Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mayberry, Mississippi (with an odd segue to Armadillo Heaven)

One of the characters on The Andy Griffith Show/Mayberry RFD was the town drunk, Otis Campbell. Andy thought Otis was sad but amusing, while Barney spent most of his time with Otis getting frustrated and shrieky. Living in the Deep South, we know all about contradictions, a big one being that everyone is supposedly against the consumption of alcohol but every town has its share of tipsy Aunt Lucys and most famously, The Town Drunk. Witness ours:

Yes, boys and girls, it's an armadillo gone bad, a life in ruins due to the evils of demon rum, er, beer. Is Mrs. Armadillo at home, crying, wondering if dear tormented husband will ever give up his errant ways? Or is she sitting by the front door, frying pan in paw, waiting to nail the jerk when he shows up?
Sadly, Mr. Armadillo won't be going home tonight or any night. He's gone to Armadillo Heaven. Placing a beer bottle on top of a freshly dead armadillo is a time-honored practice in Texas (and apparently in Mississippi, too), but, in Texas at least, it's gotta be an empty bottle of Lone Star. I can't tell, but I think this one's a Bud Lite.

I actually found a company that stuffs armadillos and sells them with the Lone Star bottle BUT it's removeable so you can put in your beer of choice. $209 for this! And I think someone here knows about the company because the next time I drove past Mr. Armadillo, he was gone and it wasn't long enough for the turkey buzzards to get him (yeah, ewwww).

When I first saw this poor fellow, I just couldn't help myself and started laughing hysterically--I thought it was hilarious! As soon as I got home, I said, "Honey, there was a dead 'dilla in the road with a beer bottle on top of it!", thinking he would go, "Omigod, show me!" Instead, I got this:
"Oh, I see those all the time when I go offshore."

He was nice enough not to tell me to shut up since he was watching The History/Military/Science/NASA channel. I lump them together in the "I will not watch under any circumstances because they bore the crap out of me" category.

This is how blase' my husband is about stuff: yesterday, while I was driving in the slow lane on a 3-lane stretch of interstate, an actual BOLT OF LIGHTENING came down !wham! in the fast lane and smashed into the pavement, sending concrete flying in the air and rendering me temporarily speechless. Then I excitedly and breathlessly called home to report this near death experience. He said, "Oh, is it raining down there? We need the rain up here." Not, ARE YOU OK, HONEY?

He loves me, he really does, but things that get me excited just don't seem to faze him. So, instead of buying one book on costume jewelry at Barnes & Noble, I bought four. And three magazines. And then went to the liquor store and got a bottle of wine, channeling the spirit of Otis Campbell.

Here's to you, Hal Smith and Mr. Armadillo. Cheers!
(And FYI--in real life, Hal Smith didn't drink.)