Monday, April 30, 2007

Tales Outside The School

Here's an update on that darn car. When we last left HH, he had overheated at #1 son's school, and had to leave his precious Mercedes there overnight, safely parked under a camera in the superintendent's parking spot. The next morning, HH and #1 went back to school, towing a trailer to retrieve the Mercedes.

First of all, you must realize that the trailer was an HH trailer. Oh, it's the kind you haul cars on...not a cut-off bed from an ancient pickup truck. We have three of those. Not that I'm braggin' or anything. But this trailer is one HH bought about 13 years ago for $250. Which tells you right there, it's not exactly top-of-the-line. It's a long, black metal thingy. HH welded two ramps that he carries with him, to drive a car onto the trailer. But according to #1, the tires barely fit the ramps. "The tires squish in, Mom. They're probably going to blow up."

The Veteran met them at the school, which was a good thing, because he had to jump the battery for them to drive the Mercedes onto the trailer. Without the jump, I think HH planned to hook a cable on the car, and hand-crank it or some such thing. They stopped by The Devil's Playground to get some yellow paint to paint some rubber parts on the back of the Mercedes. "You know, Mom, where it's rotted out," #1 tells me. HH has come into a bounty of engine parts, in fact a whole motor, FREE, of course, from a worker at his plant. The worker has a diesel, and needed other parts on one he was junking. But no, the parts that needed paint were not included in the free deal, so HH bought them with insurance money from hail damage on his truck. He's such a Hillbilly! After that little side trip, they brought the Mercedes home. I hope not to sit in the barn for another nine months.

I did not hear the rest of the story until Saturday night, when #1 decided he was going to re-teach himself to play the piano, which he took lessons on from the age of 4 to 9, when he decided he really did not want to practice for 30 minutes each day, even though he loved the glory of recitals. So we made a trip to town to pick up a book of music from my mom's house, where there is a piano, even though she can't play it, because she had always wanted a piano, and when we moved from a trailer into a real house when I was in 7th grade, she got one, and I taught myself how to play it, but nobody else except my brother-in-law the mayor ever plays it now. On the trip to get the piano music so #1 could play it on the fancy-schmancy keyboard my grandma gave him for Christmas one year when he was taking piano lessons, the boy told me the rest of the Mercedes Rescue story.

After they got the Mercedes on the trailer to the barn, HH got in it to back it off the trailer. It wouldn't start. Without the Veteran to assist, HH decided to put it in neutral and roll it off the trailer. That worked for a few feet, until the tires hit a big crack in the metal of the trailer bed. You will hear more about the magnitude of the crack in a moment. HH started to get out of the car, but his door would not open. There are short sides on the edge of the trailer, and the door hit the side. HH told #1 to get on the trailer, in front of the car, and give him a push. #1 is pretty strong for a 12-year-old who's the size of a 14-year-old. He gave it a good shove, but HH is no lightweight, and the car remained stuck.

Being a problem-solver, #1 got a board and used it as a lever to try to dislodge the disabled auto. "I know how a simple machine multiplies the force, Mom," he said like the true junior nerd that he is. When this didn't work, HH climbed out the window. Perhaps 'climbed' makes him sound a bit more athletic than he really is. According to #1, HH went headfirst out the window, put his hands on the little side thingy of the trailer, got one leg out, put it on the side, and then extracted his other leg. He told the boy to climb into the car, and he would push. Again, according to #1, "I jumped into the car like a Duke of Hazard, and Dad pushed me off the ramps onto the ground." "Oh," I said, "so your dad was stronger, and you were lighter, and he pushed the tires out of the crack?" The boy shook his head. "Not exactly. Dad cheated. He pushed from the ground. You know that crack? It's so big that Dad stepped down in it. He had better traction on the gravel than I had on the wet metal."

I'm confident that more chapters on the Mercedes will write themselves.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Look What HH Dragged Home

Perhaps I've told you of my husband's penchant for bringing home things he thinks he can use around the Mansion. The latest, until today, was the lumber from the pallets and boxes that come with the rolls of steel they receive at work. He is making a Mini-Mansion out of this lumber down by the creek. Yes, until today, that lumber was his latest unclaimed treasure. Until today.

Look at what HH brought us this morning.

It's a perfectly good Chinese man.
His name is 'Ben'. I told HH we can't keep him.

OK, here's the real story. Ben is here for work at HH's plant. He has been here one week, and has three more to go. According to HH, Ben is staying at a motel near work. He doesn't have anything to do in his spare time. I jokingly asked, "What does he eat, Chinese?" That is so wrong. And not very funny, either. Don't worry, I'm not going to pull a Rosie O'Donnell rant. I just thought about what I would do in another country for that long...a country that might not even have Sonic Cherry Diet Cokes.

HH not only did not laugh at my little joke (I think his laugher is on the fritz. I haven't heard it much since they quit making those Ernest Goes To...movies. Darn that Jim Varney for kicking the bucket!). Anyhoo...HH said, "Yes. He does eat Chinese. There's a restaurant close to the motel, and Ben walks over there so he can talk Chinese with the people who own it. I'm picking him up on Sunday to spend the day here. I'm always grateful when I'm traveling if somebody shows me around. I hate to sit in a motel room."

Since this was an HH excursion, there are a few things you ought to know. HH planned to pick up Ben at his motel, and treat himself to a continental breakfast. As he said, "They even have biscuits and gravy!" I hope Ben does not get evicted for his freeloading friend. Next, Ben got a tour of the barn first, HH's pride and joy. Then he came in the house to meet the family and observe HH's gun collection and hoard of 'treasures'. HH is always looking for fresh blood to brag himself blue in the face. Next, we went out back by the pool to shoot a BB gun. From there, the boys were off to tour the property, and show off the Mini-Mansion, which is proudly sporting one truss. The roof kind of truss. After that, HH took Ben about a mile up the gravel road to see our other 10 acres. Now, HH and #1 have taken Ben on a tour of the area. Included in this jaunt is the historical town of Ste. Genevieve. HH says it is because Ben wanted to see the Mississippi. I hope they are not going on a winery tour. Ben might be Buddhist or something, and be offended. Never mind that the Mississippi is less than one mile as the crow flies from HH's workplace. We must treat Ben to about 90 minutes of driving to show him HH's way.

Here are some of Ben's observations. Ben lives in an apartment in Beijing. He says HH has a big house, and a big family, that he is a rich man in property and family. Ben's wife is having a baby in July. They are only allowed by the Chinese government to have one child. If a family has more than one child, they have to pay a fine. Ben was very impressed that HH has FOUR sons. He was seemingly shocked by the number of guns HH has, asking if they were always kept locked, because of the children. (YES! They ARE!) HH had planned to let Ben shoot a couple of them (the guns, not the children), but Ben did not want to. Ben, after making sure that HH showed him it was unloaded, agreed to hold a .38 for a picture. He kind of took a gangster stance. He said, "When my wife see picture, she say, 'What are you doing with gun? Come home!'." Ben says that in China, the people are not allowed to own guns. Only the police and military can have them. HH did persuade Ben to shoot one of the boys' Red Ryder BB guns. He was a pretty good shot.

HH pointed to the 5th wheel camper in the front yard. "See, Ben? We can go camping at the State Parks in that." Ben motioned at all the land with his hands. "Why? You camp here. Pull it over there. Then over there. No need to go anywhere!" He's a funny guy, that Ben. Ben took pictures of everything with his phone. HH also had the #1 son taking pictures, and told Ben that we will make him a CD of all the pictures. Ben says to the kid, "You can email them to me?" Oh, yeah. That boy lives to fiddle with technology.

HH put Ben in the Scout, and a boy on each 4-wheeler. He said he was going to get some pictures of Ben driving the Scout and sitting on the tractor. Poor Ben. I wonder if he has ever seen Green Acres. Ben drove one of the 4-wheelers. As you can see by the picture, Ben was a proper Hillbilly, putting his helmet in the homemade basket to drive it around. I promise that the kids wear a helmet.

Ben is OH SO POLITE. Not at all like us ugly Americans. He was dressed in slacks, dress shoes, and a dark blue oxford-type shirt. As opposed to HH, in his holey jeans, stained gray T-shirt, and scuffed tennis shoes. I am always interested in how other cultures relate. I could never in a million years learn enough Chinese to spend a month there. HH has also brought Helmut from Germany home from work. I didn't meet Helmut, but #1 spent the day with him. #2 thought his name was Hermit. Hey! He's a little kid. Several years ago, we sold a Toyota to Felipe, the Colombian. Thank goodness he didn't give us a necktie! Oops! There I go again, being politically uncorrect, as Gretchen Wilson says. Felipe's wife was a teacher in Columbia. HH said she was related to Fidel Castro. Though I don't know what Cuba has to do with Colombia. Then again, I am historically, geographically, and politically challenged. Throw some math or science at me, though, and I can hold my own. HH, the world traveler, knows a little more than I. But he is also a big name-dropper. He has been caught falsifying facts on other occasions.

So I leave you now, with images of Ben on a 4-wheeler dancing in your head.
Methinks he had a good time.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hillbilly Mom Poses Some Questions

Mr. Barky von Schnauzer? Mr. Barky von Schnauzer?

