I scanned through that thread about what's allowed on the front page and decided, after scanning the sigs, that this was the best place for this bit of humor. Sometimes, it's just possible that other folks can get a much needed belly laugh out of some 'homegrown' and fairly colorful family history stories like the ones I woke up thinking about this morning. I hope it makes at least a few people smile anyway.
When I was a young lad my family would visit my grandparents on my Dad's side pretty regular. We called my Granddad 'Paw Paw' and my Grandma 'Mamaw". Anyway, Paw Paw owned a parts store and auto-mechanic's garage at County Line, Oklahoma for many years. Paw Paw was a very unique individual and trouble seemed to follow him everywhere he went. For instance, he had a big sign hung up over the counter of his parts store that read "IN GOD WE TRUST. ALL OTHERS MUST PAY CASH". He got in more than one fist fight over that sign, because at the time, store credit was very popular. And truth be told, Paw Paw allowed the 'white folks' to have a little credit from time to time, but he wouldn't extend credit to the 'colored folks'. That was just his way, and you have to realize that this was back in the early to mid-sixties.
Now Dad's a pretty bright fellow and was always trying to show Paw Paw new ways of doing things. But to give you an example of how Paw Paw thought, he truly believed that the ignition system in the vehicles back then was a modern day miracle, and he had absolutely no idea how it worked. He just knew how to change points and plugs and condensors. And he had this condensor tester/charger that Dad bought him so he'd save money by re-using old condensors that tested good. He didn't know how that worked either, but it sure wound up making him lots of money over the years. Well, anyway, he figured out that he could charge up a condensor and set it on the counter by the cash register and have a little fun with nosey customers. I can't recall the number of times we could hear blood curdling screams coming from the shop because of those charged condensors! He really got a big kick out of that.
Well there was a fellow by the name of 'Skeeter' that used to stop in about every day just to hang around and yak. Paw Paw figured Skeeter wasted too much of his valuable time and got kind of tired of it. And everybody knew how scared Skeeter was of electricity. That's how he got his name. So Skeeter walked in one day and Paw Paw was ready for him. He hollered "hey Skeeter, CATCH" and pitched him a freshly charged condendor. WHHEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! Old Skeeter jumped about four feet off the ground and hit the ground running! He hit that front door and didn't stop running till he got plumb out of sight. And we never did find that condensor. That really agrivated Paw Paw because those condensors were worth about 39 cents! We found out later that Skeeter had wet his britches and almost crapped them too! It took him a long time before he'd ever set foot in that shop again.
Now Paw Paw was a real skin flint and a big beer drinker. Nothing bothered him as much as having to buy beer down across the county line because it didn't just cost him the money for the beer. It cost him propane for the trip as well. He had his old Chevy pick-up plumbed to burn propane because it was so much cheaper than gasoline. So on one of our visits, Dad taught him about homebrew. I can still remember the glazed, stunned, greedy look on Paw Paw's face as he listened to Dad's explanation about how much better the beer was and the fact that it was sooo much cheaper. Well, that's all it took for Paw Paw. Before the end of the day, he and Dad had rigged up a homebrew area in the shop and had picked up a bunch of re-cappable bottles (that's all they had back then) from the closest bar. When us kids got sent to bed that night, Dad and Paw Paw were still messing with the first batch of homebrew, getting it just right. Mamaw wasn't too impressed with all the mess, but to her credit she just kept a stiff upper lip and let it slide.
Well, that next weekend we showed up for a visit again and Paw Paw's beer was ready to be bottled as far as he or Dad were concerned. The only problem was where to store the beer after bottling it. Paw Paw didn't want to put it out in the shop because it got pretty hot in there in the summer time. And besides, he didn't want to take the chance that someone (like us kids) would find it and drink it all up. So he decided to put it in the attic of the house. Since the house was built inside the shop, he didn't figure the attic would get too hot for that homebrew. So they bottled the beer and then put it up in the attic to allow it to carbonate so they could start drinking it. We all went to bed that night and had no idea what was in store for us. Because, sometime during the night, those bottles of homebrew started to bust.
I'm sure Paw Paw didn't give it any thought at the time, but he had put that beer directly over his and Mamaw's bed. Us kids could hear him in the bedroom (as the bottles were busting) telling Mamaw to hush, it wouldn't be a problem. One or two bottles were bound to bust, he assured her. Well, while us kids laid there on the hide-a-bed trying not to laugh out loud, every one of those bottles of beer busted! All 62 bottles!!! Dad finally couldn't stand it any more and went in and turned the light on in Paw Paw's bedroom and hollered for him to get out of bed and quick help him save the rest of the beer! But it was too late. All that beer had soaked through the ceiling tiles and was dripping down on the bed. That ended Paw Paw's hombrewing career. At least until he could get some more bottles and figure out how to make homebrew without Mamaw knowing about it!
