Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rusty Pails #23
Beautifying Ermine

by Rocky Macy

Late one evening as Ermine was lifting Shadetree Mike’s feet to mop, the thought struck her that she was being ignored. Somehow, she reckoned, she was going to get her sedimentary spouse to pay her some attention!

The next day she checked in at the “Curl Up and Dye Beauty Saloon” and turned herself over to the tormented imagination of Sally Wildhair, outlaw beautician. After two hours of aggravated beautifying, Sally pushed Ermine out the door and into the blistering light of public scrutiny.

What marched up to our domino table at the Pump and Git that afternoon wasn’t Ermine, leastways it wasn’t our Ermine! Her hair, lookin’ like a bundle of used paint brushes that had been left out in the sun to dry, stuck out in a half-dozen directions and bore almost as many colors. But it didn’t stop there! The motorcycle helmet that she carried was color-coordinated with her combat boots, and neither detracted enough from the rest of the wardrobe – which consisted of patched denims and leathers set off with chain accents.

She stopped a few feet in front of the table and asked, “Can I get you fellas anything?”

There wasn’t a sound! I was plumb dumb speechless, and Truman’s mouth was hanging or far open I expected to see his dentures come sliding out and crash on the table. But Shadetree Mike, still focused on his dominoes, was able to answer. “Another root beer, darlin’. And maybe some more peanuts.”

Ermine moved up next to the table, obviously hoping to force the issue. “Salted or unsalted?”

“Yes, dear.” The Dean of Dominoes responded as he drew from the boneyard looking for a six.

“And maybe I could shine Rusty’s boots and wash Heck’s truck while I’m at it?” She was commencing to get a full head of steam.

Before Shadetree Mike could answer – and the rest of us weren’t about to – Ermine took her motorcycle helmet and slammed it down over her husband’s dominoes. Terror stricken, we all backed off! Nobody, but nobody, messes with Shadetree Mike’s dominoes!

But the fireworks never started. Mike turned the helmet over and calmly filled it with the peanut shells that had been collectin’ in his lap. “Thanks, darlin’,” he said as he handed the filled headgear back to his stunned missus, still without looking up.

“I’m going to mother’s!” Her exit line was bouncing from the walls as she kicked open the door and exploded out onto a defenseless world.

“Yes, dear. And don’t forget my root beer.”

I guess it’s true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Leastways, that’s the way is seems to work here in Sprung Hinge!

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