Am I the only one who finds that commercial amusing? I don't even remember what it is advertising, but I cracks me up. I'm a bit simple sometimes.

Did you know that The Devil's Playground has new plastic bags? They are BIG. I got three of them today. Instead of 20 small plastic bags of Devil-y goodness. It must be because I had a male checker. He packed those puppies to the top. My one complaint is that my buns and bread loaves were in a bag with a jar of mild banana pepper rings. How many peppers has Chipper Checker packed? Because he should really be informed that you can't pack a heavy jar of stuff with the breadstuffs. Especially in a large plastic bag.

Do people lose their minds in The Devil's Playground? Or do they just leave them out in the car, stashed safely under the seat, so they don't have to THINK during Devilish cart-play? The woman in front of me had two carts. Now that's not as interesting as if she'd had two heads, or two butts, but still...she had TWO carts. Most of it was cases of soda. Like, 8 or 10 cases per cart. She had one cart in front of her, and one cart behind her. Chipper Checker came around the counter to her cart, so she didn't have to handle her heavy cases or hoist them high for checking. And wasn't that sentence an alliterator's dream? Chipper asked if she would need help to get them to the car, and she said, in a kind of pissy, put-out manner, "Yeeaahhhh." So he called someone.

Am I the only one who senses something amiss? Helloooooo! She pushed them up to the counter by herself, didn't she? And we who shop regularly at The Devil's Playground certainly know that the cases of soda are found in the far back corner of the Playground. So she could push-pull both carts to the checkout, but not to her car? Methinks mesmells a rat. She was just taking advantage of young Chipper Checker. Shame, shame...we don't know your name. I shall call you Shameful Ratty Two-Carts. Low enough that you can't hear me, of course.

I really must stop letting my #2 son ride in the cart. He's big enough to climb over the side with no parental lifting. He takes up most of the room in the cart. And he's hard to steer. He's kind of like that redheaded kid in the basket being left on various porches in Problem Child. But it is WAY easier to shop with him like that. Today he took his book, Blood On The River, and barely looked up from the cart. Except to climb himself out to choose a new Nintendo DS game. He's a gamer...he's a reader...he's a loud, loud screamer...Sorry, I had a Steve Miller flashback to that 70s song, The Joker. I'll try not to let that happen again.

And speaking of The Joker, the Six Flags Joker had a bit of a malfunction yesterday on #1 son's educational field trip. Seems that 6 of his young cronies were TRAPPED on said Joker while it barrelled willy-nilly out of control. It would not stop. The operators could have pressed the button to undo their harnesses and let them out, except that HELLOOOO The Joker would not stop, so they would have fallen to their deaths. They were held hostage by the nefarious Joker for nigh on 10 minutes. Oh, and The Boss was broken right before #1's group got on it. Something about the brakes would lock and not let go. Which sounds like the opposite problem of The Joker. Anyhoo...#1 said, "I didn't want to go on it, Mom. I knew I was going to die." And I said, "So you waited for them until they got off?" But things are not so simple for the Hillbilly family. "No. I rode it. We had a rule that nobody could go anywhere unless they were with a group, and the minimum number of people in a group was two, and since everybody else wanted to ride it, I had to ride it, too."

I know there's more here. Something about my little #2 son reading Blood On The River. And playing a game on his computer right now that is probably not OK for a 9-year-old. I don't know what it is, but a couple minutes ago I heard, "...the severed head atop a pike...", and I shouted, "What?" And the kid replied, "That's why I hate the speakers." You see, what with the Vista-installation faux pas, his headphones do not work anymore. I don't think it's a bad game. It's one of the Civilizations, or something similar. It's not like it's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Don't call 1-800-BAD MOM. I do take care of him.
I push him around The Devil's Playground in a cart, by cracky!

Friday, April 27, 2007

What Kind Of Idiom Are You

Here I am, browsing around the internets like I nobody's business, when my Intervention is at 9:00. I must be more vigilant. I think we're having heroin and alcohol tonight. Not in the same person, though.

Today at school, we did a writing assignment with idioms. Or as the kids asked, squinting, "Idiots?" I could not retort. I discussed idioms, gave them a choice to pick from, and had them write their own origin. We started with my example, "Let the cat out of the bag." According to my idiom dictionary, this saying originated in England during the 1600s. If a man went to the market to purchase a piglet for dinner, he had to be satisfied with a piglet in a bag, or 'poke'. Merchants kept them bagged so they didn't run away. Some merchants were unscrupulous! Sometimes a customer took that bag home, prepared to butcher the piglet, and was flabbergasted when he opened the bag and a CAT ran out. Shame on those merchants! This was also the origin of the saying, "Be careful not to buy a pig in a poke." That's just extra knowledge for y'all. We're all about the book-learnin' here at the Mansion. I'm going to start a new educational movement called Mansion-Schooling one of these days.

Here, according to my students, are the origins of some more idioms.

Cat got your tongue? One day, two guys were arguing outside a McDonald's. One got really mad, and went inside. He thought he saw something run by the door. When he came back out, the guy he argued with was bent over by the dumpster. The guy tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't speak. Then he saw that a cat had ripped out his tongue.

Caught red-handed. A kid named Niceguywhogaveuptheshoesonhisfeet was robbing a house one day. He ran out, and another kid saw him. That kid yelled, "Ha! Caught you red-handed!" The police heard this new saying, and then everybody said it.

Caught red-handed. During the Middle Ages, a serial killer was caught with his hands still in the victim's guts. Since he had blood all over his hands, he was caught red-handed.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch. This old man raised chickens. He had a bunch of eggs, and told people when they would hatch. A bunch of people wanted to buy chickens. They showed up on that day, but none of the eggs hatched. The people were really mad at the old man. That's why you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch.

Goody Two-Shoes. A group of red-headed merchants thought they were better than everyone else. So they acted all snobby and people didn't like them and called them Goody Two-Shoes.

Goody Two-Shoes. In France, at the Eiffel Tower in the 1600s, only rich people had shoes. If you were rich, you had to buy shoestrings, too. When you were rich, you could afford two shoes instead of just one. Other people started calling them Goody Two-Shoes in French. And that is where the saying came from.

Kick the bucket. There once was an old man. He was very sick with the flu in the 1700s. He decided to walk to town. When he got there, he fell over dead. As he was going down, his foot flew up and kicked over a bucket. So they said he kicked the bucket.

That's all I can remember tonight. It's been a trying day. HH volunteered to pick up #1 son after his 6 Flags trip. However, HH's precious Mercedes (that ugly 1980 yellow piece of doo-doo) overheated again. So I had to go anyway. That means from 3:10 to 6:10, I was killing time. I thought of killing HH, but that type of thing is frowned on here in Missouri. I got to school, and there was HH, with the hood of that ugly beast propped up, his head in there, digging around. Oh, and there was a big puddle of water leaking out from under it. I'm hoping that was due to the car, and not HH, who has been know to treat the outdoors like one big toilet. Because there is a camera right on that spot. HH parked in the Superintendent's spot, (as if it could get any worse). He could not get it started again, and had to leave it there. He's hoping someone will steal it.

Another perfect end to a perfect day. And Intervention.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Time Is Of The Essence

Nothing ever goes as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom plans. Today, for instance, we had an assembly 3rd hour. Well, we were scheduled to have an assembly 3rd hour. So I planned on not having a lesson 3rd hour, and getting to Basementia before my students got to the classroom. But no. The assembly-presenter guy was running late. So instead of having the assembly at 10:00, it was changed to 12:15.

"What's the problem, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?" you ask. I heard you. Don't pretend it wasn't you. No real problem, except that kids who sit down thinking they are having an assembly in 3 minutes don't take kindly to being told it will be later. Lucky for them, I always have extra worksheets on hand.

Guess what? The same assembly-presenter guy was scheduled for Basementia at 1:00. The presentation was rumored to be 90 minutes long. So when the dust settled after my arrival at Basementia, I asked around about the time. No. Nobody knew about any changes. No announcements. But I figured it would be later. By accident, I discovered that the kids were told at lunch that it would now be a 1:30 assembly. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom knows Math. She can add and subtract time. So I didn't really think it would be at 1:30, either. I tried to prepare the kids, but they were having none of it. "Uh uh. They're going to call us out any minute." Yeah. Keep on believin', children. At 2:00, we were called to the assembly. Guess who didn't get the 90 minute presentation.

Tonight was the fun night at #1 son's school. On the calendar, it said '6:00 to 7:30'. The smaller fry were not welcome, as in 'we will provide a babysitter for younger siblings' not welcome. I left #2 son with his grandma. HH met us. Once in the building, we were given a schedule to follow. Seems we had a general assembly with the same assembly-presenter guy. For an hour. Then, we had six stations to rotate through, with 15 minutes at each one. Umm...NO! That would put me home after 9:00 p.m. We left. I can only tolerate so much in one day.

Karma should not spring surprises on Hillbilly Mom. She is a creature of habit. Slow, methodical...the turtle winning the race. Except that HM is not a turtle--that was yesterday's sub.

