“Who knocked time out of whack when we weren’t looking?” Walter asked. Whoever pours the first cup gets to ask the opening question for a meeting of the Coffee Clutchers.
Harvey looked lost.
“When was it ever in whack?” he asked.
“Back when people ate dinner at noon,” Walter said. “That’s why dinnertime’s in the day, and suppertime’s at night.”
Others grasped the gist of the conversation and joined in.
“Folks oughta go to bed the same day they get up,” Bud asserted.
Clyde recollected taking his grandkids shopping way back in the summer.
“School buses should stay parked until the day after Labor Day,” he said. “Back-to-school sales should start the last week of August, not the 5th of July.”
“And Christmas sales shouldn’t start the 5th of July, either,” Cindy added, claiming her seat at the head of the table. “Have the decency to wait until after Thanksgiving Day.”
“And don’t call Thanksgiving Day, Turkey Day, either,” said Bro. Earl (no relation).
As long as we’d eased from clocks and calendars into the subject of labels, Chester suggested that the citizenship papers for folks moving to the South emphasize that we have lightning bugs, not fireflies.
Bud said they should also learn that we have poison oak, not poison ivy – but several Coffee Clutchers chimed in to tell him he was quite wrong – that poison ivy’s range is much larger than that of actual poison oak.
“In that case, they just need to learn how to identify it and how to avoid it,” Bud said. “Especially not burning it in a brushfire.”
Maurice pointed us back to the calendar, offering that the sports seasons were all boogered up ever since TV sports became so dominant.
Baseball should have pre-eminence from March to August, football from September to November and basketball in December and January,” he said.
“What about February?” Rob asked.
“T.S. Eliot might have been right about April’s being the cruelest month, given he was talking about England,” Maurice said. “Here in the South, the cruelest is February: It offers a taste of spring with jonquils and forsythia, but then jerks us around – especially the gardeners among us – with ice storms or late freezes. Let’s just ignore it, and maybe it’ll go away.”
Walter suggested, “Let’s let ’em play hockey then. And only in the places where there’s natural ice.”
Several Coffee Clutchers offered to buy Walter his next cuppa.
“That would mean no hockey in the South, and only in winter,” Rob mused. “That’s a rule any of us can approve.”
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens – who really doesn’t mind hockey as long as the fights stay in the rink – at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal