Southern Keepsakes

“Hey, I’m home. What’s that I smell?”

“Oh, that? It’s furniture polish. Bought some new … finished polishing just as you walked in the door.  How was the golf? You and Booger win today?”

“They oughta make furniture polish that smells like the inside of a new car on a showroom floor.”

"What do mean this is nothing but a rag!?"

“You say that about everything. I remember when you told your barber that he needed to invent new car after-shave lotion. You know that you’re nuts, right?” I luv ya, but you really are certifiable…”

“Hey, what’s that you’ve got behind your back?

“Look,  how shinny and glossy I’ve gotten the dining room table. You can see your face in it …”

“Yeah, I see …but what’s that behind your back?”

“Oh this thing?  It’s just an old rag.”

“Lemme see…. gimme that. This is no rag.  Is this what you used to polish the furniture?  You’ve been using my lucky T-shirt as a dust rag!? Woman, do you realize that I scored the winning touchdown …

“… at your college intramural touch football league championship while wearing this shirt. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before. We all have. Billy that was decades ago. This thing is a rag now. It’s all faded. It’s not even the same color that it used to be and just look at all the holes in it. There’s more air and holes in it than cloth.”

“I also caught the nine-pounder that’s mounted on the wall in the den while wearing this shirt, I’ll have you know. Caught it on a silver shad Rapala in Yellowjacket Creek at West Point Lake. Remember when I was training for the marathon? This was one of my lucky running shirts. And the reason the thing is so faded is because you use too much bleach.”

“Too much bleach, my foot! And anyway, you came in dead last in the marathon that time. You looked like you were gonna damn die. Anyway, this thing is a rag. You look ridiculous every time you put it on … even to rake leaves out back.”

“You’re the only one who ever sees me in it these days. Well, you and Booger. And Booger has one that’s just like it. Except that it started out being green. These days I just use it for yard work.  But do you know how long I’ve had this shirt?”

“Too long. I’ve tried to throw it out any number of times. Damn if you don’t find it in the trash every time and rescue it.  I call it ‘the shirt that would not die’. It’s just too old and faded to be of much use to anybody.”

“Do you see me going around getting rid of your old stuff when your back is turned? Hell, I let your brother live with us for the longest and he was old and faded and not much use to anybody.”

“Watch it Buster!”

“Woman, I plan on being buried in this shirt.

“Not if I have anything to say about it.”

“Well I’ve already given instructions to Longfellow, the undertaker, to dress me in this T-shirt right after I’m dead.  I am going to be wearing it underneath my suit right there in the casket.

“Billy, they ain’t gonna let you through the Pearly Gates if you’re wearing that T-shirt.

“Don’t you worry ‘bout that, Missy. I’m gonna talk my way in … and with this shirt on too. It ain’t lucky for nothing.”

“I hope you’re not planning on wearing that ridiculous purple suit– the one that you wore in honor of Prince at his concert–when you’re in the casket, cause I’m not havin’ it, Billy. I’m not.”

“OK, I’ll tell Longfellow to dress me in a conservative suit. Spoil sport. Can I wear my cap when I’m in the casket?”

“You’re impossible! Give me that silly T-shirt back. I’ll go wash out the furniture polish. And if it really means that much to you, I promise not to throw it out the next time that I have the opportunity.”

“OK …but I want you to know that I’ve got my eye on you … the good one. And don’t use too much bleach.”

© Copyright 2011 Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.