Last cat out of the bag, #2 son brought home his book order. He had a Nintendo DS game that did not work. We tried it in three different DSes. I am sending it back to his teacher with a note. The boy wants his $19.95 back. He will shop at The Devil's Playground from now on. Darn those Scholastic people! They don't have to listen to a little boy sob broken-heartedly until he falls asleep.

I don't know how much longer I can protect him from the cold, cruel world. My Mommy Magic is on the fritz.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Too Much Info

Things are afoot here at the Mansion tonight. And Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not like feet. It is a busy time of year. Somebody has asked my child to help out with a prom for special needs students by burning some CDs. I thought it was for the music. He thought it was to put in a gift basket. We are in a quandary. We do not want to violate any laws. We are not making any money. We are creating gifts. But we really need to find out which task we are committing to. It kind of needs to get done tonight. Thursday night, we must attend a 'fun night' at #1 son's school. He did not want to go until he learned that anybody who attends will earn an afternoon in the park. So we are required to have fun. Friday, he will be gone to Six Flags all day. So we need to get on the stick. Or off the stick. To get these thingies finished. I thought it would be, like, two CDs. He's thinking more like 50.

I am so glad I removed my tattoos before the students saw them yesterday. Just today, they were talking about a substitute. Even though he had no tattoos, the description was not flattering. Opinions varied. Two different classes brought up the subject. One class announced that they had a sub who looked like a turtle. They did not elaborate. Next cat out of the bag, the class after them mentioned 'the sub who looks like a fish'. "Well," I told them, "funny you should mention that, because apparently there's a turtle guy here, too." And they filled me in. "Oh, no, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. It's the same guy. I could see where they might say a turtle. He's got this little bitty head, and a long neck, and he kind of hangs his head down on the end of his neck. But the reason we say 'fish' is that he has this big ol' eyes, and his lips go like this." And a girl squished her lips together like a fish making that bubble-producing 'O' shape. Please, please, tell me that they don't describe me to any other teachers. Please.

Another kid told me that he's been having trouble with his colon, and that he has to take medicine and that stuff on commercials for old people. I was not clear on this, but didn't really pursue the subject, which did not stop him from elaborating, "Oh, yeah, there such a thing? Yeah, that's it. Prunes. And if I'm not better, they have to stick something up my butt. So you can bet that I'm going to get better, because nobody is sticking anything up my butt." With only one ear listening to him as I took roll, I said, "Well, I'm sure they will knock you out to do something like that." And he replied, "No way! That would be even worse, to be knocked out while they were sticking something up your butt. And on Friday, I have to drink this stuff that cleans you out." Never leaving well enough alone, I had to prolong the agony. "Why on Friday?" And he said, "In case it carries over to the next day." And all his cronies shouted, "We ain't doin' anything with YOU Friday night!"

Such is the daily life of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She doesn't really want to know these things. She just gets drawn in, trying to be all caring and sh*t.


Don't forget, the new stories are ready in Redneck Diva's writing contest. Go read them and put in a vote. You have until midnight, May 2, methinks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Read Some Stories

The stories are up for this week's writing contest. Go read. Give someone a vote. I command you. Thanks to you new people who are playing along, we have ELEVEN stories this week. It's a new record, by cracky!

3 Gripings And A Confessional

I have issues. They are entirely my own issues. I am not blaming the school for what I am about to say. The school tried to solve a problem in the most efficient manner. I am not blaming the students, either. Kids will be kids. It's their nature. Our students are a pretty good group as students go. Even the substitutes say they're the best in the area. Now that the disclaimers are in effect, let's get to it...

Kids these days! Two of our buildings had no water yesterday. A pump broke in some town that supplies the water to those two buildings. This is not the first time it's happened. Goodness, no! The policy at one building is to set out bottled water for the kids, or set up coolers and cups in the main hallway. Port-A-Potties are rented, and it's business as usual. I'm not sure what happens at the other building, because I'm not in it. My son brings home notes that he can bring a water bottle to keep on his desk. As for their bathroom practices, I'm not sure. Anyhoo...that's not the issue. The issue is KIDS, people!

I'm thinking the school must have been led to believe the problem would be resolved sooner than it was, or that it was not as severe as it turned out to be. Because by afternoon, students from both of the other buildings were being bused to Basementia to use the facilities. That is not the issue. As a parent, I feel they did what is best for my child, under the circumstances. Now, for the griping.

First of all, the kids were told they could bring drinks to school. Unopened drinks, to carry to class. Did these kids bring bottles of water, to fill their hydration needs, to replace the drinking fountain visits between classes? NO! Some were fairly reasonable. They brought water, and those individual packets of Gatorade or some such flavory drink to put in the bottle and shake, shake, shake. Others brought soda. Yeah. Like they need that every hour of the day. Oh, not just a 20 oz. bottle of soda. Some brought freakin' 2-LITER bottles of soda. Keep in mind that at the time they were packing up this bounty to haul to school, the bathrooms were off limits. Yeah. Don't tell me the kids don't know what happens if you drink a 2-Liter bottle of soda in 50 minutes. Those soda-drinkers lucked out today, because the pump was fixed, and the toilets were a-flushin'.

Don't be feeling sorry for these kids. Because there was still bottled water free for the taking all day. Some kids had the free hey it's free I gotta get me some it's free mentality. They would try to take several bottles at a time. Others used the bottles to shoot the caps. Nobody actually did it in my class, but they gladly demonstrated how it was done. "See, you put the cap on where it's loose after the water is gone, and then you twist the bottom of the bottle and scrunch it up, and the pressure makes the lid explode off." Wow! It's a Bill Nye lesson as well.

Secondly, the bus trip to the bathrooms was viewed by some kids as a field trip. Never mind that they went to school in that building, or that it's only 5 minutes away. By cracky, those kids knew their rights! Never mind that some of them go all day with using the bathroom at school. If there's a bus trip to a bathroom, they are not going to miss it. Imagine your own kids, when you go somewhere, how they always have to check out the bathroom. Now, multiply your brood by oh...I don't know...maybe...150. Use a calculator if you need to. Don't be thinkin' they needed that trip because of the 2-Liter soda faux pas. No. This was the day before they could bring soda.

Thirdly, my own son, who is but a child, and fairly representative of the small fry population, demanded a water bottle to take to school. Well, he was out of luck, because the demanding was done to HH the night before, and by the time I got wind of it the next morning, it was too late to freeze one for him. Don't think the boy was in danger of dehydrating. NO! He had the exact same frozen bottle of water that he takes every day in his lunch. But he wanted a different water bottle, with a plastic straw, to set on his desk. Never mind that this kid goes some days without even opening his frozen bottle of water. I know, because when I unpack his lunch bag at night, the bottle is all shrunken after the ice melts. That cap hasn't even been tampered with from the time I put it on that morning.

Kids! Can't live with 'em...can't let 'em go without fluids for seven hours.

Now, to the confessional. Shhh...don't tell anybody, but today, on my plan time...I chewed a piece of Fruit Stripe Gum. It's OK. No kids were anywhere near the sugar. They were not harmed. Here is the embarrassing part. That Fruit Stripe Gum comes with little tattoos on the wrapper. All you have to do is wet your skin and stick that sucker to it for a few seconds. It seemed relatively harmless. I chose a stylish zebra riding a snowboard. Zebra. Because it's Fruit STRIPE Gum, get it? He was mostly blue, with some pink, kind of brightly colored. I put him on my inner forarm with a little spit, and admired him. I looked left, and I looked right. Nobody was around. I was at my computer. Nobody could see me from the doorway, and the window that is not covered with black butcher-paper faced out on a brick wall. I liked what I saw. And it looked like I could get a few more tattoos out of that ol' wrapper.

I put the snowboarding zebra up my forearm. Several times. Heh, heh. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom likes living on the edge. Good thing it didn't come with a self-piercing kit. After five minutes or so, I tired of being a rebel. I put a little spit on my arm to clean it off. You know how good mom-spit is at removing unwanted spots from skin! But NOOOOO! My tattoos did not wash off. They did not even fade!

Great Googley Moogley! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom could not teach 13-year-old students with an arm full of tattoos! She might as well run away and join the circus. Except that, well, the school year is almost over, and she hasn't missed a day yet, and is eligible for a handsome monetary reward, and somebody might just notice that her class is unattended for the next four weeks, which would not bode well for the handsome reward. I looked in my metal cabinet, bequeathed to me by Mabel herself when she left Basementia. OK, so the lock doesn't work, and it has a dent, and the handle is royally screwed-up, but it's MINE, by cracky! I tried a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe. It barely faded a smidgen of blue on one of my tats.

The last resort was the Fantastik. I sprayed some orangey goodness onto my inner right forearm. Lucky for me, I'm ambidextrous. I wiped it with the Clorox wet-wipey-thingy. Aha! Fantastik! People, that stuff is absolutely fantastic! Wait a minute--do you think that's how it got its name? Anyhoo, after several applications, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease, my tats were removed.

Don't tell anyone...'kay?

Monday, April 23, 2007

All You Gotta Do Is Ask

(OOPS! Lost the photo)

Here's what those little crawdads looked like. Only ours were covered with mud, because they stirred up the creek bottom fighting over a worm. Cazzie asked for a picture, and that was an easy wish to grant.

