Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rusty Pails #35
The Pearl Jam

by Rocky Macy

Every spring Esther Pearl drafts me to run her junk shop while she hightails it off to her family reunion – the Pearl Jam. This year was no exception. Her cousin-fueled catastrophes generally run from Friday through Sunday, and by the time they are over, Esther and I are both ready for a break.

I arrived on Friday morning just in time to help Esther stow her last suitcase into the big trunk of her Edsel. I couldn’t help but notice that there were two other suitcases of equal heft already in the trunk.

“Esther,” I laughed. “I wouldn’t wear that many clothes in a year!”

“A girl’s got to be prepared, Rusty. Besides, you ain’t got that many clothes.”

Well, she had me there. I could put my whole wardrobe in a grocery bag and still have room for a six pack of root beer!

Esther turned to give me marching orders as she was about to drive off. “Rusty,” she said, starting the engine. “Don’t rearrange stuff like you did last year. Junk ain’t supposed to be alphabetical.”

“That was Heck’s doing,” I protested.”

“And no loafers. This here’s a business.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, snapping a salute. If Shadetree Mike and the boys wanted to move the domino game over here, they wouldn’t technically be loafing. “Anything else?” Stupid question!

“And no more bartering! I darned near never got rid of that pair of goats that you traded for last year.”

“They were worth more than that old sofa.”

“Maybe,” she conceded. “But that sofa never ate my best rosebushes or head-butted the mailman.”

“No more goats. Check. Is that it?” I was spitting out stupid questions faster than Judge Redbone could kiss babies!

“Nope,” Esther replied. “There’s a fresh pot of coffee and a bucket of chili simmering on the stove – for you and all of the loafers that ain’t gonna be here.”

“And root beer?”

“A case for every day that I’ll be gone. What type of hostess do you take me for, anyway?”

“The best, Esther. The very best!”

Auction Tip: Examine every item before the bidding starts. Bargains aren’t accidents.

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