Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Of Mousie and Funeral Home Men

This picture is from Bethel Beach, although you obviously cannot see the beach from here. There are acres and acres of what I'd call swamp before you get to the beach. Now the green marsh grasses are turning brown, and the dead, gray wood sticks up starkly to remind us that winter is just around the corner. Speaking of winter, which symbolizes death, here's a story about death that is anything but stark.

As promised, today I am posting a guest contribution from a Gwynn's Island resident who has more stories than Uncle Remus, and all of them are hilarious and, surprisingly, true.

True Story
by The Gwynn's Islander

Once upon a time, on an island named Gwynn, there lived a lady. Miss Pearl was her name. She had at least two sons....we shall call them Tommy and Mousie. I think she had a third, but that is beside the point. They lived in a white farm house in close proximity to the Gwynn's Island Fire House.

Mousie and Tommy had a penchant for alcohol. They liked their drink. Mousie had no driver's license. His mode of transportation was a Wheel Horse lawn mower, decked out with a CB radio and antenna. His daily attire was a khaki work shirt and pants, khaki fisherman's hat with the fish and the net embroidered, white socks and black work shoes.

According to the local Wheel Horse dealer, Mousie was the only person to ever wear out a set of tires on one of his tractors. Mousie went through FOUR SETS. Most of Mousie's travels were to Callis Wharf or Scrooch's Market for beer.

My first job was working at Scrooch's Market for the princely sum of one dollar per hour. I remember, fondly, receiving calls from Miss Pearl, stating in her gravely voice....I want two pounds of lard, one carton of Raleigh plain ends, four six packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon, etc.

One morning, Mousie didn't wake up. He had expired during the night. Miss Pearl called Foster Faulkner, the local funeral home.

Tommy, meanwhile, the sun not yet high in the sky, had already begun the daily ritual. He had found a comfortable place under the shade of a tree in the yard.

The funeral home folks pulled up, saw Tommy passed out under the tree, and started loading him onto the gurney. Miss Pearl came to the door and hollered: NO! NOT HIM! HE'S IN THE HOUSE!

Tommy drove Mousie's lawn mower to the early nineties.


Chesapeake Bay Woman's Comments:

Is there anything left to say? There are stories like this all over this county, and if I don't write them down how is the world gonna hear them?


Annie said...

Well done. I agree. It is good to hear the old stories! Lucky Tommy, eh?

Unfortunately you remind me that my mower needs a new set of tires, and no I don't even drive it to the local shops or anywhere else! It has all been plain mowing. In fact I think I might be the only person to mow a yard with a mower with bald tires, and an actual hole in one wheel. However it hasn't fallen off or collapsed yet, so it keeps on going! In fact, it always surprises me that it still starts. As long as it has some fuel in it!

Love the photo. I just had a little tiny thought that that piece of wood looked strangely familiar, and just had another little thought that you wouldn't drive a truck with it in the back, and haul it out for another photo? No, ok..sorry...just a silly errant thought.


Angela said...

By all means write them down! Spend whole afternoons with the Gwynn Islanders and let them (and Uncle Remus??)tell their tales to you! You are so right - if nobody keeps them, they`d be lost! And not only me, but I`m sure many people love such hilarios old stories, so drily told! Thanks for this one.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie - Get those tires checked - I have known more than one person to flip over on those things, one person in particular was in his sixties - he did a backflip and landed on his feet. It was amazing. If I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes I would never believe it.

Angela - There are millions of stories like this. They're even better/funnier when heard from the horse's mouth.

I'm off to the paying job now...back later tonight.

For any of you driving today or tonight, safe journeys and Happy Thanksgiving.

Bear Naked said...

What a marvelous story.
The more I hear about your part of the country the more I think I would enjoy living there.

Bear((( )))

big hair envy said...

You are truly providing a public service for those Gwynn's Islanders, and Mathews-ers alike! Keep 'em coming!! I see a book deal in your future:)

There was a guy in Stinky Town who used to ride a bicycle with a HUGE boom box bungeed to the back!! It was amazing how he could dance and pedal at the same time.

Mental P Mama said...

I hope to see Tommy when I visit.

Life with Kaishon said...

This is the funniest story I have ever heard. What a great place you live. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Grandma J said...

How funny is that? Picturing Mousy tootling around is too much. I wonder how many drunks were passed off for dead way back when.

Cool Breeze said...

CBW you crack me up! I've been reading your stuff for some time now and you never fail to hit that funny bone.

I've been to Foster-Faulkner a couple of times for friends family.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Miss Pearl is the same "Miss" Pearl that I know. Probably not, since "Miss" Pearl is actually Mr. Earl who dresses up as a "Miss" on weekends and special late night occasions.

Who is this "cool breeze"?

Baby Sis

Annie said...

sorry I misinformed mower luckily is not one that you sit on and drive, but an awful old fashioned little thing I have to push around the not too much worry with the wheels. Though I am always careful with it, and usually wear shoes! Annie

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BN - If you are ever in the states, I do hope you'll make a trip to Virginia. If Mathews scares you away, there's always Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown "the historic triangle" that would be worth the trip. ALthough quite honestly I think you'd prefer Mathews....

BHE - One of you - Cool Breeze or you or better BOTH--need to do a story on Bicycle Man. That's good stuff there. We, too, have a bicycle man, but that's for another day.

MPM - I daresay I'm not sure if he's still breathing, but I can put it on the potential tour stops for the blogapalooza.

Reb/LWK - I'm glad you enjoyed it (thanks to G.Islander who wrote it) and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

GJ - We do indeed have our fair share of characters around here. There's enough fodder here for a movie, for sure. You can't make this stuff up.

Cool Breeze - Congratulations on your new blog! You might be the first husband-wife blogging team I know of. Of which I know. Of.

Baby Sis - Cool Breeze is Big Hair's husband, they live close by, I'll fill you in when you get here. When will that be??? We were told tonight, but of course for you that translates into, "Whenever CB Baby Sister feels like it, and she won't call to give you an ETA or anything, just says stuff like be sure there's wine in the fridge , etc." (CB Children are eagerly awaiting the Wii bowling challenge....)

Annie - Of course I naturally assume when people are cutting grass they're on a riding mower, but I'm here to tell you that a push mower is not without its hazards either...ask me how I know. There's a reason I will not cut grass without sunglasses.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Life with Kaishon said...

Your computer can't play video's? We really have to have an intervention for you and bring you into the 2000's : )! Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow! Much love!

Femin Susan said...

Oh, handsome! A Superbly erudite post!
This is amazing!! I am so glad to found your blog!
Welcome to my blog…….

Karen Deborah said...

So glad you liked the chili! Pretty easy isn't it? Have a wonderful thanksgiving my dear and keep up the stories and picchas.

Country Girl said...

Oh, Lord. No, you need to keep writing this stuff down. Do not stop!