Some other things people have been asking for in my stats are not so easy to answer. But I'll try.

where did the jetsons live? I just happen to know this, because my Trivia team missed it one time. They are proud residents of Orbit City. Not Space City. That is just wrong. Shame on us.

is a hollow bic pen ever used to smoke crystal meth? I suppose it is. I do not have first-hand experience, but it seems like I saw it once on Intervention. That is where you should go for all your drug paraphenalia needs. I saw a dude smoke crack off a piece of tinfoil, too. Or perhaps is was black tar heroin. I really don't know my drugs very well, for someone who watches them on TV every week. For bonus points, I will throw in that those little glass flower tubey thingies at convenience stores are made for the crack-smoking crowd. Who knew? I just thought there were some very thoughtful men shopping at convenience stores for flowers for their girlfriends.

a fool and his money are soon parted--meaning...give me your money, fool! Now do you understand?

what movie did gretchen wilson watch and announce she will eat at mcdonald restaurant? I don't know, though I'm guessing maybe that Supersize Me movie, since it deals with McDonalds grub. Not to be hatin' on Ms. Gretchen Wilson, our Redneck Woman, but it appears that she you say...mighty familiar with McDonalds before she watched some movie. Just sayin'...

can you spare a square seinfeld? I think he can. Jerry is Even Steven. He'll get another square later, when he needs one. Elaine is the one who's going to give you problems. Offer to buy her a big salad, and make sure you don't call her 'Nip'.

who sang slip into my faith until iambored you never return my call? I never heard this song, but it doesn't sound like a very good one to me. No wonder you don't know who sang it. It's a stinker.

for prepositons, do you fall in or into the water? Stay out of the water. You'll catch your death of cold.

how much vodka per nip? Perhaps you should ask Elaine. I hear her boyfriend is on the wagon. Or is he OFF the wagon? Just don't let Jerry hold his drink.

julie andrews autiobiography released ? I didn't even know it had been arrested.

what does riflmao mean? This one is known only by Redneck Diva and moi. That is what we say around our parts. It means Rolling IN the Floor Laughing My A$$ Off. Because we lay IN the floor, and our kids play IN the road. That's how we roll.

how to describe the smell of a old mansion? Hold your nose, and shout, "Christ, did a cow sh*t in here?" And if you can tell me what old movie that came from, you're as warped as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Again, my money is on StewedHamm.

That's all I've got tonight. It's getting kind of late, as Mabel will be sure to tell me tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Creeking Hillbilly Mom

This morning, we went walking up the creek. Without a paddle, but with 3 dogs and a metal detector. The running score this year started today. So far, it is Metal Detector-0, Hillbilly Mom-1. The #1 son was running the detector. It is his, after all. He found nada. Not even a piece of barbed wire like last time, though he did find the rabies tag on one of the dogs' collars, but I am not counting that. I, on the other hand, with only my naked eyes, found a curved piece of metal thingy, about eight inches long, with a little chip out of the side. HH says it looks like a part of a plow. I don't know how he would know that. It's not like he has ever used a plow. I also found a thingy that looks like a piece of a plate. It's white and smooth, with a little ridge on one side. I suppose the upcreek neighbors might need to stop setting the plate out with the garbage. I'm afraid to even think about the baby and the bath.

We also found some itty-bitty crawdads fighting over a worm. We found them by accident, when I sat down on a rock in the middle of the creek to take a break. At first they looked like leaves. They were kind of muddy-colored, except for one. He was a pale whitish orange. The one with possession of the worm was really chowing down. He had that worm gnawed almost in half. When the others tried to creep in and get a piece, he backed away. Then a big one, bigger than my little finger, went after him. We knew he was the boss, because he had BOTH his claws. Which made me admonish the boys, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an appendage." Too bad we weren't planning a fishing trip. Those little crawdaddies would have made good bait. It's supposed to rain all week. Maybe we'll go back next weekend and see what has washed up.

HH has gone to town. His buddy, Buddy, told him he could have an icebox from his house in town. Not a ICEBOX. What Buddy is doing with an icebox, we'll never know. He could be part of some freakish Manhattan Project or something. What we are going to do with an icebox is a better question. Maybe HH will tire of it soon, and chuck it into the sinkhole--nature's wastebasket. I hate it when he does that. Maybe he will put in under the lean-to side of the barn that he enclosed with a giant Save-A-Lot sign. Hey! HH couldn't turn it down. They were going to throw it away!!! Maybe he will put the icebox in the Mini-Mansion. It is coming along. Though it still lacks a roof, all the sides are on, and the porch as well. Eat your heart out, Redneck Diva! A chance for a $250 piano, or a FREE ICEBOX? Uh huh. You heard me. FREE ICEBOX! Makes you want to pull up stakes and high-tail it to Missouri, now don't it?

There are four-and-a-half weeks of school left. My boy gets a trip to Six Flags on Friday. Thursday night is a 'fun night' at school, though I don't know how much fun I will be having, what with missing my favorite TV night. Next week, we have a night to orient next year's freshmen, and the next week is the academic banquet. It's a busy time of year. But the best time of year.

Like I tried to tell you last September...the school year is almost over.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Vista You Were Here

Windows Vista is destroying my happy home. The #2 son has had his nose out of joint since Thursday night. The nasal disjointing was instigated by the #1 son, who had a FREE copy of Vista Home Premium that came as an upgrade offer with 'Lappy'. #1 has been eagerly awaiting his Vista disk since December. So eagerly, in fact, that we had to run by the post office Monday afternoon so he could ask the clerk if he had a package that wouldn't fit in the mailbox.

This was just wrong. First of all, the boy had been tracking that package every day. He crowed that it arrived IN OUR TOWN that morning at 8:00 a.m., and that we had to go get it. I tried to explain that the carrier was probably out on the route when it arrived, and that we wouldn't even get the orange notice card thingy for two days. Nothing would do but we go to the post office. We rushed over there after my meeting. They were just closing. A woman was taking down the flag. The boy ran by, and asked her if the window was still open. He went in. When he came out, he had no package. He was so sad, I could not even say, "I told you so." He was so sad that he declared, "And that woman was disrespecting the flag! She wadded it up under her armpit! She was supposed to fold it in a triangle. And not put it in her armpit."

We continued home. I stopped, as we do every day, at our row of mailboxes so he could get out the mail. He opened the door and screamed, "IT'S HERE! VISTA IS HERE!" He's probably the only person in the world who actually LIKES Vista. He upgraded his desktop that night. The next night, we had that board meeting recognition thingy. Wednesday night, he fiddled and faddled with Vista. He had persuaded his little brother that HE needed Vista on his new computer that he got for Christmas. It, too, came with a Vista upgrade. But the boy forgot to register it or something. Which is totally unlike him. When technology is involved, that boy in ON IT. I even gave him the receipt and warranty and stuff to keep with his.

Anyhoo...#1 upgraded #2's computer from XP to Vista. I was against it. All that little boy uses it for is CD games. I argued that Vista has a lot of complaints about drivers not working, and being irreversible after you upgrade. #1 was hearing none of it. "But Moooo oooom. It worked fine for mine. I know what I'm doing." OK, you know what that means. Just like in a horror movie when the girl says, "What's that noise? I'm going to check it out", you know you will never see her again. Alive.

Long story still long...the precious games wouldn't run with sound on the Vista. So after a few tears and a little screaming, #1 downgraded #2's computer back to XP. Only there was still no sound. He couldn't bear to tell poor, sniffling little #2 that night. He waited until morning. I do believe the boy even felt sorry for his little brother. He promised to let him use HIS desktop until he got the problem resolved.

Because, you see, Vista ate up the recovery partition or something. I know that's not accurate, but I do know that Compaq quit shipping a recovery disk with their computers and you have to, how you say...make your own backup disks from the partition or something like that. Which #1 did not do before installing Vista, because it worked fine with his. Then he was mad. He got on the phone to the HP/Compaq people and asked for a recovery disk. Hey, it worked with his desktop when he had trouble with it and its innards. Even though he had to go through 6 people before they sent him the problem software. For free.

No such luck with the Compaq people. They refused to send him one. In fact, they refused to even let him speak to a supervisor unless he agreed to purchase a recovery disk. That ain't happenin'. It's not that we can't afford 25 bucks. It's the principal of the matter. As the boy argued with various foreigners throughout the night..."I purchased this computer because it says on the box that it is Vista compatible. It comes with a free upgrade to Vista. It did not come with a recovery disk because it has a recovery partition. I upgraded to Vista by following all the directions. There was no sound. I downgraded back to XP. Now I still have no sound. Vista damaged some files. I want a clean reinstall of XP to restore my computer. I can not do that because Vista damaged files. I should not have to pay for an XP Recovery Disk. It is not my fault that your computer was not what you advertised."

The boy was told rudely by the first service rep that he could not speak to a supervisor unless he agreed to purchase the disk. The second rep put him on hold when he asked for a supervisor, and never came back to him. The third rep would not give her name. Every time she said, "My name is ___ " , the line went blank. I know, because he handed me the phone. I told her, "Ma'am, every time you say your name, we lose the connection. When she heard my voice, she tried that one more time. I told her I would have to keep asking her to repeat it until we heard it, and she cut the crap. She even spelled it. 'S U S A N'. Which is probably a lie, because she had an accent like Apu from The Simpsons.