I'll quit there for now and if a staff member thinks it should go somewhere else, please feel free to move this.
After thinking about it, I rekon this should go in the members stories area. Could someone move it there for me pretty please? Thanks. The only reason I didn't post it there in the first place is that I get the idea that most of the stories in the members stories area are actually mini books. This ain't no book. But since no one got any belly laughs from it I think it's best to move it. Thanks.
Oh, there'll be more as I remember them Pixmo. My Paw Paw was a real character and that's for sure and for certain. He had a real problem with kids. And he dealt with all of us younguns with an iron fist. Let me work it all out in my head and I'll post some more. I guess since I'm getting older I just remember this stuff as a way to keep myself entertained. A lot of it was hard times and I kid you not. But it's still funny as I sit here thinking about it from my current perspective. It wasn't funny back then though. But I was a kid then, after all.
Ok, here's kind of a short one (or two) I've been thinking about. The BB-gun and the donkey.
I can't remember how old I was at the time (I think I was 6 or 7), but my cousin Jerry (3 years older than me) was visiting my grandparents the same time we were there. He was really cool, and since he was an only child he got pretty much whatever he wanted. Well, it so happens that his Dad had just bought him a brand new Benjamin air rifle and he brought it with him. He and my brother were the same age and they hung out together and I was just a pest to them. So there was no way I was going to get to shoot that air rifle. And it near about drove me crazy with envy! They'd pump that thing up about a bazillion times and shoot turtles in the pond and meadow larks and lizards and cans and anything that would sit still. I had to get my own BB-gun and that's all there was to it.
I started working on my Mom because she was a push-over and always tried to see that us kids had nice things. But she wasn't going for the deal. "Maybe next year, honey". Oh man! I didn't want to hear that. Well, Paw Paw heard about it and next thing I knew a BB-gun had shown up in the shop. He picked it up somewhere in a trade or something or maybe he already had it (I never found out). And being the sneaky peckerwood he was, he just leaned it up against the back of the cash counter, right next to the brownie tin I'd been banned from. I knew it was his, see, and I just didn't know how to act. It seems like just about anything he ever did for us kids had an object lesson that came along with it. There were never any freebies. So he didn't say anything about it either. He just waited to see what I'd do.
Well now, I was a young boy with nothing in particular to do since the big boys didn't want me hanging around with them. Naturally, I just snuck that BB-gun out of the shop and took it out behind the car wash. I had no idea how it worked, but it didn't take me long to figure it out! Before long, I had shot up all the BB's and there I sat. Hmmm.... What to do? Well, I figured that since it was Paw Paw's he'd have more BB's for it. So I did the only thing I could think of. I went snooping around by where I'd found the BB-gun. Paw Paw jumped out from behind the pop machine and grabbed me!!! I was busted!
I figured I was in for a good whipping and just clinched up and waited for it. He started laughing and asked me where his BB-gun was. I told him I'd left it out by the car wash because it was out of BB's. And like magic, he handed me a plastic pouch (if you're old enough, you know what I'm talking about) of BB's and said "there you go boy" and patted me on the head and walked off. I stood there and squirmed a minute or two because I just knew it couldn't be that simple. But I took those BB's out to the car wash and after figuring out how to load them into the BB-gun I got started on my career as the great white hunter. I tried to find my brother and cousin so I could show off but they were nowhere to be found. And I was running out of cool things to shoot so I was actually starting to get a little bored since I was by myself.
Just then, Mom came out the back door of the house and was heading for the wash room to do some laundry. Hah! I remembered how she said I couldn't have a BB-gun and I'd fix her. Yep, you guessed it. I popped her right in the hind end with that BB-gun. Don't ask me why , I was just a kid. Well, she jumped straight up and when she hit the ground she was looking right at me. Then it dawned on me what I'd done and I dropped that BB-gun like it was red hot and ran for the hills as fast as I could go. But her legs were longer and she caught me anyway. Shc carried me kicking and hollering all the way back to the house and sat me down right in front of the big kahuna. Dad, with a capitol D. Well, Dad busted me a good one and then Mom took her turn. And while she was busting me, Paw Paw came in and found out what was going on and after he quit laughing he busted me too. That's about the time Paw Paw figured out that a donkey would be safer for me to play with than a BB-gun. But that's another story.
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