Pete's News


Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!

A funny thing happened up here to the house last week. Me and Rosebud was out there in the front yard when I look up and sees this car comin'. Now cars come up the road ever now and again so that ain't no big deal there. Oh, there ain't that many. I don't think there's anybody on up past our place here that's got a car. All of 'em that's got somethin' to drive has got pickups. And some, like me and Rosebud, that ain't got none atall.

Now what was I sayin'? Oh yeah, I was tellin' you there wasn't nothin' all that odd about a car comin' up the road. But this'un was a woman and she pulled in here at the house and stopped. That there was odder'n a square aig. I don't remember no woman ever comin' up here. Not by theirself anyways. One or two might've been along with their ol' men when they've come by here to see us. And I guess there's been one or two wimmin kinfolks that's come to visit by theirself. But there's precious few ever been up here atall. Which is fine by me. Kinfolks or not, tryin' to talk to wimmin makes me as skittish as a cat in a room full of rockin' chairs.

I know this'un shore did. The facts of the bizness is, I started gettin' nervous when I seen her start slowin' down out there on the road. I thought, "Oh no, she's gonna stop and she's gonna want me to talk to her!" I mean, I ain't got nothin' to say to no dadgum woman. Nothin' besides `howdy' or `purty day' or somethin' like that. I've practiced sayin' that and got it down purty good, but if she starts up on somethin' where that don't fit, I'm in trouble. It's like my tongue gets wrapped around my eyeteeth and I can't see what I'm talkin' about. It don't matter if there's hail bigger'n baseballs fallin' outta the sky and some woman says somethin' to me about it, she's gonna get a "Howdy, Ma'am, purty day, ain't it?"

And I knowed in my heart that this'un was gonna be a real problem. I could tell by lookin' at her that she was lost. She just had that look about her. And if I was gonna get rid of her, I was gonna have to suck it up and figger out how to tell her how to get out of Gump Holler. Yeah, it was either that or use that howdy-ma'am-purty-day stuff 'til I wore it plum out. Yeah, I knowed that it was gonna take a long time 'cause she didn't look like the type to just crawl back in her car and take off without findin' out what she's stopped to find out. Naw, she'd just stand there starin' at me and askin' me dumb questions. And there I'd be, standin' there fidgetin' and mumblin' to myself like I didn't have no dang sense atall.

What makes wimmin like that, you reckon? It don't much matter what you tell 'em 'cause there's always somethin' else they're gonna want to know anyways. And pointin' and gruntin' don't work. I've tried that a time or two and it seems like it just sets 'em off. Like, if they ask you somethin' and you point your fanger and grunt, it's like you've punched their ask-me-some-more-questions button. Do I stay on this road? Do I turn anywheres? I go left where the road forks, right? I'm low on gas. Where can I get gas? Yammer-yammer-yammer—it's enough to drive a person crazy.

I 'bout stopped breathin' when she turned off that motor and opened the car door. Oh no, I thought, she's gettin' out! What's she up to? What's she got in that big ol' pocketbook? Is she packin' a pistol? I mean, I didn't know what to think, she was a rank stranger to me. If she was just lost, she didn't have to get out. She could talk at me through the winder. For all I knowed she might be one of them cereal killers like you hear about. I sorta glanced around, lookin' for a stick or somethin' I could fight her off with if she tried to attack me.

I told you I didn't know nothin' about no wimmin. I looked over at Rosebud, but she just laid over there lookin' off in the distance like she didn't even know me. She was lettin' me know I was on my on and it wasn't a good feelin'.

'Course the woman didn't kill me or nothin'. If she had, I wouldn't be here tellin' you about it now. But, like I said, she'd messed around and got herself lost and was tryin' to get back to the main road so she could get to town. I stammered and stuttered and tried to get Rosebud to help me tell her but she just stood there lookin' dumb. And the woman acted like she thought I was a little on the odd side, tryin' to get a mule to give her directions. I finally told her I wasn't for certain you could even get to town from here, that when I went, I always went down to Silas's store and started out from there. I asked her if she knowed how to get to the store but she didn't and I didn't know how to tell her how to get there either.

I finally told her that the people at the next house on down from here could tell her. One of 'em works in town somewheres and goes ever day. It was easy to show her how to get there 'cause you can see their roof from here and all I had to do was point. I didn't even have to grunt. So she got in her car and headed off that way. I'm glad I was able to help her out. She seemed nice enough. A little odd, but nice.

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