As published in the Pickens County Progress
Natural disasters aren’t funny, but I had to smile just a little at hurricane Irene. As newlyweds, we lived next door to an Irene. She was the type of older lady who wore a bathrobe as a dress. Well, Irene had a thing for my husband. When I was at school, she’d knock on our door, wearing her bathrobe, to borrow a cup of sugar. (I’m proud to report he never gave her any).
One day, Irene and her husband, Mr. Irene, got into a brawl. She left him, but didn’t go far. The condo above theirs had long been empty so she went there without asking anyone’s permission. Mr. Irene wasn’t happy. Every week he bought a googly-eyed fish from Harry’s. He fired up the grill and smoked the fish Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then he chopped it up to mulch the bushes. The smoke wafted up into Irene’s place, compelling her to lean out of her window and scream down at him.
This went on for about a year, until the bank who owned the condo succeeded in getting her out. Actually, it was the Sheriff Department who knocked on her door with a battering ram. It took six of them to hog tie and carry her to jail, and guess what she was wearing?
Ah, memories. But that season of my life is long past. It recently became necessary for me to move from the “rich side” of Jasper to the “poor side.” It was a healthy decision, though. The house I left was too empty and creepy. The new apartment is cute and easy to clean. Almost everyone in my building is young.
The other day I was headed out to buy groceries. Out front, there was a car covered in toilet paper and shaving cream. The windshield said, “Git her done.” So somewhere in the building, we must have a pair of newlyweds. Folks think I’m embarrassed to use food stamps at the grocery store. I tell them, it’s not embarrassing when you’re hungry.
Think of those widows of Afghani soldiers on TV, be-shawled and begging for food. Their government is too young to have anything in place to help them. We may not be perfect, but God bless
! On my first grocery trip, I worried that Uncle Sam wouldn’t let me buy Kool-Aid with food stamps. It’s not really food, is it? If you sprinkled unsweetened Kool-Aid on the sidewalk, would it even draw ants? But the electronic EBT card (which is really what “food stamps” is nowadays) approved it. America
I’m glad I remembered to buy sugar. The world doesn’t need any more Irene’s.