Carl and Raylene: A Journey to Niagara Falls

Raylene: ‘Well hello there everyone!  Sorry for the delay.  We had to head home for a bit to take care of the store.  While I do love Carl’s mother, I don’t believe retail management was her calling as she hadn’t double checked the cash register in two weeks and sold a set of 8 ‘Elvis’ Greatest Hits’ spoons to be used as tablewear!  Nose Lick Picks just needed a bit of ‘Raylene Loving’ to get back on track.  Carl took himself on a tour of his favorite junkyards looking for hubcaps that tickled his fancy.  I swear – I’m still cleaning grease and grime out of Betty Jane.  Why that man just stacks those things any old place is beyond me!  Fortunately for him, he also brought home a big ol’ box of chocolates and a Rio Grande commemorative spoon I’ve been hunting for.  So, all is forgiven.’

Carl: ‘Sorry, I just lose my head around those hubcaps.’

Raylene: ‘I know my cupcake.  Anyways.  Let me tell you about a little mishap we had just before we headed back to Texas.  I think Carl gave a report on Wisconsin.  Picked up the cutest little stuffed chipmunk in this shop up there.  Unfortunately, Bacon Bits took an immediate dislike to it, and found it had been eaten the next morning.  Shame really.  I had planned to fix it to Betty Jane’s dashboard.  We decided to head out to see Niagara Falls before winter set in.  We headed east and took in the fall colors on the way.’

Carl: ‘I sure like the orange.’

Raylene: ‘Carl, you know what’s coming, there’s no hiding from it.  Once we got close, we stopped to ask for directions.  A nice fella out chopping wood told us to keep going along the highway and turn left when we saw the moose.  Well, a bit farther on we saw a moose standing right next to a turn off, so we took the left and kept going!  I was wondering if that fella could see the future, like Miss Deborah from back home.  Carl – you remember Miss Deborah Hinkle?  Well, her mother was a Stevens and she was a Stackhouer before she married.  Her family lived out past the stock yards, but after she married, she and Buck Hinkle moved into that really tall house near the bank?  Well anyways, Miss Deborah always said she could tell the future.  I don’t know how much store I set by all that.  Mostly the future she could tell was who was stepping out with whom when they weren’t married to that same person.  Land sakes, you can find that out if you go to the beauty salon.  There was one time, though, that she said she had a dream about an armadillo eating money, and sure enough a couple weeks later they had an armadillo find its way into the bank – just wandered in!

Carl: ‘I don’t much care for armadillos.’

Raylene: ‘No one does dear.  Can’t figure out if they’re animals or bugs, and they make a frightful bump if  you hit one with your car.  In any case, this young man must have known the future because he knew that moose would be there and so we took the turn and headed north.  After that, none of his directions made much sense.  After an hour we realized we might just be lost.  Bacon Bit made it known he needed to use the little piggy’s room, so Carl pulled off along the road.  Well, sure enough that little stinker just took off into the woods!  Well, I took off after him, although I was wearing my very favorite coral-colored heels (they are a bit lighter than the salmon-colored ones, and just a bit more orangey than the medium-pink ones).  I am here to tell you, nature is not a good surface for running in heels.  Give me a good shopping-mall and a sale, and I can show you how to run in heels!

Carl: ‘Perhaps, my treasure, you could choose some other shoes?’

Raylene: ‘Don’t be ridiculous Carl.  You know you like what those heels do for my figure.  Anyways, I set off into the woods after that pig and told Carl to wait with the Skamper.  I knew I was on Bacon Bits’ trail, as I kept finding little poops that looked like Lincoln Logs.  I knew Carl kept sneaking him cheese.  After a while I wasn’t really sure which direction was which, but I saw Bacon Bit rooting around on the ground.  He must have known he was in trouble because when he caught sight of me, he made to dash off, but I had had enough!  I tackled that little porker right to the ground.  My coordinating mint green and coral outfit got a nice brown dirt accent, I lost one of my pearl earrings, and I do not want to think about how many leave were in my hair.  When you use the Aquanet, as I do to get this voluminous effect, getting leaves in your hair is no laughing matter.  Luckily, I found I was quite near a road of some kind, so the walking was a bit easier.  Then, one of my heels just plumb broke off.  Well, I am sorry to say I completed the spectacle by just bursting into tears.  Well, before long, a car came along and stopped.  Out stepped a man dressed in red who offered his assistance.  When I asked for his name, he told me his name was Officer Simon with the Canadian Mounties.  Oh my, what a HANDSOME young man.  I tried to wipe some of the mascara off my face, and gave him my best smile, and explained the situation.  I must say, he appeared to be trying not to laugh, and he kindly explained that we were somewhat off track, and I had crossed the border to the north.  I realized what had happened.  It appears my dash through the woods took us on an international adventure.  I had made it into Canadia!  I didn’t even realize it, although I did expect the smell of maple syrup and Canadian Bacon to be stronger.  Come to think of it, I thought that there would be more of those huge and dangerous moose about, like I’d seen on the tv.  I gave in and gave a good ol’ hoot of laughter, and he must have decided it was ok to join in.  He offered to help me get back to Carl and Betty Jane.  Then, just over his shoulder I saw the biggest animal I ever saw!  It was a moose!  A huge moose!  And it couldn’t have been more than 30 yards away.  Well, I screamed and leaped into young Officer Simon’s arms, I believe that took him off guard.  (Ladies, let me tell you, even in my moment of terror, I felt just like I was on the cover of my own romance novel!).  Officer Simon gently put me down, and kindly showed me the fence on the other side of the road, and explained that that was, in actuality, a protected nature area.   I felt a bit foolish, I’m not afraid to say it.  But, you can’t take back feeling like you’re in a romance novel, so there’s that.  I left him with a big ol’ pink lip print on his cheek and a smile on his face. ‘

Carl: ‘I don’t believe you shared that part before.’

Raylene: ‘Oh Carl, you know you are my one and only, like two matching hubcaps.  Don’t you worry none about a little fantasy now and then.  Anyways, I tucked Bacon Bits back in the Skamper and told him that he would be eating oatmeal and vegetables for 2 days.  And I mean it this time!  I broke my shoes and my dignity and almost set off an international moose incident!  Canadia indeed!   Well, that nice officer gave us directions again, and we found our way to Niagara Falls, after turning left at the sign reading ‘Niagara Falls this way’ with a picture of a moose pointing the way.  We decided to do things proper and went on the boat ride.  How was it?  It was loud.  And wet.  My poor hair just did not stand a chance.  All that mist just plastered it to my skull and the Aquanet re-hardened so I looked like a drowned muskrat and the rest of my makeup just ran amok over my face.  Carl got himself into a conversation with some New Jersey folk about gold-plated hubcaps and seemed to be having a high-old time.  Bacon Bits remained behind in Betty Jane, as pets were not allowed, and he was in disgrace anyways.’

Carl: ‘Gold-plated. Don’t that just beat all?’

Raylene: ‘Well in any case, we left the Falls and I had Carl drive me straight to a beauty salon.  As I sat in the chair getting all done up (with a mani-pedi for good measure), I indulged myself by imagining, just a little bit, the story of the frazzled blonde Texan who is saved from her distress in the wilds of Canadia by the dashing young Mountie.’

[sigh]

Raylene: ‘I do feel better with my hair as it should be and my nails a bright, sparkling pink.  And I got Carl here with me, so who needs Mounties anyways.  Until next time y’all.’

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