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  Sunday February 1st, 2015    

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Barbie and the Redneck (02/01/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Life never ceases to tickle my funny bone. Laughter is an important ingredient in my character. Since I’m no longer out and about in the world of business, I’m forced to laugh at myself and my innocent family members.

Pat got revenge in January, as I limped around the house with my left foot enclosed in a Ziploc bag. I couldn’t arouse much sympathy by reminding him that having toenails cut out is, after all, major surgery (well, it feels like it after the fact.)

Humor can warmly flood a person with amusement or throw a body into fits of hysteria. Recently, I couldn’t help overhearing an off-plumb conversation between two strangers in a clinic waiting room. An executive secretary type, with Sara Palin glasses, and dangerous fingernails, Ms. Prim and Prissy asked the rotund, retirement-aged, down-at-the-mouth gal about her heavily bandaged finger.

“Funny you should ask,” she answered. “My curiosity got the best of me and I stuck it in the fan blades at the factory. They gave me the rest of the week off for stupidity.” “Oh, that’s too bad,” Ms. blonde with the dark roots answered. “You have a nasty bruise on your arm too.”

“That’s nothing new. I bruise easy ever since I became a recovering vegetarian. My old man grabbed my arm when he slipped on the ice at the Vet Clinic parking lot. We both fell head over teakettle. Our three-legged labradoodle Hop-Along gave us the slip, but not before he took a bite out of my behind. Good thing I have plenty to spare. That dog never did warm up to me. Maybe it’s because I always ate the Kibbles and left him with the Bits.”

On a roll, she went on, “I suppose you can tell that I’m wearing a headpiece. It’s covering the red glass shards embedded in my forehead from the time I put a bottle of nail polish in the microwave to soften up and it exploded. Should never have bought the cheap stuff!”

The Barbie Doll look-alike politely shook her head at the old gal’s sob stories, biting her lower lip for a more sincere effect. I kept my eyes on TV and “Martha’s Risk-Free Recipes for the Accident Prone.”

“You certainly have had your rash of bad luck,” Ms. Congeniality replied. “Oh, that! I’ve had that unspeakable rash for years. How did you know?” It was a mistake for me to chance a glance at Barbie. As we choked on our guffaws, we could only hope that the gal in her “Get ‘er Done” T-shirt might not hear so well either.

“Oh, I didn’t mean to bring tears to your eyes,” the downtrodden woman whined. “I’d be crying myself if it hadn’t been for that XXXL bottle of industrial strength horseradish I won at the Rednecks For Fast Food raffle. It dried my tear ducts right up.”

A pleasant nurse’s voice saved the day. “Emma Orville Mess, your team of doctors will see you now.” To which Tugboat Annie replied, “I think you’d better take these two gals first. Looks like the old one with the ugly, deformed toenails is having a seizure and Madonna needs a fix real bad. She’s shaking like a rooster in a henhouse.”

Not to stoop to the level of Beavis and Butthead, but some words just make you laugh - according to taste and sophistication, or lack thereof, of course.

In the extraordinary circumstance that a reader may have taken the above story as true fact, I am compelled to defend my warped character. This writer has been suffering from a bad case of cabin fever, as well as the aftershocks of toenail removal.

Whether it be a hug, a belly laugh, a massage (thank you Geri!), a thumbs-up, or a kiss to build a dream on – we all need a pick-me-up every once in awhile. Gimmie five!

May the last laugh be yours!

Janet Burns can be found in her Lewiston home thinking up stupid stuff. She can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com. 


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