The holler wus all abuzz, cus Bubba wus visitin’ his grammaw, an’ he brung his new girlfrien’ with him, sorta like t’ git grammaw’s go to. Thisyere girl musta really been sumpin’ special ifn Bubba wus bringin’ her for grammaw to give her the oncet over.
Abner an’ Buford wus walkin’ up t’ th’ cabin an’ they wus gonna meet Hiram there, cus they wus so goshdarned impatient t’ see thisyere angel whut fell outa heaven. Spring comes t’ th’ Ozarks purty damn quick, an’ they wus sweatin’ like hawgs by th’ time th’ cabin hove into view, an’ there wus Bubba’s pickup, all shiny an’ red like a’ways, excep’ the last time, when he wus really down in th’ dumps.
‘Howdy boys!’ Bubba sang out as they walked in, an’ gave them each one a them big city beers, th’ ones that come in cans, real fancy like. ‘Where’s th’ perfessor?’ That wus his name fer Hiram, cus he done bin t’ college an’ all.
‘He’s comin’,’ said Abner, lookin at the stuff Bubba brung with. No question, he wus classy! He brung three boxes o’ big city wine. None o’ those itty bitty bottles fer him, no sirree! That wus on account a the ladies din’ taken the same liken t’ big city beer thet th’ boys did. They drunk moonshine a’right, but they said that there big city beer give ‘em wind, an’ these uns learned real early thet you din’ argue wi’ grammaw, so he jes’ brung wine, but real classy wine, with a little faucet an’ all. The thangs they thunk of in the big city, man it wus enuff t’ make a body’s head spin!
‘Thisyere’s Loretta, my lady,’ he said, interducin’ his girlfrien’ an’ oh my, she wus sumpin else! Like one a them angels whut fell down f’um heaven, she wus. Big curly hair, wide as her shoulders, and rouge on her cheeks an’ big red lips, with that there blue eye shadow an’ them long flutterin’ eyelashes, she shore wus a sight t’ make a body’s heart beat faster. She wus wearin’ them cut-off jeans, all raggedy-like, wi’ stuff all over her sweater that looked like they wus diamonds. She shore wus a sight fer sore eyes. Bubba done hisself proud this time!
‘How’d you two meet?’ asked Abner, a’ways wantin’ t’ be th’ centre of attention.
‘Well, she seen me drivin’ ‘roun’ in my pickup with my double-wide, and she wus real taken with that there double wide, an’ said she couldn’ b’lieve how ornery a woman could be t’ leave me over sumpin like makin’ love in a canoe.’ He smiled at her, real gentle like. ‘She thanks it’s mighty romantic whut I done.’ You kin see he din tell her nothin’ ‘bout slappin’ that there kid, but thet wus his own bizzness.
He done grabbed her an’ pulled her over an’ kissed her, real hard, an’ said. ‘We’re thankin’ a gittin’ hitched.’ Well, ever’one thunk that wus mighty sudden, an’ they pondered mebbe she wus pregnant, but naw, it wus too soon.
‘Thet’s a mite sudden like,’ said Abner.
‘Well, y’know whut it’s like when yer in love,’ said Bubba an’ Abner said yeah, but he really din have any idea, cus he never even had hisself a girlfrien’, but they wus no ways he wus gonna tell anybody thet!
‘We done went t’ one a them drive-in movie theayters, an’ took a jug a French wine,’ he smiled at her. ‘Nothin’ too good fer my lady.’
She leaned her haid on his shoulder, real romantic like, and smiled at him, an’ he said, ‘We din’ really watch th’ movie, bein’ in love an’ all. We jes’ kissed and cuddled an’ drank our fancy French wine an’ sorta fell asleep after awhile. When we woke up we wus in th’ middle of a flea market!’
Buford’s eyes, whut wus a’ways big, now looked like soup plates, they wus so big. ‘Why in tarnation would anybody sell fleas?’
Abner thunk thet wus a good question, but Bubba laughed so hard he nearly wet his britches, an’ that there Loretta laughed all musical like, so Abner knew it wusn’ a good question.
‘They don’ sell fleas,’ said Bubba, wiping’ his eyes. ‘They jes’ call it a flea market’
‘Why in tarnation you gonna call sumpin’ after sumpin’ you don’ sell?’ asked Buford, scratchin his haid.
Well, Bubba, he frowned an’ said, ‘Yknow, I never thunk ‘bout thet b’fore. I cain’t ‘magine why they call it a flea market. I suppose in th’ big city they thank folks whut shop there has got fleas or sumpin’.’
Jes’ ‘bout thet time Hiram come waltzin’ in there and Bubba sang out, ‘Howdy there perfessor, why’nt you grab y’self a beer over there!’
‘I thank I will, an’ thank ya kindly,’ said Hiram, his good manner showin’ f’um his college eddication.
‘Say perfessor,’ said Bubba. ‘Y’all bin t’ college in th’ big city. How in tarnation flea markets git their name?’
Well Hiram, he put his thumbs in his overalls, so we all knowed we wus gonna git a lecture on sumpin’ we ain’t never heerd afore. ‘Long time ago, maybe a hunnert years or more, people din’ mos’ly have shops like we got, so they went t’ th’ market t’ buy stuff. But folks whut wanted t’ sell second hand stuff put up their own markets, an’ some o’ thet stuff wus all fulla fleas, so them markets was knowed as flea markets.’
Well ever’body wus plumb amazed. Jest goes t’ show whut a college eddication kin do fer a body.
Buford, he piped up. ‘I thunk ifn they wus buyin’ fleas I coulda tooken my dawg there; woulda made me a fortune!’
‘An’ whut would you do with th’ money, Buford?’ asked Abner. ‘We ain’t hardly got any use fer money up here in th’ holler, an’ you couldn’ never live in th’ city!’
‘I suppose yore right, Abner,’ said Buford, a bit down like. ‘But ifn I had me some money, maybe I could git me a girl like Loretta.’
‘Aw, thet’s so sweet!’ said Loretta an’ given him a kiss. He turned so red, his ears wus lookin’ like th’ paddles on a store-bought canoe. Bubba smiled hisself a big ol’ smile, smug as anythang.
‘You fellers kin se why I ain’t ‘bout t’ let this one git away!’ he said. Well, everbody mumbles some an’ had some more a Bubba’s beer. Big city livin’ sometimes did look mighty fine, but they wus happy down here in th’ holler, where they on’y had t’ wash theirselves oncet a month, an’ groomin’ wus done th’ ol’ fashioned way, cutting away the dangly bits outn your private bits an cuttin’ your hair with a puddin’ bowl. An’ thet wusn’ ever gonna work in th’ big city!
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