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Pistol Packing Patty

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I am riding to the mainland with Patty and I can see her mouth moving, but the roar of her Humvee obliterates the sound of her voice. Since I don’t do lip reading, I strain to snatch a piece of her ongoing chatter.

This puppy has even got a GPS, Patty shouts. Civilians call ˜em Humvees but not me, Babycakes. My sweet ride is a Hummer.

Her ride is doing something, but humming? Not so much.

Incredibly, Patty shelled out over eighty-five thousand big ones for this ugly piece of pink metal. Pink! For the same money she could have bought a loaded Jag.

Shifting gears as though doing her thang at Daytona, she passes a pokey little Corvette at such close range that I can see my reflection in the driver’s Raybans. My heart drops down close to my kneecaps.

Slow down, Patty, I shout at my five-foot tall, daredevil friend behind the wheel. She is perched on a child’s booster stool, allowing her to see over the dash without standing up.

She throws me a look and my heart does the kneecap thing again. Keep your eyes on the freaking road, Patty!

I drive fast because I’m steering a HUMMER. Without a glance in the rearview mirror, she charges past a Mobil Oil truck the size of a 747. My liver does a shag step.

Patty is seventy-something. She looks like a sweet little old lady, somebody’s very short grandmother. She dresses in size three, wrinkle-free pants and extra-small tee shirts embroidered with tiny flowers. Having discovered Reeboks trimmed in pink when her aging feet began to grow odd-shaped bumps and knots, she was never again tempted by Nike Airs or Nike anything else. Patty maintains a modicum of style only in the sense that her polyester pantsuits match her Reeboks.

Her once flaming red hair is faded to white, but she and Miss Clairol came up with a pale pink tint, leaving two inches of white streaking down the middle of her head. Think pink skunk.

We swerve into a gas station so the Hummer can guzzle enough gasoline to fuel a fleet of Fords for a year, and I release the breath I’ve been holding in.

Hey, Babycakes, catch that windshield while I pump. Her voice booms official enough to make me jump out and nearly break my leg. It takes ten seconds for me to realize that I need an extension ladder to catch that windshield. I’ll have to stand on a nearby trashcan just to haul my butt back into the car/tank.

I give up and crawl back inside the Hummer. As I reach for my seat belt, my fingers wrap around a cylinder of cold metal instead of the expected safety harness. Puzzled, I turn to see what it is, and I almost fall out of the car/tank again. I scream. Patty! There’s a weapon of mass destruction in this tank!

My mind races faster than Patty’s manic drive down the causeway. I’ve never laid eyes on an AK-47, but I’m pretty sure my well-manicured fingers have just been up close and personal with one. I can’t think of any good reason for our sweet little lady from Ludiwici to be flitting around South Georgia in a pink military vehicle complete with an assault weapon strapped to the back of the passenger seat.

Patty clunks the gas nozzle down, slides her card through the slot and in less than forty seconds, leaps into the Hummer as though she is Special Ops with attack orders direct from whoever is Secretary of Defense this week.

She glances at me. Your face is as white as a mashed potato, she says casually while firing up the engine and simultaneously drowning out all sound within a five-mile radius.

I blink once before reaching over to snatch the Hummer’s key from the ignition. It kills the noise and temporarily restores peace, if not globally, then within our five-mile radius.

We’re not moving one inch until you explain why an assault weapon is strapped to the back of my seat.

She looks at me as though I am stone stupid. Oh, fudge. It’s not real. Ha! Fooled you, didn’t it? That baby will fool the enemy, too.

Enemy? Just what enemy would that be, Patty?

She rolls her eyes. Duh! We’re fighting a War on Terror. Haven’t you heard?

Yes, I heard. I also heard that it’s being fought in the Middle East, not in South Georgia.

Duh. The War on Terror is everywhere and I, along with Homeland Security, plan to be ready to rock n’ roll and kick some butt.

A mental image flashes in my head. Tee-niney Patty is pointing her toy assault weapon at a terrorist with a bomb basted to his belly. It is not a pretty picture.

Go ahead and aim that thing at a terrorist while you’re perched on your Billy Barty booster chair behind the wheel of this gawd-awful pink Humvee, Patty. You’ll kill him because he’ll die laughing after blowing your butt to kingdom come.

She lets out a turbo charged breath. HumMER. Why can’t you get that?

Snatching the keys out of my hand, she fires up the engine. A patriot’s gotta do what a patriot’s gotta do. Besides, my application for a real AK-47 was denied. Just wait till Wayne LaPierre hears about that.

She shoots onto Highway 17 while I hold on for dear life. She might look like a sweet little lady from Ludiwici, but Ol’ Patty is packing heat “ mostly Hot Flashes.

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Editor’s Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com.

 

“PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ”

Cappy Hall Rearick was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was an English major at the University of South Carolina and later became a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Some years later, she moved to Los Angeles and then to Pennsylvania. In 1994, she returned to her beloved South to settle in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia with her husband Bill.

Cappy, an award winning short story writer and syndicated columnist, is the author ofseveral successful columns, including:ALIVE AND WELL IN HOLLYWOOD, TIDINGS, SIMPLY SOUTHERN and PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ monthly in the Lowcountry Sun Newspaper in Charleston, SC. She also writes an e-column called SIMPLY SOMETHING.

Cappy is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. Her recently published novel, THE ROAD TO HELL IS SELDOM SEEN, a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year, is available at www.amazon.comin print and can be downloaded and enjoyed at Kindle, Nook and all the electronic readers. Get ready to read and do nothing else because it’s a page-turner!

She is writing her next book, BRIDGING THE GAP, a psychological novel of deception and suspense. The SIMPLY books (SIMPLY SOUTHERN; SIMPLY SOUTHERN EASE; SIMPLY CHRISTMAS) are bound to make you laugh and maybe even tear up a little bit, especially if you enjoy remembering the good old days. With every page you turn, however, Cappy Hall Rearick will bring the South alive for you.

Rearick holds membership in the Georgia Writers, South Carolina Writers, Atlanta Writers Club, Florida Writers, North Carolina Writers and she is a sitting Board member of the Southeastern Writers Association.

In addition to writing, Cappy is a popular public speaker and can breathe new life into those good old days for your conference attendees. She is a dynamic creative writing instructor and is available to teach classes in column writing, Southern fiction, humor, memoir and short story writing. She brings forth fresh ideas to match her imaginative ways of turning a phrase. Book her now … and breathe new life into your next writer’s conference. Attendees will learn a lot, laugh a lot and go away itching to write better than ever.

If you would like to receive a monthly column of SIMPLY SOMETHING via email, send your request along with your email address to Cappy at: cappyhall@comcast.net She will be delighted to add your name to the preferred column list.

Read Cappy’s BLOG at: simplycappy.blogspot.com

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