Lunch With a Hillbilly

Hillbilly VittlesOne time when my sister and I were in Southern Indiana, we made arrangements to meet one of our cousins for dinner. His name is Sammy, and my sister Lindy and I had enjoyed following him and his younger brother Jimmy around when we were children. Sammy is from among the many “interesting” branches of our family tree.

Now we were all grown up and hadn’t seen Sammy for many years. We made plans to meet at the Country Kitchen at five o’clock. Fortunately there was no confusion about which time zone we were observing. My sister and I were waiting in the lobby of the restaurant when we heard a loud request coming from the front of the place:

Where’s my party? Where’s my party?

our cousin was shouting. My sister grabbed his arm and whispered:

We’re right here.

As we were being seated, cousin Sammy spied a friend from high school:

There’s my seat-mate. There’s my seat-mate!

he yelled at his friend. Actually the friend looked like he would have liked to have disappeared into the wallpaper. Lindy said:

What in the hell are you talking about?

and Sammy explained that in study hall he and his friend had shared a double desk. Because they each shared one side of the desk, Sammy called Jethro (or whatever the hell the guy’s name was) his “seat-mate.”

After we ordered (salads for my sister and I and a whole chicken for Sammy), he began telling us about his adventures in the many, many years since we had last been together. He informed us that he had worked at the post office for many years.

Yes, I worked fifteen years part-time and five years full-time for the post office.

he said.

Didn’t you graduate from college?

my sister Lindy asked.

Yes, I did, but they made me promise never to teach school.

Sammy replied.

What are you talking about?

Lindy asked.

Well, I student taught, but they would only give me a diploma if I promised never to teach.

Sammy said.

Lindy mentioned something about never having heard of anything like that, and we went on with the meal.

When his chicken meal came, Sammy looked at the butter and said:

What is this, tartar sauce?

By this time, Lindy had had it, and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t talk.

That’s butter.

Lindy said and I could almost hear the unsaid, “You inbred idiot.”

CousinWe managed to finish the meal with Sammy giving us a run-down of the fascinating programs on the Weather Channel. He said:

They have programs on tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones. Sometimes they repeat the program and you can watch it again. You can watch all kinds of weather on there.

My sister and I were happy to escape from this Far From Normal experience before Sammy told us about the metal plate in his head.

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