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Uncle Willie Learns About Wimmin
by Asa Sparks



[USADEEPSOUTH.COM has been granted permission to include cartoon.]

Uncle Willie began learning about wimmen as soon as he married Lena Mae. Like any good wife, she started helping him the next morning. Uncle Willie left the seat up as usual. He had difficulty understanding the need and told Lena Mae, “I pee more than I poo.” He tried his best. Once he even wrapped the entire seat and hole with Saran Wrap to protect it from spatters. Lena Mae was not amused with the result.

Uncle Willie was always more comfortable with animals. His first (and last) writing experience was about snakes. His graduation thesis from the sixth grade was a research paper about the snakes of the Southeast. With his graduation diploma in hand, he set out to face the world filled with water moccasins, rattlesnakes and Republicans.

A special encounter with a skunk happened one night as he rode home from a hunting trip in the mountains. The rain was pouring and the wind was driving it so hard Uncle Willie could not even crack a window without getting soaked. The storm limited his driving at high speed but that did not prevent him from hitting the skunk that picked an unfortunate time to cross the road. That skunk gave Uncle Willie a dying gift by spraying musk on the manifold.

If you think a skunk smells bad, try baked skunk juice. Willie and Lena had dogs and cats and for a while raised pedigreed Siamese. Clarence was their cross-eyed cat (named for the similarly challenged lion) who brought a great deal of joy. When Clarence was a kitten, they would periodically hear a splash from the bathroom. Someone would note that Clarence had missed the seat again and go fish him out. Willie said every time, “I told you we should use the Saran Wrap.”

When Clarence was accidentally run over by a friend (we assume he missed again), Lena Mae experienced a strong period of grief.

Lena Mae had cats of all kinds for years. When her sister moved to Nashville, she adopted a stray that she named “Fritzwillow,” or some other unpronounceable name. When her sister moved to a house where no pets were allowed, she sent it to Lena Mae unannounced. Told her later she knew Lena Mae would not just send it to the pound. She lazily renamed the cat "Pussy," and the neighbors could often hear Uncle Willie running around the neighborhood looking for Lena Mae’s wandering cat and crying, "Here, Pussy! Here, Pussy!"

But I am way off track. The one animal Lena Mae could not abide was a snail. She could kill mice and with reluctance if I was not around, roaches. But she would not even approach a snail. If she spotted one, she would run retching, gagging and regurgitating in the nearest basin until Uncle Willie came home to take care of it.

Uncle Willie was right proud every time he got to tell folks, “She regurgitated.” It was one of his best sixth grade words, and right up there with “onomatopoeia,” which he did not get to use nearly as often. In time, he learned to sprinkle salt on snails and slugs to bring about their speedy demise.

The first time they went to that fancy Holiday Inn one-star restaurant, Uncle Willie ordered escargot. Lena May could barely remain at the table and she did not nibble off his plate.

After they had been married for quite a spell, Lena Mae thought it would be nice to go on a honeymoon. She read all of the classified ads in the Sunday paper until she found a freighter that would include passengers. Uncle Willie and Lena Mae drove the orange and blue Auburn pick-up to Fort Lauderdale and took a weekend cruise on the Freeport to the Bahamas and spent Saturday in Nassau.

They did the sightseeing, the straw market, and went to Dirty Jack's for lunch to try the native food. They had conch: fried, stewed, and nude. The nude was raw conch in a West Indies type salad. The meal was delicious and they consumed every bite; may have even ordered seconds on the salad.


MARINATED CONCH

For appetizer-size portions:
1 lb. conch (uncooked), cut into very thin strips
1 hot pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 whole peeled, de-seeded, chopped tomato
1 cup freshly squeezed limejuice
Half cup virgin olive oil


Combine all ingredients in an earth­enware dish and leave, covered, in the refrigerator.

They arrived back in Miami and went on touring Florida. There was Disney World, Busch Gardens, the Parrot Jungle, and Sea World. It was quite an adventure. At Sea World they walked around and observed the flora and fauna (females and males). Finally, they came to the Conch Aquarium where Lena Mae could see the beautiful animals they had enjoyed so much. There, the last thing on the window sign said, "The conch is a variety of sea snail."

It was three days too late for Lena Mae to regurgitate.


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To read more of Asa’s stories at USADS, visit these links:
Uncle Willie and the New Car
Uncle Willie Shoots a Ford
Uncle Willie Gets Masseused

For more, click on the USADEEPSOUTH Articles Page.

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