Anyhoo...Susan told the boy she would check with the supervisor, then after 10 minutes told him no, he would have to pay for the disk. When he insisted on talking to the supervisor, she said, "The supervisor is busy because of so many people complaining about Vista. You can not talk to the supervisor." My boy said he would wait. She put him on hold, and after 15 minutes he got someone else, who may or may not have been an actual supervisor. He tried to reason that he also had a 2-year warranty, but the supervisor said this was not covered. My boy finally declared that he would never buy another HP/Compaq product because they want to charge him for something that came with the computer, and was lost because the company erroneously stated that the computer was Vista-compatible.

As Gummi Mary is my witness, we shall never buy Compaq again.

Oh, but the saga continues...we went to my mom's house to take a sound card out of her computer. Don't worry, it's not like the boy told her on the phone. "Grandma? We're on our way to rob you." Grandma replied, "Okay." He gave her that computer, anyway. It's her first. She loves the innernets. But the boy got the built-in sound thingy working, and took out his Turtle Beach sound card. He installed it on #2's machine. Nope. No sound. So we called around the various Devil's Playgrounds. They had sound cards. Were they Vista compatible? As one said honestly, "I highly doubt it." So the boy checked the brand for drivers on the innernets. He called back to speak to the Devil's handpuppet, and asked for the model number. They guy said, "Uhh...I can give you the serial number." My boy said patiently, like coaxing a 2-year-old to unlock the bathroom door, "Look on the box...see the name? Now what does it say right after that?" He found a driver. We set off to the Playground while he thought he was downloading the driver.

All morning and afternoon I stayed off the phone line. He said it would only take about 90 minutes, but I wasn't taking the rap if that driver didn't download. Around 4:00, when the boy got back from grandma's, and from taking the dogs for shots, he went to retrieve the driver. But NOOOOO! He had set it to download to LAPPY, and he always takes Lappy with him when he leaves the Mansion. So no driver for desky!

Having reached the end of my rope, and methodically twirling the frayed ends of it as I wondered if a noose would hold, what with all this fraying going on, I did not hold out much hope as #1 gutted #2's misery machine and put in the new sound card. BLUMP. "Mom! I thought I heard a noise from the speakers when I did that!" Yep. The new sound card worked without the driver.

It's a freakin' miracle. Thank the Gummi Mary, people.
I'm kinda sorry I let that kid eat her up to her knees and toss her in the wastebasket.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Laugh Or Cry

I have a story to tell. I know, quite a surprise, huh? It's actually kind of two stories, but they both happened today, and they both made me think: you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Which brings me to that Stephen King story, "The Body". The kid, Vern, is not so bright. He has buried a jar of pennies under his porch, but can't remember exactly where. So Vern spends all his time digging for his pennies, which may or may not have been stolen long ago by Vern's hoody brother, Billy. And Gordy, the narrator, says, "You don't know whether to laugh or cry" about Vern digging all those holes for pennies that may not even be there any more.

Am I the only one who remembers this scene? It's in the movie, Stand By Me, as well. But whenever I mention it, people look at me like "Humor her. Just let her make the point, then we can nod politely and go on about our business of planning our regular kick-a$$ party to which she is not invited. Ever." of my classes was doing some journal writing, and a kid raised her hand and asked, "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? How do you spell photo blahblah?" I asked her to repeat herself. She said it again. I heard, "Photo blahblah." So I said, "I'm sorry, I couldn't understand the last part. Photo- what?" I was thinking what's going on? Am I having a stroke? I've never heard a word like that before. What is she saying? The girl said it clearly: "How do you spell photo-grapher?" I was flabbergasted. So I just spelled it. After all that, I was much too exhausted to tell her, "It's pronounced phu tog ra fur."

The other instance occurred this morning. I gave my mathies a little worksheet for bonus. It had some facts from the four core subject areas. They had to subtract without calculators, fill in some blanks about electrons, put some sentences in proper sequence to tell a story, and answer some geography questions. There was a paragraph about maps, and part of the question said, "Name the seven continents."

I had even allowed the students to work in pairs. Here came a couple of them to my desk. "We don't understand this question." I looked at it. On the three lines that were given for them to write the names of the seven continents, there was only one word. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was NOT a word. It was this: aeiouy. And one of the kids said, "I didn't know there were seven. All I can think of is six."

Sweet Gummi Mary! This was not the class referred to me for English! These were the mathies--the students whose English skills were OK, but whose math skills were suspect. Not only did these two misread 'continents' as 'consonants'...they didn't know the difference between vowels and consonants.

I did not let on. I just said, "No, it's asking for CONTINENTS." Supposing that saying it louder would make them understand. Just like you do with foreigners. It worked! But sadly, Russia is not a continent. And neither is Mexico.

Some days, I am merely a part of the problem.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What's In My Head

I really should be typing up my entry for Diva's writing contest. It is still in my head, rattling around amongst the math and the big crock labeled 'Alzheimer's' and the dreams where I went on a Sunday drive with Kendra of The Girls Next Door because I needed cheering up and I simply adored her laugh, and the other one where I was assigned to make a table centerpiece for one of my colleagues who was giving a banquet speech, but another colleague stole all the white lilies in the world, and when I went back to check on the ones I was saving, they had turned into stubs of cauliflower florets.

My head is spinning. Even without the story and the dreams and that mysterious crock, I can not get a thought for myself. The students must tell me the most inane trivia every day. Though I am a fan of Trivia, I can do without the trivia. It doesn't matter if the lesson has been presented and they are supposed to be working. It doesn't matter if I am in the hall supervising. They take any silence in the room to mean: free-for-all with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's attention. Here's a tenth of what I heard, just today.


And so it goes. My head is too full. I need a thought-leech to drain out some of the thinks up in there, methinks. Why, oh why, won't their parents give them some attention so I can concentrate on the learnin', not the building of self-esteem?

The school year is almost over, by cracky!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Just Wondering...

Something on my mind since Monday is the fact that so many of those kids at Virginia Tech 'played dead'. I don't fault them at all. I'm sure I would have done the same. But I'm surprised that a couple of them didn't charge the gunman. I think an older generation would have. Not me. I'm not pointing any fingers. I am not leader material. I try to blend into the background. Call me possum. But I can't believe nobody but the OLD teacher guy tried to stop it. The people who shoved the table in front of the door showed good problem-solving skills. But still, they were bent on self-preservation.

Don't get me wrong. I am not blaming them at all. We have made them this way. We spoil our kids. We do anything we can to make them happy. We fight their battles for them. We want to make it all better when they're hurt. We want to make sure things are fair. But have we not created a generation who thinks they are entitled? They have rights, by cracky! Like the right to roam free even though they're crazy.

I also wonder what might have happened if, say, they gunman walked into the gym instead of the engineering building. Surely some students there would have rushed him. My son is the type who would end up in the engineering building. He is not a fighter. He is a thinker. He would sooner curl up in a little ball and sqeal like a schoolgirl than fight back. Like when The Veteran sat on his head and farted. But the athletes are physical people. DUH! Surely one or more of them would think, "I can take this punk."

I was seriously concerned about the ME generation. Until one of my classes strolled in yesterday. By 'strolled', I mean surged into the room like a tsunami, like pieces of popcorn bouncing around the microwave, like paying contestants entering a Wrestle Royale. These are my farters, my Band-Aid freeloaders, my buttsy-wuttsy players. It's the class that has no girls left, having driven two of them to move to different districts. The class who told me, when I asked what they'd done in Math class for the last two years, since Math seems like Greek to them, answered in unison, "Made the teacher cry."

After the tardy bell rang, and the dust settled, and all the bleeding was staunched, a kid who's logged as many ISS hours as classroom hours asked, "Umm...if a guy came in here with a gun...would you get in trouble for hitting him?" The ring leader of this Band of Botherers asked, "Did you see the news? How come nobody tackled that guy?" And a cheer went up, echoing from the corners of the room. A cheer of "YEAH! I would've taken him OUT!" Now, we don't really know how anybody would react in this situation unless it happens. But I truly believe over half of that class of scrawny freshman boys would have gone after the gunman. If for no other reason than they can't lie still long enough to play dead. Or keep from talking for 15 seconds. I think these little rednecks would have put up a good fight.

Thing is, they are not the type who will go to college. They will be the racecar drivers, the mechanics, the carpenters, the welders, the soldiers. They will fight for what they believe in. Even though I may not agree with the battles they choose...that's a good thing. They are the type of people who built this country.

But they still have to bow to the rules in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's class.

And in keeping with the overall educational tone of this blog...who can spot the palindrome in this post? Anybody.........anybody?


