Some of us live nicely without utilities and I’ve even heard of a teenager somewhere who doesn’t have a cell phone. But for Alphonse “Windy” Wilson, it’s quite impossible to live without an audience. There’s more than one benefit to being in that audience when Windy gets cranked up, too, because not only do you hear Windy’s version of stories, but you can pick up a few words you never dreamed existed.
Like the other day … there was ol’ Windy, sitting on the bench in front of the hardware store, right where most of the school kids passed on their way home. As soon as he’d ambushed three or four of them, he began:
“Now I don’t want you fellers to think I’m making this up, but before you were around, there was a pelthra of grizoolly bears in these here mountains. You know how mean they can get. Welzir, one afternoon there I was, a-setting on a big ol’ rock, takin’ it for granite that I was all by my lonesome, when this silvertrip grizoolly comes walkin’ along. Now I was only armed with my twenty-rye-tooful at the time, and this caused me a modiclum of disconstertation, I can tell you. I was on the ragged ledge of being consarned for my own safety. It was a nipple and tuck situation there.
“So I ups and says, ‘Bear be gone!’ in this real loud voice, and at first, he was fixin’ to get all algitated with me, but finally he sees I’m serious and he gets outa there, lickity- splat! You’da thought he’d been vacillated with a brandin’ arn. Sometimes, guys, you just have to be vigorously fierceful on ‘em.”
When the audience had moved on, I congratulated Windy on his contributions to their vocabularies. He smiled modestly and said, “It’s our duty to help ‘em get aculturtated.”
I guess you learn something new every day. I’d always thought “algitated” meant getting upset at pond scum.
The Home Country book is now available at www.slimrandles.com