Dogs Humping: Buckets of Love
By Paige Bernhardt
Mom' s in the Army and Larry's shooting anything that moves and
I' m racing back and forth on the porch barely clearing the buckets.
found what she was looking for in the Army. She married a handsome
Green Beret from West Virginia. And she stayed married to him for
twenty-six years. They had my sister who I used to hate but now
their 25th year of marriage, Mom started singing with a country
gospel music quartet led by a guy named Gordon. In the 26th year,
the Green Beret made her choose between the glamorous life of a
professional country gospel music singer and twenty-six more years
of doing secretarial work for free. `Kay, bye.
married Gospel Gordon (the guy who puts his fingers up in rabbit
ears behind somebody' s head in any picture he' s ever in. No, it'
s really, really funny. Every time.) The gospel quartet broke up
and so the newlyweds became a duo called "See the Light."
Which, in their web address could be interpreted as "Seethe
Light" but Mom didn't have a problem with that. I still don't
quite grasp what it might mean, but I'm certain the implications
bought an RV and started driving. They used to have a regular gig
singing at Wal-Marts around the country. Usually at openings of
new Wal-marts or when, say, a Division One store would upgrade to
a Super Store. They' d be there. This gave them an income, supplemented
by love offerings at various churches along the way. A couple of
times they set up a fireworks booth at this one place outside Austin.
Things were pretty sweet for Mom and Gospel Gordon.
the Wal-Mart gig dried up. I guess Sam Walton thought it might be
too inflammatory for a middle-aged couple to be singing, "Have
a Little Talk With Jesus" right next to the Britney Spears
cutout and the rifle display. But they' re still out there, spreading
the good news. (If anybody needs a W.W.J.D. bracelet or some Screamin'
Petes firecrackers, I can hook you up.)
Good News Truck and Trailer Show travels mostly in the South between
West Texas and Florida. But they've driven up as far as New England
and Canada in that thing. I can't figure it out. The damned RV keeps
dropping parts along every major interstate. Every time I talk to
Mom something new broke or fell off. One time it was the septic
system. It leaked down under the floor of the RV, you know, between
the floor and the bottom of the vehicle that sees the road. See?
Like the worst S' more ever. Not to mention Mom occasionally just
falls out of the thing altogether. When the door opens, a little
step's supposed to automatically come out under it. Sometimes it
doesn't. Mom just tumbles out onto the pavement. They also have
a little schnauzer dog they' re trying to breed. Just take a moment
and try to imagine a Saturday night in that RV. KOA campground on
the outskirts of Baton Rouge, the Happy Goodmans playing softly
in the background, Gospel Guy lovingly icing the wounds from Mom'
s latest fall while they cheer the tiny dogs humping on the driver'
back to Christmas. (ha-HA) On Christmas Eve Mom calls. Gives me
a complete rundown of her schedule for the next two weeks, which
I immediately forget. Then her voice gets all soft and she says
she needs to share with me something really, really important. Okay,
shoot. (That' s me sounding casual.) Gospel Gene had a dream about
me. Me. He dreamed I was drowning in the lake of fire. Sputtering
and flailing and going down for the last time and all that. And
she sounds really serious. Not casual at all. I resist the urge
to tell her she' s a lunatic, hoping that on some level she already
knows this anyway, and I tell her it' s just a dream. I ask her
if she likes the new microphone I got her for Christmas. She says
yes. Good. Gotta go. Love you. Love you the most (whatever that
always means) and we hang up. And I don't give another thought that
night to Mom, the humping dogs, or to Gospel Gordon' s dream until
I wake up at five the next morning hot as fire with this weird burnt
feeling on my tongue.
PAGE 1 2
version for easy reading
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|