arkansas. Did I ever tell you about that?
Arkansas is a long ways from here, but it seems a whole lot further when you're ridin' in Denver's ol' pickup. I'd about as soon walk as ride in that ol' truck of his'un. It's older'n me or Denver either one. It's wore plum out and runs by the grace of God and the half-mile of bailin' wire holdin' it together. You never know when somethin's gonna fall off in the road or if it's just gonna quit runnin' for some reason. Or, if it does hump up and stop, if Denver's gonna manage to get it goin' again. You just never know. Life ain't never dull when you're goin' somewhere in Denver's truck. It's a real adventure.
And that ain't sayin' nothin' about bein' stuck in the truck cab for hours at a time, Denver behind the wheel, Rosebud hangin' out the winder wavin' at everbody she sees, and me scrouged up in the middle between 'em. If a door was to come open for some reason, it'd be like somebody had shook up a bottle of sody water and popped the top. We'd all just spew outta there. I could just see myself splattered all over the side of a barn out there beside the road, one with a Mail Pouch chewin' terbacker sign painted on the side of it. Some young'un would be ridin' along there with his mama and see it. "Lookie there, Mama," he'd say. "There's a big ol' bug splattered all over that Mail Pouch terbacker sign!" And she'd say, "Hush now, Jimmy, before you make your little sister puke."
But even with all the breakdowns and everthing, you can still make a lot better time in the truck than you can walkin'. I mean, if you're goin' somewheres that's a long ways off like that. Walkin' is okay if you're goin' somewhere close, like down to Silas's store or somewhere around here. But Arkansas is plum outta the state. That's why I told you that's where we was goin'. I didn't want you thinkin' it was some little short trip we was on. I didn't want you gettin' any more confuseder about it than I am.
Speakin' of confused, I can't even remember why we was goin' to Arkansas right now. Me and Denver, bein' cousins and all, are kin to purty much the same people. And as far as I can remember, there ain't none of 'em lives in Arkansas. Well, there's my sister Maudeen. She lives up there somewhere, her and that brood of snot-nose brats of hers. She don't make 'em mind and they're always into some kind of meanness. I hate to say it, Maudeen bein' my sister and all, but I shore wouldn't go all that way to see her if I had to put up with that gaggle of young hellions. And Rosebud ain't got no kinfolks or bizness either one up there. So that just leaves ol' Denver. We could've just been goin' with him. Maybe he had bizness and we went along to keep him company. Or he might've just been goin' to see what he could see. He does that sometimes.
Anyway, me and him and Rosebud had been in the truck all day and we got to the state line about dark. About the time we crossed into Arkansas the weather turned off bad. It started sprinklin' rain, a little at first, but then it started pourin' down hard. Rosebud started whinin' about how she was about to drown with her head stuck out the winder. Said the rain was blowin' up her nose-holes and she couldn't breathe. Worse than that, the truck didn't have no windshield wipers. Well, it had some but they didn't work. So when Denver would meet somebody and their headlights hit that wet windshield, he couldn't see a thing. He was all over the road, just about runnin' off into the ditch and everthing else. That's when we decided we had to find a place to stay the night.
But there was a problem with that too. Gettin' a motel room could be a problem. I don't want to go pointin' no fangers, but one of us might not be none too welcome at one of them fancy motels. And so there wouldn't be no hurt feelin's, I decided that when we got to a motel, two of us would go in and get the room while the other one stayed out in the truck where the motel people wouldn't see 'em. Then the one still in the truck could sorta slip in the back way, y'know, and nobody wouldn't be none the wiser. That way everbody would be happy.
I got ol' Denver to park a little ways around to the side so they couldn't look out the winder and see who was out there. Then me and Rosebud slipped out of the truck and went in to get the room.
(But I'll have to tell you the rest of the story next week)
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