• 86°

New lady not happy camper

She was new in Clanton, and you only had to be around her for a few minutes to tell she was not at all happy here in our paradise.

Of all things, she was employed by one of the local newspapers. Of course, she was having a problem getting stories to come to her. That bothered me, and I tried real hard to make her feel welcome.

So what if she was from “up north?” I could tell because she talked funny. I even tried to impress her with a little of that language that I had picked up.

She complained about the weather; she didn’t even like peaches! I was thinking, “Little lady, are you sure you got off the right bus?”

I really hated for her to go back to where she came from, not liking Alabama and her people just because she hadn’t seen our state, especially Chilton County. So, I offered the uncardinal: I made her an offer reserved for VIP, media, etc.

“You really need to see our beautiful lake. Would you like to go on patrol with me—see the lake, meet some of her people?”

She actually smiled. Everything better go well or I will be looking for a job! I told her that I would pick her up about 10 a.m., and this is where the story gets lively.

I have my shiny patrol boat in tow, going right downtown. Everybody was staring, blowing their horn and making remarks like, “the lakes that way.” Maybe I had the wrong address. She was “boarding” at one of the old homes downtown.

I pull over to the curb, and everybody was coming over to see the boat, little kids wanting to get in, etc. I had a nice crowd, and here she came! Folks, she was wearing a bathing suit, and that was all! No cover-up or whatever, no camera, not even a notebook.

The crowd was looking as I sort of rushed her into the car. Usually, I introduced my guest to everyone; this time, I’d have to keep her hid!

I knew that this was going to happen: as soon as we got into the boat, she put both feet on the dash and started putting on sunscreen! (Where did that come from?) My young friends were coming out in their ski-boats, and I’m thinking surely she will be impressed. She didn’t even look! I turned off the ignition and thought, “OK, little lady, we’ll talk.” “Where exactly did you say you were from?” “Minnesota.” “I’m so sorry”—-couldn’t help it, it just came out.

Of course, she was not laughing. Other boaters were coming over to see if I needed help; I just waved them off. I was going to give her a chance to get even. “Don’t you like boats?” She answered, “Power boats are OK, I guess, for transportation.”

Good idea, I thought as I roared the engine. This isn’t working out, so I’m gonna transport you home—or maybe someone would come by in a canoe!