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!
It's been one of them days. It started off wrong and got worser as the day went on. First thing this mornin' I got up like I always do and started stumblin' around, still half asleep tryin' to make coffee. I drug the coffee pot off the stove, poured some water in it and everthing was fine up to there. Then I retch up to the shelf over the stove where I keep the coffee can, opened it and there wasn't nothin' in it. It was empty, as empty as a dream. Then it come back to me. I used the last of it yesterday mornin' and told myself I needed to go to the store and get some more before the day was over. Then, of course, I forgot all about it. Along about two, it started naggin' at me that I was forgettin' somethin', but I couldn't remember what it was so I didn't have no coffee this mornin'.
My friends, that ain't no way to start a day. I've gotta have my coffee or I ain't no 'count. I can't get my eyes open. I get a headache. The world just ain't right till I've had it. What makes it worse, there ain't a dang thing I can do about it. Livin' up here in Gump Holler ain't like livin' in town. In town, you can jump in your pickup and a minnit later you're at the Seventy-Leven store sippin' on a giant cup of coffee.
But there ain't no Seventy-Leven stores up here in Gump Holler. The nearest store of any kind is Silas's down at the crossroads. And Silas ain't got coffee that you can just pour in a cup and drink. The only kind he's got is what you've got to take it home and brew up yourself. And it's three miles down there to the store and three miles back. And I ain't got no pickup or nothin' to ride in. So I've got to walk all the way down there, get a can of coffee, turn around and walk all the way back up here to the house and then put it on and wait for it to brew. The better part of the mornin' will be gone before I get my first cup of coffee. But what're you gonna do? There ain't no other choice.
So, anyway, there I am, stumblin' around in the kitchen, mad at the world and mutterin' ugly words under my breath. I slap some cold water on my face, put my shoes and socks on, pull my britches on over 'em and then stick my head out the winder and holler at Rosebud down at the barn. I tell her to come go to the store with me. But she don't want to go. Not this mornin'. Any other time she'd be rearin' to go, but not this time. And I know why. She don't want to have to put up with me before I've had my coffee. Shoot, she won't even say howdy to me till I've had a cup of coffee. I never thought I was that bad, but maybe I am. I am for shore this mornin'. I'm in a foul mood and I make her go anyway.
We take off and everthing's goin' about like you'd expect. I'm stompin' along, mumblin' to myself and Rosebud's trailin' along ten yards behind me. She's poutin' 'cause I made her come with me but I don't care. Knowin' she's in a snit about it kinda cheers me up. I don't know why. Maybe 'cause misery loves company? Whatever it is, I feel better knowin' that I ain't the only one havin' a bad day. By the time we get to the store, I'm almost normal. Not quite, but almost.
It's still early. The birds are chirpin' and singin', everthing's wakin' up, gettin' ready to start the new day. That makes me feel some better too. In fact, I'm doin' a whole lot better'n I was. I decide I ain't gonna let a little ol' missed cup of coffee ruin my whole day. Rosebud's still sulkin', still hangin' back, but I've put a spring in my step and pasted a grin on my face. I'm doin' purty good. Well, you know, considerin'.
I noticed three or four people standin' on the front porch as I started across the road. I raised my arm to wave at 'em and about that time I stepped on a nanner peel that somebody'd throwed down. My foot slipped out from under me, went higher'n my head and the next thing I knowed, I was layin' flat on my back right there in the middle of the road.
Well, everbody had 'em a good laugh about that. I guess it was purty funny, seein' me go down like a poleaxed hawg. I hit purty hard but I wasn't hurt none. 'Cept for my pride. It's kinda embracin' to fall in front of a bunch of people and have 'em all bust out laughin'. And, dadgum her ol' mulish hide, Rosebud was the worst'un of the bunch. A little quick snicker wouldn't have been too bad, but she rolled out that big ol' hoss laugh of her's and just kept goin' on and on and on. She kept it up all the way back to the house. And the longer she went on, the aggravateder I got about it. It was plain to see that she was just doin' it to bug me 'cause I'd made her go to the store when she didn't want to. I sent her straight to the barn as soon as we got home, but that didn't help much. About once ever fifteen minnits she'd bust out with it again and she made shore it was loud enough that I'd hear it.
I prob'ly ort not've made her go to the barn like that but I had a good excuse. I was in a bad mood 'cause I fell. And I still hadn't had no coffee. But she didn't have no excuse atall. She don't even drink coffee.
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