Hey! Why don't some of you enter Redneck Diva's writing contest this week at Entries are due by Saturday. I chose the words this week. So you can bet there's a faux pas in there somewhere. C'mon, people! We need more entrants. Be a sport. Nobody will laugh at you. And even if they won't know it, because, DUH, you won't even know when they are reading it. Even on the sliiiight chance that somebody leaves a comment saying, "Ha, ha", you can leave one right back saying, "DO NOT MOCK ME!" See? I've got it all figured out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A First-Aid Lesson

I'm a bit late tonight, having attended the school board meeting where my boy recieved a nice framed certificate-of-recognition for his 1st Place ribbon in the local community college Science Fair. Oh, and his partner, too. The choir, band, and FCCLA students who won special awards were also recognized. It's that time of year. Things are winding down. There will be banquets, awards, rewards, dances, incentive trips, club trips, field day, etc. We play hard after working hard all year on the MAPs.

I'm not feeling longwinded tonight. Perhaps I have a fever. Anyhoo, I will leave you with a little lesson from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

(or an adhesive bandage, if you believe in copyrights)

Students roam about the room before the tardy bell, playing grab-a$$ (a big shout-out to Mr. S for his favorite terminology, right up there with his second favorite, buttsy-wuttsy). When Mrs. Hillbilly Mom enters to begin class, the following conversation occurs.

Hey, do you have a Band-Aid?
I think so. Let me take roll.
I cut my finger.
Just a minute.
I'm dripping blood all over my book.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's class doesn't have books. She doesn't really give a fat rat's behind. She has seen no sudden trauma. No stabbing, no hand slammed in a door, no biting, no hitting with a hammer, no cheese-cutting, no papercutting. Nobody has asked for a Band-Aid during the 4-minute Grab-A$$ Festival.
I said 'in a minute'.
Well, it's dripping.
What's the matter with you? Alls I did was ask for a Band-Aid. I cut my finger.
And that's my fault how?
Well,you won't give me a Band-Aid. What are we supposed to do, bleed all over everything?
Look. I don't HAVE to give you anything.
What kind of attitude is that for a teacher?
The point is, I told you to wait. And you wouldn't let me take roll without interrupting. That is rude. All you had to do was wait 30 seconds. Now look how long this has taken.
Why do you always treat ME like this?
You are the one always interrupting. There. There's a Band-Aid.
Student rips it open and puts it on his finger. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has yet to see the river of blood he's been harping about.
This is a SpongeBob Band-Aid. Don't you have any plain ones?
I'm so sorry that my free Band-Aid doesn't meet your standards. Maybe next time, you should drive to Wal-Mart and buy your own Band-Aids to carry with you in case you cut your finger in Math class, what with all the sharp objects you're exposed to here.
Gosh, all I wanted was a Band-Aid. Why do you have to give me the lecture?
Did you ever see Fast Times At Ridgemont High?
No. What's that?
Never mind.

(the next day, different student in same class)

Student reaches hand into jacket pocket.
Ow! I cut my finger on that broken CD case.
Student puts finger in mouth.
Let me see.
Student walks to desk, holds out finger with drop of blood oozing from bottom of fingernail.
Do you have a Band-Aid?
Yes, I do. Here's one.
COOL. SpongeBob. Thanks.
You're welcome.

Don't trifle with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, people. She does not tolerate rude freeloaders very well.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ten From Saturday

What with all the excitement yesterday about seeing my first real live beggar in Hillmomba, I completely forgot to tell y'all about Trivia Night. WE WON! Oh, but we didn't just WIN. The second-place team was 14 points behind. I would say that's a decisive victory. Thank the Gummi Mary we had our ringer, the former student who is all sports all the time. He pulled in 8/10 on the Sports category. It just happened to be the second category of the night. One of my teammates told him, "All right. You can go now. That's all we needed you for." He was just joking. I think.

Are you up for some Trivia? Here are some that we got right. I'll give you one from each category. I won't give you any that we missed. How could I possibly expect any of you to know the answer when the Supreme Team didn't know it? Well, StewedHammalammadingdong might know it. And even if he didn't, he would manipulate the question until his answer was right. Some people are just too smart for my own good, by cracky!
As always...NO GOOGLING!


In what state did Daniel Boone die?

Fred Dryer was the star of the TV show Hunter. For what professional sports team did he play before he became an actor?

What were the names of the Partridge Family kids?
What was Eddie Haskell's nickname for Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver?

MUSIC (Oh, the HORROR! We only got 3 right, and one was a guess!)
What artist released an album entitled 'Born In The USA'?

These were people, so I'll give you two in one of the categories. In the meantime, can you conjure up a picture of John Wilkes Booth? We got him, though. 8/10 in this category.

How many point is the 'M' worth in Scrabble?

What actress played Michael Douglas's wife in 'Fatal Attraction'?

What are the first words of the U.S. Constitution?

What product used the slogan, 'Only her hairdresser knows for sure'?

How long must a person be missing before he can be declared legally dead?

There. That should tide you over until our next Trivia Night. Or, as my friend Karen from long ago used to say, "That should tie you over." She was also fond of telling me, "I know you like a book." Mmmhmm. But could she read me like the back of her hand?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

On The Road

As we left The Devil's Playground this morning, (and by morning, I mean 11:58 a.m.), we saw a man standing on the corner by the stoplight. He had a beard, and was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. He held up a sign made of a piece of cardboard box that had written on it: "On the road. Any amount will help." We rarely see these people around here. In fact, he's the first one I remember seeing. Ever. And as my students will tell you, I'm so old that my Social Security number is '1'.

I don't know why I was surprised. Perhaps it was because he didn't even make a pretense of writing: "Will work for food." No. I suppose he did not want to work. After all, he was on the road. What does that mean? Is he traveling somewhere? Why not: "California or bust!"? Does he think he's Jack Kerouac? Is he walking? Driving? Homeless? Why not just write: "I live under the bridge and need money for meth."?

I've been thinking about this all day. Would he not have been better off, on a Sunday morning, to go to a local church, attend services, and stand in the parking lot as people left? "Help a brother out," he might write. Or maybe a scriptural quote. Why stand at the entrance to The Devil's Playground? Because where he was standing, he was only getting the traffic leaving the Playground. People are not so charitable after having the Devil to pay.

When I worked in the city, I saw these people all the time. But at least they offered to 'work for food', or sold pretzels at the red lights. There was an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch once about a man who did this for a living. He earned more than I did, working for the State of Missouri. Don't tell me that he provided a valuable service. I don't think the demand is really that great for pretzels that are sheathed in a tube of waxed paper, absorbing exhaust fumes all day. People wanted to help. And he made more money than some of those people. Not that he didn't deserve it. He WAS out working. Same as people who sell drugs get out and work. At least they don't lie around watching their big screen TVs, drawing disability benefits on their kids whom they've had declared disabled by teaching them to fake mental disorders, or learning disabilities. Don't call me heartless, people. You wouldn't believe how much of this goes on. I'm not talking about kids who really ARE disabled. It's the scamming parents who piss me off.

Anyhoo...getting back to my beggar...I really wanted to stop and ask him his story. I didn't, because I had one of the boys with me, and because I was raised not to stop and talk to men holding cardboard signs asking for money. But I can't stop wondering. What if I had stopped, and said, "Look, Buddy. I'm going to give you $10. But for that $10, I want to know the true story. You don't have to make up a sob story. You're going to get the $10 no matter what. Just be honest with me. Are you really on the road? Where? Why? How'd you get here? Did you run out of money, or never have any to begin with? Are you on the lam? Are you headed to a funeral for a long-lost relative? Going to Florida to look for work? A serial killer looking for new victims? Do you live in a van down by the river? Is this sign really your line of work? How much do you make in a day? I'm just curious. Can you do that for me? For $10? Because you're going to get it anyway. And I'm not going any higher."

Do you think he would have told me the truth? Or made something up?

Would I have known the difference?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Intervening Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Too bad the show wasn't about a crack addict. Then my title would have been scathingly brilliant. I watched my Intervention last night. It was not quite so satisfying as my previous Interventions. For one thing, this show was more about the mother, because they had to keep the intervention a secret from the kid. Duh. Like they do on every freakin' intervention. We did not get to see him shooting his meth. Doggone it! That's the best part! We got to see his momma cry a lot. And some adorable home movies of him as a baby. When they mentioned how 'he thought he could get away with anything', I knew he wasn't fixable.

I hate to be saying this, in my line of work and all. We are supposed to be believe that every student has the potential to grow up a be a world leader, a gene-splicer, a novelist or textbook writer, a rocket scientist. I would never say out loud that some of them aren't going to make it. I don't treat any of them like I don't think they're going to make it. But sometimes, you have to be realistic. No matter how many chances, and how much extra help some people are offered...they're not going to make it.

The worst cases are those who think they can get away with anything. Or as the kids would say, get away wit anything. They believe they are entitled. This comes in all different flavors. Some believe it because of who they are. They have relatives who have connections, whether it be connections through school authorities, law enforcement, labor unions, etc. They believe they are entitled to have extra chances, break laws, or have a good-paying job lined up for them through no effort of their own.

Others think they can get away with anything because they make themselves so fearsome nobody will dare mess with them. They threaten, they fight, they act just crazy enough that people will back down from them. When they are caught, they make excuses. "Oh, well. I have to go to ISS anyway for that other thing. Another day isn't going to matter." Or "Hey, did you know that I should have gotten 7 days according to the rules, but I only got 5, ha, ha." They KNOW they are getting away with something. They know the rules. They just play the game. And sometimes, we let them. For whatever reason.

