Friday, August 20, 2010

Bessie the Cow and Mae

I have made no progress this week on Raising God's Rainbow Makers and so have no posts to share from there, a situation I hope to remedy next week. This week, though, nearly every morning I have had to be at work early, and nearly every evening I have worked well past dark. So, except for trying to get the word out about Wajeeha's journey (see right side-bar), I have had to limit my writing time. The thought hit me, though, that a nice change of pace would be to intersperse the past with the past from time to time and share anecdotes from my childhood. While it was a highly abusive period in my life, it was not without its moments of humor, joy, and nostalgia. So, herewith, the story of our alcoholic cow, Bessie, and our eccentric neighbor, Mae.

I have some odd memories of our neighbor, Mae, who lived the next farm over when I was a child. Or, perhaps I should say, I have some memories of our odd neighbor, Mae.

My most vivid memory of Mae was chasing our cow, Bessie. Bessie would get into the apple orchard and eat apples, which made her drunk. Totally inebriated, she would dance down the road to Mae's farm. Bessie delighted in pulling Mae's clothes off the clotheslines, and many times I saw Mae, half-clothed, chasing Bessie with a broom, "Go home, drunk cow, go home! Sober up!" A dancing cow and a half-clad wizened lady, brandishing a broom, made quite a sight coming up the road!

Mae had this thing with clothes, you see. She did not like to wear them. Once, the mailman came to the door with a package, and Mae stepped out of the shower, dripping wet and totally nude, to answer the door and accept the package. The mailman was not shocked. She often answered the door nude. Then, there was the time that she was driving on an interstate highway in New Jersey and broke down. She heard that the police in that state would stop and help if there were a white cloth on the antenna. So, having no other white cloth around, she quickly took off her underwear and tied it to the antenna. The police stopped. After some fiddling, they managed to fix her car without calling for him. One of the officers looked at the antenna and remarked to Mae, “You are good to go now. Don’t forget to take your underwear off.” Mae looked at him and with a straight face, for she was entirely serious, said to him, “I already took it off.”

It might help if you knew that Mae was almost 90 years old when all this was happening. It might. But then, I never met Mae at 20, so who knows…

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