[gardeners] DeDe exposes a government plot

Cousin DeDe/Dede (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 6 Jul 1998 13:48:33 +0000

Dear Beulah Mae,

Ain't it just too much! First that snooty Uncle Harold Hampton-Court up and
announces that he's gonna leave a bit of money to Belle but don't let
anybody else in the family know if know if they is gonna be getting their
due when the old goat passes. Then Penny gal starts yammering about some
government plot to steal our water. I know what Preacher would say about
four's bearing and all that, but Beulah gal, it's just too much. Come to
ponder on it, I ain't so sure about Penny. She ain't saying whether she's
kin or not and most often something ain't right when a body don't tell you
who their mama's people were. Maybe not on first meeting, but surely by the
time they done passed a Holiday with you. Then again, Penny sounds to be
from up North, so I suppose I ought not be finding too much fault. Poor
thing, she's got her own cross to bear what with not getting greens and
fatback on a regular basis. And then there's that terrible scandal about
her and the Zukes. Imagine that! And they got all them nice Italian folk up
in her neck of the woods, too! You'd think by now, Penny would have tried
at least one. Zuke, that is.

Now, about this government plot. Beulah, it's just one more example of how
them Federals is taking away everything that's Right and Good and Precious.
And the bigger scandal is that them Scallywags didn't even think up the
notion! They STOLE it right out from under your Uncle Martin's nose. 

It's a long story, so settle back and be patient with an old woman.

You remember back around '73 when things was going real good in our part of
the country? Them Arabs had cut off the spigot and a spot of crude was
bringing close on to $40 a barrel? Those were the days and don't you know
it. But I'm wandering again. It's a sign from the Lord that I am getting
old and kinda loose in the head, so just bear with me.

Well, you may remember that Uncle Martin had hooked himself up with a bunch
of wildcatters and good ole boys from Midland and surrounding parts and
moved down to Houston. Them wildcatters (and they were real fine men they
was, too) found themselves in possession of a whole mess of natural gas
pipeline as a result of a real high stakes poker game played down at the
Rice Hotel. (I hear tell that the final hand was played up in New York City
in a real swank private suite in the Waldorf Astoria Towers, but that's
another story that I ain't talking about just now.)

Well, once all the chips were counted, and divied up, Martin ended up with
the job of figuring out what to do with all that pipeline. He weren't too
pleased at the prospect, neither, 'cause he was just itching to get himself
offshore and onto them semi-submersible drilling rigs so he could eat
himself his fill of gumbo. Everybody knows that the best gumbo be fixed
offshore, and Martin was a real fan of the good gumbo. His partners knew
how Martin liked the gumbo and being real smart fellers when it came to
pushing buttons and motivating folks, they told Martin that he could have
himself his very own offshore rig AFTER he figured a way to get rid of all
that pipeline..and turn a profit, too.

As you can imagine knowing how our kin thinks, Martin jumped up quicker
than a flea and took the bait without even worrying about no hook. Well,
Martin weren't no engineer. He done read the law, but he was plum stumped.
Natural gas just ain't something a man can get his arms around as easily as
one of them Tortes. 'Course they both end up being pretty much the same
thing, but Martin didn't much like that end of things. Anyhow, Martin took
a look at all that pipeline that the Federal government said was no good
for transporting natural gas no more and decided that he was gonna dedicate
himself to finding something that would be both sweet smelling and good for
the country to fill up them pipelines.

Preacher would say that all a body's got to do is to dedicate himself to a
Higher Purpose and then sit back and wait. The Answer will come just as
sure as old Miz Purdy will bag herself a 10-point buck every hunting
season. Martin didn't have long to wait. He was sitting in the big dining
room of The Houston Club (a really fine place if you was a male person. If
you wore a petticoat, they wouldn't let you in the place, but once again,
that's another tale.) sugaring his tea, and minding his own bidness when it
came to him. Must have been how that boy Guido must have felt when he got
hit with that thunderbolt for Cousin Bambi(e) or when that Stain Augustine
fellow fell over himself on the road to Damascus. A life changing moment
that's for certain.

Watermelon: The answer to Martin's prayers. Right in front of him on his
plate looking up at him alongside the orange sherbet and the cottage cheese
.(Martin always did have a problem with his weight and never let himself
have anything more substantial than a regular-sized Fruit Plate when he
took himself to The Houston Club.)

A seedless, all-heart watermelon that would grow to be 35.33" inches around
the middle-no more and no less. That was what Martin was going to dedicate
himself to developing and bringing to market. Martin and his partners could
distribute 'em to all them poor folks up North through all them miles of
pipeline Martin done gotten himself stuck having to recycle. 

Gulping down the last of his tea, Martin could see the beginning of a New
Venture. One that would free The Great State from the hold of them OPEC
scoundrels. One that would bring the Yankees to their knees in abject
apology for ever thinking that Texas was nothing more than a bunch of "oil
field trash" that didn't know which fork to pick up at a tea party. One
that would get Martin's smiling face on the cover of TIME magazine as Man
of the Year. (See, Martin was short and like most fellers that think they
got to wear lifts in their boots, Martin had a powerful need to prove to
the world that he was A Big Man. Poor Martin, it would take a sweet little
old gal at the perfume counter of Saks Fifth Avenue to teach him that he
didn't need no lifts. But that's another story for another time.)

So, Martin got out of his chair, thanked his waiter, tipped his hat to folk
going out the dining room and headed directly for his County Agent's place
of bidness. The quest for The All Heart Watermelon had begun.

Lord, I just looked at the clock. I got to get me back to my chores. You
take care, Beulah and I'll tell you more about Martin's Melons one of these
fine days.

Cousin DeDe/Dede, depending on how the spirits move her.