Then there are the bailouts. Somebody will always make excuses for them, or fight their battles. "My dad will be up here. You'll be sorry." And the dad comes up, and we may be sorry for the short term, what with having to call the police to cart Dad out in handcuffs, but in the long term, we are not sorry. Because we get to stick it to him, by the book, of course. Not in any vindictive kind of way. My, no. That would just be wrong.

Now don't go thinking I'm talking about my present workplace in all of this. It happens in every school district. In one former place, my room was directly across from the office. Some guy was mad about his daughter's schedule, of all things. He proceeded to tell the principal, (a woman, if that matters), that she was going to change his daughter's schedule to what he wanted. The principal told him that was not possible, what with the course offerings at a rural middle school such as ours. Dad said, "Well, I'm not leaving until you do." He jumped up on the counter in the outer office, crossed his arms, and sat there. I should know. He was facing right into my room, which was a bit disconcerting. He sat there about 15 minutes, until the police came in, handcuffed him, and carried him down the stairs and out of the building. Don't mess with a woman principal, people. She is not you pal.

Anyhoo...getting back to my little meth-shooting friend...though I really didn't know him, I know his type. He refused to go to treatment until the local police, who had themselves 'cut him a few breaks' over the past 18 months, told him they would be handcuffing him, and he would be going to prison for quite a long time. What a surprise, at the end of this Intervention show, that this kid left treatment after only 30 days, due to 'disruptive behavior'.

Sometimes, you just have to call an a$$h*le an a$$h*le. And leave it at that.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Running Late For My Intervention

I don't have much time tonight. It's almost time for my Intervention. Let the record show that I mean my TV show Intervention, not my actual Intervention, which would be kind of embarrassing, I suppose, what with all my addictions, such as gambling, Sonic Cherry Diet Coke, lottery (which I'm pretty sure counts as gambling), Trivia, ending sentences with prepositions, using the phrases oh so pretty, by cracky, anyhoo, people piss me off, thank the Gummi Mary, first cat out of the bag, The Devil's Playground, and probably others that escape me at the moment, because I'm in a hurry.

The Intervenee tonight is a kid who lives in a trailer and shoots meth every day. I might know him! Gotta go. I'll try to sneak in a post tomorrow before my Trivia Night.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

First Annual Pissing Day

I see that none of you paid attention to your science teachers back in the day. That is the logical conclusion, what with NOBODY trying to answer any of my Science Trivia yesterday. Thank the Gummi Mary I've learned not to invite any of you to play on our Trivia Team on Saturday night. Actually, we now have a full team. Plus one. We'll work it out. I have high hopes for this combination.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not in a good mood this evening. But she will not go into details, as it is work-related. Let it suffice to say that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom feels that an equal is taking advantage of her kind nature. Let's not forget that Karma is a b*tch, my dear colleague, who shall remain nameless. What goes around comes around. And don't ever, ever forget that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is Even Steven. Matters have a way of resolving, whether Mrs. Hillbilly Mom takes an active role, or just sits back to see what develops. The back-sitting is the preferred option for Mrs. HM.

The Large SUV has been acting up this week. It is hard to steer. The same could be said for the #1 son. HH thinks the LSUV's problem is the power steering belt, or some such thingy. Who knew cars had accessories like belts? I suppose next, it will be asking for new tires and a luggage rack to match the belt. I think it might just be my perpetually under-inflated tires. HH swears that he puts in air to match the instructions on the tires and the instructions on the door-edge-label-thingy on the LSUV. Funny thing that the other 4 LSUVs that teachers drive do not look like they have flat tires. I have been complaining to HH about this for 2 weeks now. He has given my LSUV a lick and a promise. Mainly, just a promise, because I can't imagine him licking anything other than his greasy fingers out in public when he eats chicken wings at a restaurant. And he makes those end-lick sucking noises, too. I HATE THAT SOUND!

Speaking of people pissing me off...I have been forewarned by my Hillbilly Mama that the 'new' Captain D's in a nearby town has some fishy business going on there. She went to lunch with one of her old lady friends, and they ordered, and sat down to wait. When their numbers were called, a 'dining room' (I use that term loosely for Captain D's eating area, which is just like one large square room) worker rushed the counter and grabbed their trays before they even had a chance. She brought the food to their table. My mom said, "You didn't even give us a chance to pick it up." And the girl said, "I figure if I'm nice to YOU, you'll be nice to ME." With that, she held out her hand and rubbed her thumb and fingers together. Even worse than the Grinch-smiling hotel worker in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. I believe his tip was a stick of gum. This dining room girl got NOTHIN'. My mom was offended that the girl dared ask for a tip. She and her crony said they didn't need anything on the 5 or 6 times that girl interrupted them. Then when she went to pester someone else, they got up to get sodas. They also left when she wasn't looking, being careful not to leave her one red cent.

I don't blame them. Why would you want to tip an annoying dining room worker? It's not like she's a waitress, and the employer can pay her $2.15 or something because she will reach minimum wage on tips. Kids these days. I don't mind tipping in a regular restaurant. Or tipping the Sonic girl if she has to haul your tray out to the LSUV. But I draw the line at fast food.

What's pissing you off today? Do tell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Put On Your Lab Coat

Hmm...countdown to Trivia Night. What can I quiz you on tonight? How about...SCIENCE? What? I should not hear screams of NOOOO, people. This is not a democracy. In addition, this is not a gas pump, son. Said Rachel in Coyote Ugly. Which is neither here nor there, but my mind wanders sometimes as I type, and I just answered a comment from StewedHamm with a reference to that classic movie, (stop MOCKING me), and it was fresh on my mind. Put on your lab coat. Make sure you are not wearing any open-toed shoes. Pull your hair back in a bun like Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (no relation). Now, proceed to the lab single file. Only one person at each station, please. Begin.

Hillbilly Mom's SuperDuper Science Quiz Thingy

1) Who decreed that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?

2) Who was the scientist who studied genetics using pea plants. Hint: It wasn't Punnett. He's too square.

3) What is the main difference between magma and lava?

4) What makes some atoms more stable than others?

5) Would you like to drop a chunk of potassium in the bathtub? Why or why not?

6) Where are phalanges found?

7) Who or what performs transpiration?

8) Why are there no old crack wh*res? OK, that's not really a science question, but I heard it on Intervention, and thought this was a good chance to use it.

9) A calorie is the amount of e_____ necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of w_____ one degree C_______.

10) Name 3 of the 6 types of simple machines.

Let's see which of you actually paid attention back in Science class, shall we? I have given you a variety of items. Surely you will know something from the Earth, Life, or Physical Science categories. Stew, I'm placing my money on you, because you knew the cube root of 8000. And anyway, I'm Even Steven, so I'm sure to get my money back. I just found $131.42 in the side of my purse this morning. I think I can afford a wager.

Your papers will be graded Thursday night. If you don't know the answer, give it your best shot. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is easily amused. Once upon a time, a Health student assured Mrs. Hillbilly Mom that one way to avoid AIDS like the plague was to always be monotonous. A Science student informed Mrs. Hillbilly Mom that a dramatic increase in the number of deer being struck by cars was probably due to some new kind of aphrodesiac that started growing on the other side of the road. Oh, and let's not forget the time the Chinese bombed the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Japan.

Again, I wish you good luck. And NO GOOGLING, by cracky!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sing, Sing A Song...

Excuse me while I do some horn-tooting. I have won this round of Redneck Diva's writing challenge. As Diva herself would say...I am happier than a puppy with two p*ckers. Thanks to all of you who voted for me. Thanks to all of you who voted. We are trying to get more voters, and more contestants. Won't you please play along this week? The words will be posted soon. I should know. I get to make them up. Check it out at All are welcome to submit a story. You just email it to the Diva. Her email is on the top of the site. Come one, come twenty...we need fresh blood. Not that we're going to make you bleed or anything. It's just an expression.

Let's have a little song trivia for tonight's post. Oh. Y'all don't have a vote. It's not a freakin' democracy around here, people! All you get to vote on is the writing contest. So don't abuse the privilege, by cracky!

Hillbilly Mom's Song Triva From Her Windows Media Player Because She Is Electronically Challenged And Has Not Yet Mastered The New-Fangled MP3 Player, Much Less One Of Those Space-Age IPOD Thingies.

Tell the song OR the artist. Because you deserve a break today. But NO GOOGLING! Absolutely none. And here's a clue...these are the opening lines of the songs, not the catch phrase, or some chunk from the middle.

1. "Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go."

"City girls just seem to find out early/ How to open doors with just a smile/A rich old man, she won't have to worry/She'll dress up all in lace and go in style."

"You had a little love on a little honeymoon/You got a little dish and you got a little spoon/A little bitty house and a little bitty yard/A little bitty dog and a little bitty car."

"It's criminal, there ought to be a law/Criminal, there ought to be a whole lot more/You get nothin' for nothin' / Tell me who can you trust?/We got what you want/And you got the lust"

"I didn't ask/They shouldn't have told me/At first I'd laugh, but now/It's sinking in fast/Whatever they've sold me."

"My daddy was a charmer boys/He had a lot of style/He was the shining best of everything he did/They said that he could lighten up the room with just a smile/And I was proud as hell to be his kid."

