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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My friend Earl.

Earl called this morning. I knew it was him, because his name showed up on the Caller ID*. I figured he was calling to ask me to take the day off and go fishing on his pond, because that's what guys named Earl do. But then I remembered I don't have a friend named Earl. I do have a friend whose husband is named Earl, although he goes by another name. But he shows up on Caller ID as Earl. It's funny how names come in and out of fashion; I assume my friend's husband was named after an old guy with a pond. I was at the soccer field recently and caught the end of a girls' game.

"Go, Pearl!"

"Run, Ella, run!"

"Ruby, keep your eye on the ball!"

"Go, Rose!"

I did a double take, thinking they were being awful hard on a bunch of old ladies just trying to get some exercise. I was also surprised the YMCA sponsored a Senior Soccer League, given the high risk of injury. As it happens, those were the names of four and five year olds, probably with brothers named Earl, Barkley and Harold.

I wish I did have a friend named Earl with a pond and a lot of time on his hands, because I used to really like fishing with my Dad. Earl would like me, because I know the rule about never letting your mouth close all the way when you're fishing. I'm sure Earl would have his own set of rules and I would follow them, too. As an oldest daughter, I am not a rule breaker. If he said not to use the word "banana" on the boat, I wouldn't even think about bananas. I wouldn't touch his lucky lure and I wouldn't dream of wearing a red shirt if he said blue shirts attracted fish. You have to trust Earl. Earl is solid.

The mouth open rule, apparently, doesn't apply to other sports, such as Left Right Center. My so-called Bunco group is too drunk and chatty busy discussing politics to play Bunco and we usually resort to Left Right Center. For almost a whole round, I kept my mouth open, not by too much, just enough to be lucky. My lips got very dry and I drooled a little. I couldn't participate in the political discourse because my jaw was cramped. It dawned on me that my dad might have made that rule to keep me from talking. And I lost. But the woman next to me won and my very superstitious friend K. observed that I didn't do the mouth thing from the beginning, so that might be why it didn't work. She believes that to look away from the table during a game is the kiss of death. She lost, too, so I'd take that one with a grain of salt.

Today is so nice that me and Earl might just sit on the porch and have a few beers. It's real purty out there right now, with all the Wisteria. 'Course, Earl and me know we better enjoy it now, because in a few days we'll be pressure washing it off the dang driveway. Good thing we put tarps over our trucks.

Namasté, y'all!

* By the way, I'm ignoring my own advice and admitting to having Caller ID. I'm a terrible actor, so everyone knows I have it anyway.


Don Mills Diva said...

I think Earl as a boy's name is definitely due for a comeback!

Anonymous said...

After having read that, I, too, wish I had a friend named Earl. I would like those quiet moments with no obligation to do or say anything other than listen to water lap at the side of the boat, take sips from gradually warming beer, and relish cool gusts of wind that ripple the ponds surface and rustle my hair.

Anne Wolfe Postic said...

Baan Sawan: Not only are you my favorite restaurant in town, you obviously understand me. Maybe we should go fishing some time?

Unknown said...

Nick's great uncle was Ernest Earl Lockhart, but everyone called him Earl. Yes, this Earl was old, born 100 years after the War of 1812. I also want to point out that his initials are EEL (nifty, yeah?).