In a Sow’s Ear 9-14-09 |

In a Sow’s Ear 9-14-09

Ever have “one of those” weeks where the stack of stuff on your plate reaches from here to the nearest planet? Such has been the case this week, in fact, this entire summer has been a race toward the finish line and somebody keeps moving the line.

This column was going to mention the Bluegrass Jubilee show Big Timber is sponsoring in a couple of weeks. This said column was planned to regale you with the songs and comedy bits in the show. Then, a short while ago, the phone rang. A rancher friend down in Missouri (cattle, sheep & goats) called. Beulah (not her actual name. No one is christened Beulah anymore unless it’s a mule) was originally a Montana rancher, and every so often we have to have a phone “visit.”

When Beulah and her husband, Buster, first moved to Missouri, they lived in a 10-by-20 one-room cabin. They covered the floor with indoor/outdoor carpeting to keep the heat in and to avoid splinters in bare feet. At first, no electricity, then … they acquired the magic of lights. The next improvement was a telephone which worked most of the time. It was the telephone that led to the following story.

It seems a carpet cleaning company mounted a campaign offering free “carpet-cleaning” service. To the first several sales pitches, Beulah politely said, “No thank you.” But salesmen are taught to be persistent. Around call number five insisting on cleaning her carpet “at no charge,” Beulah decided not to fight the inevitable and gave the caller directions to the ranch.

Way later that day, here came a vehicle containing three people in suits, ties and city shoes. Not missionaries. No, this was a team of crack carpet cleaners. They’d had to drive down a rutty, washboard road, open three gates and circle a small lake to arrive at Beulah and Buster’s home-sweet-home.

Beulah watched them emerge from the car. One carried a briefcase. Another toted a machine of some sort which she assumed was the cleaning thingy. The third carried a clipboard. All three looked slightly thunderstruck as if they wondered what was so bad about working at Starbuck’s.

Clipboard carrier knocked on the screen door. Beulah opened it. Instantly her two dogs – a wolfhound and a collie – ran out of the cabin. A bum lamb, lingering nearby, ran in the cabin. The dogs circled the callers sniffing and greetings, doggie style. The lamb began to ricochet off the walls.

“Come in,” said Beulah over her shoulder as she commenced trying to catch the little mutton-maker which was bippity-bopping around like a rubber ball on a string.

“Baaa,” bleated the lamb.

The flabbergasted carpet-cleaning team muttered apologies and departed without even plugging in their machine (or offering to help Beulah catch the attention deficit lamb).

You’ll be happy to learn that Beulah and Buster now have a lovely three-bedroom house complete with a natural rock fireplace, indoor facilities and exceptionally nice carpeting.

Beulah can’t seem to convince the carpet company to send someone to demonstrate their product with a “free cleaning.”

Watch this space for an account of the wonders of the Bluegrass Jubilee show – or maybe another Beulah story.

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