If Guys Could Talk/Rob Taylor " Tax rebate funds midlife crisis
April 29, 2008
Food, shelter and water first. Just ask “Survivor” contestants or, for that matter, Hot Sulphur Springs residents who are still playing along at home ” boiling water to render it “potable.”
Fourth on the list? Indoor toilets, according to Sulphurites. Forced to use porta-potties in the dead of April, the most pressing question (on everyone’s mind) when the wind kicked up was, “Do I really have to go?”
Most of us haven’t had a genuine outhouse experience, haven’t ever “used” a Sears catalog. Today’s youth won’t remember life before $3 a gallon gas, “American Idol,” Internet dating, iPods, foo foo coffee drinks, Botox, plasma TVs, Game Boys, text messaging or “Virtual Christmases” (when the only thing that is exchanged is gift cards).
George Jetson would be proud. Others, not so much. Are life’s simple pleasures disappearing? Not for Carla Holmes. Her life ambition is to spit effortlessly from a moving vehicle.
Thus far, success has eluded her.
“The worst is when it does a 180 and boomerangs in my face, nailing my glasses,” she says. But there are other perils: clearing the window, dribbling, swerving across the median, pelting oncoming traffic. Miraculously, she has not yet been ticketed for reckless driving or blacklisted from ladies clubs.
“Sometimes a woman needs to spit. I don’t have time to pull over and be lady-like. I just want to roll down the window, rid myself of the throat crud and avoid friendly fire. Nothing fancy. Men do this all the time with great success. Why can’t I?”
Man-spitting experts have answered the call, taking on “Project Carla”:
“Launch at a 45-degree angle,” one suggested.
“Spit from the diaphragm,” said another.
“Roll your tongue.”
“While exhaling, extend your head forward, and let ‘er buck.”
“Start watching baseball. Ballplayers have good form. Real professionals.”
Too much information? Not for the desperate. Carla took the advice for a little test drive. But with all the voices rattling around in her head ” demanding perfection, demanding results ” catastrophe struck.
Passing drivers remember Carla well: the enraged woman in the Dodge pickup, shaking her fist out the driver’s side window, glasses dripping wet, screaming curses at “the wicked learning curve.”
And so the legend of the Redneck Dodge Drooler was born … Poor Carla, chasing a dream, earning a reputation.
She can’t blame heredity. Her dad and grandpa were accomplished spitters, sometimes hocking sunflower seeds, sometimes just saliva. They spit for distance, defying the laws of gravity, so it seemed.
But that was the boys.
Carla faults her mother, Harriet, for her ineptitude. After all, it was Harriet who penned the household rules (as follows):
1. Hurry up and eat so we can clean up.
2. Abide by the 10 Commandments.
3. Respect your elders.
4. Get up and help the first time you are asked.
5. No spitting.
A breech of the “Sacred 5” was suicide. Carla tested the waters only once (at the age of 6), spitting at sister SuAnn, who received parental permission to fire back. Bad news for Carla. SuAnn could really spit.
So lightning was corked in a bottle until Carla reached womanhood and dared to spit again. Too late, some say for a 40-something mother of three, to learn such a demanding technical skill ” spitting from a moving vehicle.
But Carla is no quitter. She is Charlie Brown incarnate, ready to fly the kite, ready to kick the football, ready ” once again ” to roll down the window and get the juices flowing.
Naturally, all of us should be on our guard, keeping our eyes peeled for swerving Dodge pickups. Carla’s out there somewhere going through a mid-life crisis, trying desperately to spit and drive simultaneously. Four-dollar gas won’t stop her from chasing her dream; she’s already allocated her Bush tax rebate money for fuel.
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