Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)
TITLE: Hobnobbing With the Rich Folks
By Jan Ackerson
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Hey, Bud, yer lookin’ kinda curious. Can’t say as I blame you, pal. If you got a minute, I”ll tell you somthin’ dandy.
Last summer, I entered one a them radio contests. I always been good at trivia, so when the deejay asked who was Moses’s wife I called in quick with Zipporah, and I won. It was a one-week membership at the Pine Valley Croquet Club—ain’t that a hoot?
I went there all set to learn me a new game and maybe hobnob with some rich folks, who I figger needs a friendly “hey” much as regular folks do. I knowed it was a fancy place, so I wore my best dungarees, and buttoned my shirt all the way up.
The gal in the lobby took a gander at my guest pass and sniffed, then pointed at a little sign. And that was real nice of her, ‘cause the sign said croquet players was required to wear white. Ain’t that fancy?
God watches out for us, that’s the truth. I just happened to have a pair of new white painter’s coveralls out in my pickup. I pulled ‘em on and trotted right back in.
The gal looked surprised to see me back so quick, and she sniffed again. Reckon she had a cold, but she didn’t want my handkerchief, even though I only used one corner of it. She just showed me the door leadin’ to the croquet place, then set down and fanned herself.
I seen three people standin’ around, so I introduced myself real friendly-like, and invited ‘em to play me a game. They was two other guys and a real purty girl, and at first they was kinda speechless. Jealous of my coveralls, I reckon, since they was wearin’ funny-lookin’ white shorts and knee socks. I ain’t no fashion expert, but I think that’s a fo paw, pardon my French.
I told ‘em not to feel bad, even King Solomon weren’t dressed no better’n a lily. Well, when I mentioned lilies, one of the fellers said he guessed I should join ‘em, seein’s how the purty girl’s name was Lily, wouldja believe it? And she weren’t wearin’ shorts, neither, but a real flowy dress, and she had the saddest pair of eyes I even seen.
So we commenced. I grabbed me a mallet and smacked my ball a good one. It sailed right through them first two hoops, and I thumped one of the fellers on the back and gave a holler. Hoo-doggy, any sport where you can run around and whack things with a mallet’s a real good time. God’s sun was shinin’, the birds was singin’, and as it happened, I was awful good at croquet.
Them white shorts fellers just didn’t have no muscle. They’d give their stripey balls a little tap and creep up on them hoops all gradual. That was all right fer Lily, I guess, but it just don’t seem manly to me. You shoulda saw how I could make my ball fly with one good whack.
Here’s somethin’ you might not of knowed—if’n you hit the other feller’s ball, you git another shot at it! I was real good at that, too—like when the Lord smiteth. As the Good Book says, he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy. I done memorized that, but you kin look it up.
‘Bout halfway through the game, Miss Lily-Sad-Eyes cracked a smile—it coulda been when I sent the orange ball sailin’ into another croquet game. Anyways, by the time I hit the pole thingamabob and high-fived a guy who was trimmin’ bushes, that gal was laughin’ out loud, soundin’ even sweeter than them birds.
Lily and me had us some fancy tea, then I brung her to my favorite pizza spot. We been hangin’ out fer a while now, sometimes in Lily’s world, sometimes in mine. She’s learnin’ to bait a hook and drive a stick, and I’m learnin’ to use proper silverware and not say “I seen.” We found us a nice little church where don’t no one care where we come from, only where we’re goin’.
Well, I best be off, I’ve took enough of yer time. Looks like the folks in lane 3 is done, and look—someone bowled a 289! Hope you git a mark in every frame, Bud. Looks like the preacher’s here, and my Lily’s waitin’ fer me in lane 10. Ain’t she a sight in that weddin’ dress?
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