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Shannon Bardwell: A tasteful bumblebee

 

Shannon Bardwell

 

Sam and I were on our way to the costume party; I rode beside him dressed in my bumblebee outfit. While I fought with my antennae bumping the headliner, I described costumes from a Miss Hospitality Pageant.  

 

"Miss Hinds County wore feathers like a chicken and white go-go boots, and the girl from Clay County wore a Bryan''s Vienna Sausage can. I mean really, she didn''t have a chance against chicken legs in white go-go boots." 

 

I expounded on how degrading it was to require young women to dress up in ridiculous costumes. It was sexist.  

 

"Would anyone expect a man to dress up like a catfish with whiskers?" I asked.  

 

Sam looked at me, "You''re complaining about a girl in a chicken outfit, and you''re dressed like a bumblebee?" 

 

We dissolved in laughter at the absurdity. "Ah the gift ... " 

 

Another Saturday we were visiting a friend who has one of those little dogs that runs round and round in circles when you walk in. As soon as you sit down, the dog jumps in your lap and dive-bombs your lips. You can swat and swipe at him, but he is very determined. The whole time the dog''s master is saying, "Now Pogo, get down. You know better than that." Only Pogo does not know better than that because every time we visit, he dive-bombs our lips. 

 

Later I complained, I don''t know how people can stand to have a dog like that. They are so annoying.  

 

"And your cat?" Sam asked. 

 

"You mean Jack?"  

 

Then I remembered the time we got a call from our houseguests that Jack was outside their door meowing, and they couldn''t sleep.  

 

You see, Jack is deaf, and he sounds like a woman giving birth epidural-free. He runs from window to door bellowing at about 10,000 decibels. I love him, but my guests didn''t. "Ah the gift ... " 

 

My momma''s friend Myra always said, "I''m so glad that everybody has different tastes, because if they didn''t then everyone would want my Henry."  

 

We''d look over at Henry; he was lank and slumped over, a mere bag of a man. He couldn''t even appreciate his wife''s compliment because he couldn''t hear bongo drums. "Ah the gift ... " 

 

Deep down I''m glad everyone has different tastes ''cause if they didn''t then they''d all want Jack for a cat and Sam for a husband, and they''d want to live out here in the Prairie, and then it wouldn''t be quiet anymore. 

 

However, I must insist a tasteful bumblebee outfit is not quite like a chicken outfit with white go-go boots. I mean really, it''s not.

 

Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.

 

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