Enlighten me: just what in the world is "catbird in a hotseat?" J.W. or Granddad, used to bait me with some old guy on WTVR-TV6; THE SOUTH'S FIRST TELEVISION STATION-I figured the old man just liked listening to me squawk, and I did that, aplenty....in fact, he had a lot of expressions that I've not heard anywhere else: "chewing the rag" was one of them. "Chewing the rag" was negative; I knew what that was...it was Katehh! Katy would stop by every evening at 4:15 to relate her employer's shortcomings, Mrs. Booker's new dress, and what-in-the-world was Doc' Ball and Miz Ball thinkin' to allow Diane to traipse all the way to Hawaii, "un-chaperoned"! J.W. rattled the newspaper impatiently. I let the breath escape from my lungs as noisily as I could; Nervalandus, the dog I had nicely renamed for the Ball family, went home to get his supper...all that was left was for Grandma to bang. And for Barbara, my grandmother to rest her arms on the open door between the screen and the door jamb. allowing J.W. to beat a hasty retreat. "Katy", she said, "We do NOT discuss our neighbour's business, no matter how much more prosperous they appear to be!" "They are not living to be fodder for small talk." I knew that Dr. Ball had patched up a patch where she had scraped her head, while I sat with Diane, eating white powdered donuts. "High yellow, high falutin' *****"...yes, I had heard the epithet and my grandmother mentioned in the same breath and the catbird was formulating revenge. Katy was one of those in the neighborhood whose job, I surmised was to make Barbara's life miserable. Everything she did, even to the frequency with going to Mass, was noted and commented upon. Pinky and I would take in the milk delivery because the milk man from the Virginia Dairy, had taken to finding extra time to talk instead of just dropping off the milk. Sometimes, Aubrey or Joe Jr. would lurk 'round the back porch, at least 'til the milk man left. "Got to make sure the milk stays good and fresh 'round here" drawled Joe Jr., as he watched the red-faced delivery man's back. But I had taken to getting the milk in the morning, and that was that. Anyways...Katy felt her mission was to make life miserable and mine was to make her laugh and J.W. guffaw. So I clambered up onto the step stool in the back bed room that was Joe Jr.'s private digs, where yours truly had absolutely had NO business. I reached up my pudgy 8 year old hands and groped 3 prophylactic rubbers; I knew my hands held a watery treasure, although I felt Joe would KILL me, if he found that been pinched by me of all people. But the funny balloons would do, albeit they were not as colorful as the corner drugstore rainbow balloons; it was an emergency after all...I lay on the bed upstairs in the front room, Granny's bed. I reconnoitered over to the front window; good, it was open. I had run the water on HOT for five whole minutes, filled the balloons with hot, boiling stuff and launched two of them precisely at 4:15 pm as Katy set up her yap fest downstairs. Those rubbers stayed closed as they slid down the green awning and opened on Katy's head who let out a shriek. J.W. looked puzzled, leaned over the bannister, dropping gis paper and GUFFAWED. O YOU HAVE DONE IT, NOW! Granny came up the hallway, her face working with trouble. Her tormentor was yelling to beat the band...and retreating, thankfully!
I don't think I was suitably contrite, at least 'til Saturday when Grandma threatened to oversee my bath, if I didn't attend CONFESSION..".Go 'fess up or I'll wash ya". I decided to confess, but the neighbors, Cheryl's mother in particular said "she had it coming to her. ha!" The nuns tittered, the priest chuckled and tried to look stern. Katy was a bully and a tattletale. She also cussed everyone in the neighborhood;her husband scuttled away like a scalded cat. furtively looking over his shoulder at me. Miz Ball kissed me and Diane gave me a chocolate and a white sugar donut and a pink paper lei she'd gotten in Hawaii...! I felt guilty for making out like a bandit with my loot...
lgilkey06 lgilkey06
51-55, F
Aug 21, 2014