Friends Mo and Faunt stop by and stay a spell
Back in late October, I heard from my favorite down-south couple, Modine and Fauntleroy, what joy.
“Hi-eee! Since the kids moved out (although Vivian secretly thinks they ran away), Faunt and I have been motor homing around the country, and we thought we’d stop by to see the bee-yoot-ee-ful fall colors in Nevada County!”
Mo and Faunt traded in the old motor home for a Godzilla fifth-wheeler. Once parked, one side of it accordioned out to make a large living room, and the other side opened up into a big bedroom. They had every appliance, every gadget known to man in that motor home. I would’ve moved in there and let them have my house.
Faunt had discovered the joy of fishing, and he was willing to admire every multicolored leaf in sight as long as he had a line in the water with him connected to the dry end. He had 300 pounds of fishing gear and a small boat on top of the motor home (along with the satellite dish) so he was ready for everything from minnows to marlin. He spent five minutes chatting with us and then disappeared down river to Sucker Hole, and that was the end of him until dinner time.
Modine is more of a challenge. She loves the idea that Washington is rustic and frontier-y and in the middle of the deep dark forest, and she is always disappointed that we don’t have a privy or a water pump in the kitchen sink. I like to haul out my 1913 Singer for her, the one that sounds like a low-flying narco-chopper and could probably sew one together. She wants to buy it for display in her home. No.
She saw my computer upstairs. “Do other people here have computers? Why? Do they know what the Internet is?”
She proudly showed me her two-inch fake nails done in navy blue polish and gold swooshes. The edges were squared off and the filaments separated so finely it looked liked fluffy angora. The fuzz tended to clump together.
She said it was the newest fashion in nail art. I was truly underwhelmed. I’m only telling you this, dear sisters, because I know that y’all will want to run right on down to your nearest nail salon so you can get in on this hot new trend.
They slept in their own beds that night, of course, and early the next morning, Mo staggered in, haggard and red-eyed. “I thought this was the country, where it’s quiet and peaceful. There was some weird nonstop whistling/screeching going on all night long, and I heard gunshots! Yes, gunshots! I hear it all the time where I live, so I know what it sounds like! You have drive-bys, admit it!”
“The screeching was crickets, Mo, remember that from your last visit? And I think the gunshots were really apples falling off my neighbor’s tree and hitting her tin roof. Now, how do you like your coffee? Sugar? Prozac? A touch of Xanex?”
We spent some time catching up on each other’s lives, still pals although we’re as different as day and night. I made bread while she sat and told me about the kids and her job, and by the time she was done, so was the bread. “Is that how the pioneers used to do it years ago?”
Two days later they were gone, headed for Reno with two loaves of you-know-what, some of my blackberry jam, and a small fish. We had a very nice visit, and I hardly spent any time at all banging my head against the wall after they left.
Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.
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