Living

Country News: The Message is Anything But Medium

A pretty big week was had by all in Blue Grass, though nothing much happened. Most of our weeks are pretty big by this standard.

I always advise real-estate buyers to subscribe to the local paper to get a sense of what is and is not going on. If Blue Grass had a paper, a kitchen-counter columnist known as “Yours Truly” might have written this column for last week.

Everyone was real proud of Chesley Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who landed his bird-crippled jet atop the Hudson River last Thursday, saving 155 passengers and his own crackerjacks as well. We, too, know all about Canada geese getting into things.

Ossie Flugal down Hardscrabble Way always has a time with them around her pond, and last year she said they were gallivanting in her snap peas and had gotten up with her Big Boys. You can imagine what that was like!!!

Since Sullenberger is a common name back here, they all have been walking around with their chests out for a week and rightly so, whether or not Chesley is actual kin.

Yours Truly has even heard a few plain old Bergers bragging him up on the off chance that they once had an up-front Sullen way back when.

The general feeling down at the Kountry Konvenience is that we ought to do something PDQ to keep those Canadians on their side of the line.

Junior and Tammie Dripnazl, Jr., who operate the Can’t Hardly Farm on Pestilence Creek, report that their boy, Norbert (Froggy), came home for the weekend to be fed and watered. Norbert (Froggy) is a seventh-year sophomore still standing at the University. Tammie says he’s closer than ever to declaring a major. The young scholar returned to the fields of academe by thumb on Sunday. Knock ‘em dead, Norbert (Froggy).

The 12-below cold wave gave us the heebie-jeebies for four days, believe you me. Pipes froze hither and yon.

Sue Ellen Willingly was supping with guests on Saturday night when water started pouring out of her overhead fixtures, by which I don’t mean she was crying. A pipe blew out on her second floor and water came down through her newly installed and fairly good fake Tiffany chandelier that everybody in her checkers club — The Lady King-Mes — had so ooohed over when she served those drop-dead pumpkin bars two weeks ago, which she got on sale over at Totally Honest Eddie’s Genuine Antiques during the New Year sale on Rembrandts, $22.50, frame included. Sue Ellen’s party was flooded out, but she reports that she and the plumber who showed up at 11 pm are now an item, maybe.

County prosecutor, M.A. (Pup) Dogg, reported her pipes froze solid “dad-gummit,” even though her office was still in heat. Pup, who ran unopposed a year ago and won in a landslide, says that crime was cut in half during the cold snap compared to the same days last year when two out-of-county teenage boys were caught next to the trout farm on Rt. 220 with a long-handled net full of fish, which they claimed had jumped them as they were walking by at three in the morning.

Those charges, you’ll recall, were dismissed for lack of evidence by Judge Billgington F. (Stewball) Hinky, III, son of Stewball Hinky, II, who himself was accused of dynamiting Rainbows up Possum Trot back in the 50s.

Stewball, the first, as older residents might recall, was a respected entrepreneur of flammable liquids at the family farm, Stillwaters. The Judge maintains that the Hinkys were the first family in Virginia to manufacture ethanol, though sometimes it came out as something else by honest mistake.

The monthly meeting of the all-male Salts and Peppers got together at the usual time and place, and everyone ordered what they always order. The members agreed not to invite their wives to future meetings, though some were in favor and a couple didn’t care one way or the other.

The wife of Yours Truly told me that women would change the tone of these luncheons, which largely consists of everyone fiddling with their hearing aids. “They’ll boss you boys around,” she warned. Yours Truly voted against women as he was told, because he doesn’t like being bossed around.

Even those of us in the nay said we had nothing against women as a general group, and several piped up that their wives were ok in their books. One noted for the record that no wife, or woman for that matter, had ever expressed any interest in joining us for lunch.

Willis G. (Tater) Toths left the hospital on Monday after an hour of observation. Tater said he didn’t much like what he saw, but feels better for having done what his doctor ordered. Tater says that anything he can’t see right in front of his nose “…ain’t worth lookin’ at anyway.”

We’ve heard a second colonoscopy is scheduled. Mrs. Toths, who everyone knows as Iddy-Biddy, persuaded Tater that the doctor “had to look around in there” before Tater could get a Viagra transplant. The Toths celebrate their 70th anniversary this month.

Penny, the mostly quarter horse down at Hank and Winnie Fetlocks’ place, finally dropped her foal on Saturday night when it was colder than blue blazes. It took the little feller 24 hours to figure out where to stick his snoot despite helpful demonstrations by the two lawyers and retired human-resources executive in attendance.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, 23-14, on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl. Several fans up Desperation Hollow are scrooching around their genealogicals to find a link to Troy Polomalu, the best safety in the NFL. Polomalus have never been thick in this part of Virginia, but you never know about these things.

That fellow we know as Bub, who shows up every now and then for advice and a cigarette, got himself inaugurated on Tuesday at noon, just when the timer dinged at me to take out the spice cookies. Yours Truly swears everything always happens at once around here.

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About the author

Curtis Seltzer

Curtis Seltzer is a land consultant, columnist and author of How To Be a DIRT-SMART Buyer of Country Property, available at Curtis-Seltzer.com where his columns are posted. He also does commentary for Virginia public radio. His new book, Land Matters: The “Country Real Estate” Columns, 2007-2009, which includes 14 commentaries on CD.

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