August 31, 2013 § 18 Comments
This past week, my mother has been at Burning Squirrel, a pagan ritual in Louisiana where elderly Southern women drink margaritas and dance before a large burning squirrel effigy in the hope that, in the coming season, the squirrels spare their garden vegetables and don’t strip their pecan trees.
My mother, of course, denied that this is where she was going, even though I could see the body paint peeking through the polyester sleeve of her blouse.
“I’m not going to Burning Squirrel,” she said. “And if you think I’d join that bunch of squirrel-butt-kissers and window-box gardeners begging some heathen varmint god not to raid my tomatoes, you’ve got another thing coming. I’ve got a shotgun. That’s my form of prayer.”
“Swear you’re not going.”
“I swear on my Uncle Luther’s grave.”
“You hated Uncle Luther. In fact, I hear you spat on his grave.”
“That was a beautiful funeral” she admitted. “But I’m telling you I’ve never been to Burning Squirrel. I’m going to the great annual Southern Women’s Bridge Tournament and Outraged Disapproval of Youth Culture Extravaganza.”
“Sure you are.”
“We’ll be having a mock twerking competition to the music of the great Tennessee Ernie Ford. And if you’re writing that stupid blog again, don’t think you can use terms like ‘twerking’ or ‘blow me’ and think I won’t look them up on Wikipedia and box your ears good.”
“I won’t,” I promised.
“And don’t have me do ridiculous things like pretending my hands are pistols and twirling them around the air like Yosemite Sam,” she added, as she made pistols with her thumb and forefinger and twirled her hands around in the air like Yosemite Sam.
“Now get out my way. I’ve got to finish packing for Burning Squ — Burning Bridge. The bridge tournament.”
“You’re going to Burning Squirrel and you know it. Remember when you came back last year with your blouse worn out in the elbows and your flapper shoes scuffed at the tips and the front of your home permanent singed?”
“That was a tough tournament.”
That was from HOURS OF SUPPLICATION BEFORE A SQUIRREL-SHAPED CLUMP OF BURNING MESQUITE BRANCHES IN THE HOPES YOUR PECAN CROP WOULD BE SPARED AND YOU KNOW IT!!
“Nonsense! I’m a Christian woman and an upstanding member of Sinners Vamoose United Methodist church.”
“Then explain this!” I shouted, opening her suitcase with a flourish to reveal a margarita machine, two pairs of clean socks, and Desperate, her calico cat, who looked up at us indifferently.
I glared at my mother. “Don’t tell me you were going to sacrifice Desperate this year.”
“Fine, fine,” she said as Desperate jumped out. “The squirrel god would have been pleased with such a fat and furry sacrifice, but never mind. I’ll just use a signed first edition of one of your novels.”
“So you admit you’re going.”
“Yes, I’m going! When you have a garden, you do what it takes. Besides, I’m going to win the volleyball competition this year. I have the vertical leap of a cheetah.”
Just then, I looked out the sliding glass doors and saw a squirrel furtively tiptoeing toward her pecan tree.
My mother ran to the door, wrenched it open and screamed: “BLOW ME, SQUIRREL BASTARD!”
The squirrel froze, his eyes two terrified saucers, until a brave comrade darted out, grabbed him under the arms and dragged him away.
My mother looked at me. “Just getting it out of my system.”
She zipped up her suitcase. “See you in a week. And make sure that damn calico doesn’t jump the fence.”
(Burning man image © Aaron Logan)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Twerking is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, sliding back and forth in a graceful movement resembling a waltz or box step. Twerking is only done by the highest classes and is a gesture of refinement, good breeding, and music appreciation.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi
Blow Me is a southern expression used mostly by women of a certain age to politely tell a squirrel to vacate a garden, pecan tree or fruit-bearing bush.
The word “Blow Me” come from the Latin Word contraction of “Blowus Meus“, or “Squirrel Be Gone.”