"She turned up her nose as she walked by my Cadillac/From the corner of my eye, I saw you and you laughed/You was sittin' on the swing on your front porch, paintin' your nails like you were bored/And you yelled 'She was sure impressed with you!'"

"I got a little change in my pocket goin' jing-a-ling-a-ling/Want to call you on the telephone, baby, and give you a ring/Each time I try, I get the same old thing/'No huggy, no kissy, until I get a weddin' ring'"

"It was the third of June/Another sleepy, dusty delta day/I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was bailin' hay/And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat/And Momma hollered out the back door, 'Y'all remember to wipe you feet...'"

"I was a mess in my open-eyed youth, I grew up thinking /What's good for one oppresses the other, it's my turn, my life, my way, mine, me/It made me crazy, I couldn't fight it, I couldn't wait to get away...It's a war, with the whole wide world/It's a war, with the boys and girls, it's a war, and nothin's gonna change..."

Yeah. That's it. Good luck. Methinks you'll need it. Or not.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hillbilly Mom's Pity Party Agenda

Welcome! I'm throwing a pity party for moi. I think I deserve it. Just look at what people were searching for when the arrived at my Mansion. If this keeps up, I might develop a complex.

Hillbilly Mom's Pity Party Agenda

I don't know why people have to be so mean. After a hard day of teaching different kinds of hoppies, you'd think a person would be allowed to do some quality laying' around the shanty getting' a good buzz on. But no! People call my home the devils mansion. They ridicule my faux mink king bedspread neiman marcus. C'mon. He's family, like my Lovely Green Shirt, Jeannie. They don't appreciate my fine art, either. Especially that lovely, framed picture of mom getting a wedgie.

People are mean, people! They call me names like ingrown hair nostril nose, and gut nose instep balls miss congeniality, and skunk disposal, and cakey lover. They sing me the i don't love you much lyrics, and make fun of my Hillbilly heritage by rapping the lyrics of we'are hillbillies in hillbilly hills. And they call ME cindy preszler annoying! (FYI, Cindy Preszler is a local news meteorologist). Apparently, I was a gummi bears ogre for a day, and now they are saying it's about time I got the belt.

Then there are all those accusations. When they sarcastically typed somebody hit my parked car and dont wantto pay, I assumed it was just my rude neighbors claiming parking spots. Perhaps they'd gotten into the gold mercedes license plate cracky again. But then somebody said I was to blame when small red spots appear on arms and torso for about an hour and then fade. I beg to differ. Try staying out of the cefprozil rash sun, geniuses.

Next came the insinuations. Oh, they didn't come right out and call me an addict, but instead tried to trick me with 'innocent' questions. Like how good is histinex? And how long does histinex stay in your system? And how much hydrocodone is in histinex? And when you were little, did you have a prescription histinex toddler cough? It's enough to make me want to thump them over their pointy little heads with my histinex teaspoon. Which is a special kind of hillbilly silverware, it seems. But that's not enough drugs for someone with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's evil hillbilly background. How do you snort benadryl? Is there much money in making meth benadryl? Are you a champion at meth trivia? And perhaps my favorite: fentanyl patches how to ho to shower with it on. Do they want to know how to ho? Or how to shower with a fentanyl patch? As Kim Darby told Glen Campbell in the Academy Award winning, badly-acted, 1968 classic John Wayne film, True Grit: "One would be as unpleasant as the other."

Let's lay off the meany-sounding searches for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, people. Just go back to the everyday where to go buy sissy sleeve panties for men, and cartoons with the line oh my aching sacroiliac, and hillbilly tricks to fuel pump replacement. I'm just asking. Requesting, please. Because I will be the first to tell you: hillbillies mess with wrong guy and get gun pulled on them.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Whadda ya know?

We have another big Trivia Night coming up on Saturday. Mabel is not playing this time. My team has 4 players. We need 4 more. I think we can snag 2. We'll see what develops.

In lieu of writing a real post tonight, I shall attempt to whip you into shape for my Trivia Night. No fair Googling. Any goober can Google. Let's see what you know.

1. Who did Alexander Graham Bell 'steal' the phonograph invention from?
2. What TV show featured Veronica, Marguerite, Professor Challenger, Roxton, Ned, and Dr. Summerlee?
3. What professional football player reported to training camp with his dog, Felony? Hint: Rams.
4. What song starts with the lyrics..."She grew up in an Indiana town. Had a good-looking momma, who never was around. But she grew up tall, and she grew up right. With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights."
5. Which Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery?
6. What vegetable is actually a citrus fruit?
7. What was the name of Tom Hanks's 'buddy' in Castaway?
8. What is the cube root of 8000?
9. Who is the author of the book 'Roots'?
10. Which song plays during the opening credits of The Wonder Years?

That should keep you busy for a few minutes. Leave your answers in the comments. Just because someone answers one ahead of you doesn't mean it's right.

Good luck. NO GOOGLING, by cracky!

And don't forget to vote for someone, anyone, at, Redneck Diva's weekly writing challenge. C'mon. I know more than 10 people around here can read. That's all who have voted so far. The voting ends Monday night. Help pick the winner. The only prize is choosing next week's word list. It ain't like we're asking you to support us for the rest of our lives. C'mon. A vote is a terrible thing to waste.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

More Griping From HM

This post shall be neither here nor there. Well, physically, it's here, but it's not about any certain thingy, and I feel a ramble coming on, so we shall see where it takes us. Or, precisely, where it takes moi, since you are just along for the ride.

We went out to supper tonight. Actually, it was more like 'lupper', the meal my 12-year-old invented, when I don't want to make lunch or supper, and combine it. We thought perhaps we would get the half-price appetizers at a chicken-wingy thingy restaurant that tries to be like a small-town hick Hooters. In the past, we have saved a bundle by getting the half-price appetizers, with the #1 son and HH getting chicken fingers that come with about 7 large pieces for $3.50. They each get one. There is no sharing in the Hillbilly family. They each consume every morsel. Plus, HH gets fried mushrooms, telling me I can have 'a couple' if I want them. My new favorite is the Super Nachos, which are actually home-fried potato chips underneath the tomatoes and cheese and jalapenos and black olives and chicken. The #2 son alternates between the mini corn dogs and the cheese pizza on the kids menu. Don't be hatin' on our menu. It's not like we set out to have health food.

Anyhoo...HH drove his Mercedes (1986 ugly yellow clunker that has cooled its wheels in the barn for the last nine months after overheating on the trip back from HH's annual family reunion last July) since he would be stopping to get one of the boys a haircut on the way home. He and #1 got to the restaurant (and I use that term loosely) before #2 and I. We called them on the way and told HH to go ahead and order, since he was running about 10 minutes ahead of us. Upon arrival, we discovered that they no longer have the half-price appetizers, since "People were coming to eat them". Which is a bit preposterous, don't you think, because isn't that the purpose of a special, to get people into the restaurant to buy them? And let me tell you, when it was half-price time for the Hillbilly family, HH drank more overpriced beer, the boys played a buttload of video games, and the waitress got a bigger tip. This full-price thingy was not really an issue, since we still planned to eat there anyway.

As if all the talk of the not-half-priced appetizers was not enough for you to see how cheap Hillbilly Mom really is...we have coupons for haircuts. YES! From Great Clips. Cheap haircuts even cheaper! Hey! It's $5 off per haircut. And I have FOUR coupons! For those of you who are not Math teachers...that is a savings of $20, people! We didn't build this Mansion by being spendthrifts, you know! Alas, HH discovered that Great Clips closed at 5:00 tonight. He discovered it when he arrived there, coupon in hand, at 5:05. Never mind that HH had already been there at 9:00 a.m. today, while waiting to pick up some prescriptions across the street. Heaven forbid he would read the hours on the door while walking through them this morning. I'm sure the boys' hair will still be there on Monday. The coupons are good until May 31, which doesn't mean that I want to let their hair grow that long without a cutting. Boys in our school wear their hair shorter than the boys in the district where we live. They look like 1970s kids around here. We see them at the bowling alley, and can tell which school they belong to.

There was way more to this post, (I know, you're thinking isn't this enough?) but alas, our dear NEW BLOGGER has digested it in a sudden locking-up of my unstable stone-age system. This is all that was recovered. And I ain't a-goin' there again. I hate NEW FREAKIN' BLOGGER, and it's little b*tch GMAIL, too. They are at the root of all my crashes. Is it too much to ask that my 7-year-old computer and Windows ME operate without a major malfuntion for 90 stinkin' minutes? Apparently so. I am not extravagant. I do not dream of running MediaPlayer while typing a post. I shut down all non-essential windows. I exit GMail. Oh. I forgot. Now I must sign in through GMail to operate NEW FREAKIN' BLOGGER! Whoever told me how much I would hate it (all of you) and how it takes an extra 5 minutes to get signed in (one of you, perhaps Mrs. Coach, or DeadpanAnn) was definitely right. My son smirks at me every time I rant about such things. "You know, Mom, GMail is designed for XP. It supports ME, but not very well." Thanks. You pass the smartypants test.

I hate progress.

Don't forget to check out and vote for a story that appeals to you. Voting closes Monday evening, methinks.