Category: Carl and Raylene’s Travelogue

Carl: ‘Hey there, Carl here.  Raylene’s been hounding me about sending in an update, seeing as its been a while.  She’s a bit under the weather at the moment, so I may just get a word in edgewise.’

Raylene (muffled): ‘I can hear you CARL.  Good thing you’re on my good side, or I’d stuff your pockets with honey and leave you out for the bears.’

Carl (very quietly): ‘I’m just going to step out on the porch for a moment.  Raylene’s madder than a wet cat at the moment, seeing as how she’s laid up.  We’re back at home in Texas while she recuperates.  My mother is helping to take care of her.  To be honest, I think that’s like using kerosene to put out a grease fire, so I find myself catching up on outside chores and keeping the store up.


Well, let’s see now.  We told you about Niagara Falls.  Raylene still brings up that Mountie feller, and even suggested I get myself a Mountie uniform.  Why I’d be a part of such foolishness, I have no idea.  Any-hoo, we drove around a bit, and at Thanksgiving we found ourselves in Consekatquat, Virginia for the annual First Thanksgiving Re-enactment.  First, we both had to change clothes.  Raylene was not pleased, as she had a new pink sparkly thing (wrap, shawl?  I don’t know – some lady thing).  We got assigned to be Native Americans, so they gave us buckskin clothes to wear.  Raylene would have me tell you they weren’t actual buckskin, as she found a bar-code inside hers, but I don’t care all that much.  We got to help prepare the meal and everything.  Watching Raylene chase those chickens around until she caught one.  Heeehehehehehe.  Well, that was a sight I will remember.   They didn’t make us kill them or anything, we just took them around back, and brought out the store-bought chickens and put them on the spit.  Raylene about cried when they led their deer around back (for Pete’s sake Raylene, it has a bridle on, I don’t think they’re gonna shoot it).  I suspect the animal we served was actually a pig, but I didn’t want to say anything, being a good member of the tribe.  Solidarity and all.  Also, Raylene can be a bit touchy about whole pig, what with Bacon Bits.  He did not take part in the day as he was tuckered out from his other escapades. We men manned the spits, while Raylene was hauled off to clean vegetables and grind corn to make corn cakes.  I thought one time I saw a box of Bisquick over there, but, I didn’t say anything.  Solidarity.

After a day of turning meat and listening to Raylene entertain the others, we got to sit down to eat.  Near as I can tell, the Pilgrims were just in charge of setting the table, and pouring the cider.  They did fine with that.  We had a nice time.

After the meal, everybody helped clean up and Raylene got her sparkly thing back.  We said our good-byes and took off in Betty Jane.

The next day, Raylene declared she just had to do her some ‘Black Friday Shopping.’  We went to the nearest big city and found the biggest shopping mall around.  I found myself a nice seat on the balcony, with a cup of coffee, and watched Raylene stand in line with a couple hundred other folks, waiting for that one place’s doors to open.  She had Bacon Bits with her this time, in that little purse she uses to carry him.  Anyways, she had un-zipped it to feed him or kiss him or some such foolishness, when them doors opened, and the crowd, what would you say?  Swam?  No.  Stampeded?  Not quite that bad.  Surged.  Yep, it surged forward.  Raylene was shoved, and dropped the purse-thing.  Bacon Bits hit the ground and ran for it.  Next thing I know, I see Raylene flying OVER the crowd.  She can jump when she has a mind too.  All blonde hair and sequins, like a Texas rainbow.  Well, it all went South from there.  I will spare you the details.  One minute I see Raylene land, and set about finding her pig in a manner that would make a Dallas Cowboys Lineman proud.  The next minute, pandemonium.  When the dust settled, five of six of us got up from the coffee place and head down to sort out the mess.  No one was seriously hurt, but Raylene had banged up her shoulder, and had a few other injuries. . . . . I’m going to just step off down to the garage for a minute.

Ok.  I don’t think she can hear me now.  I don’t know how to say this.  Heeeehehehehe.  Somehow, Raylene had been impaled.  Nothing serious mind you.  No.  But she had one of her sparkly high heels imbedded in her. . . .in her . . . . rear end.  Ohhhh!  Hehehehehehehe.  Nothing a few stitches didn’t fix.  I have no idea how it happened.  She told me to swear I’d never tell.  However, then Bacon Bits ate three or four perfume samples, so she got distracted and didn’t notice I promised no such thing.


Well, that’s about that.  She’s pleased as punch with me right now, because I spent the best part of the night while she was sleeping soundly (courtesy of her pain medication) bedazzling her shoulder sling.  Took a little bit to get the hang of it.  Had to practice on Bacon Bits’ blanket – so she thinks it was a gift for the pig too.  If she and my mother don’t kill each other, I’m going to be a hero around here for a bit.

I think maybe I’ll just take myself off for a couple days.  See if I can find some hub caps for the store.  After all, we have to keep stock. . . . I’m really doing it for her, after all.

Yep.  That should work.


See you in a few!  This has been Carl Schputt.  And I’m out.’


Carl and Raylene's Travelogue

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.’


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.’

Carl and Raylene's Travelogue

Carl: ‘Hi there.  Carl here.  We’re in Wisconsin.  Raylene told me to bring you all up to speed while she ‘ran in to pick up a few things.’  She spotted this place called ‘Papa Bears’ and just had to go inside.’

[scratching, and a stretching grunt]

‘Well, we left that pickle place and figured on stopping a few places on our way through Wisconsin.  We stopped at the cheese palace.  Lot of cheese.  Lot of samples.  Got me all bound up.  Filled Betty Jane with a ton of cheese and set out again.  All that cheese had me craving a good sausage.  Found a place called the ‘Sausage Palace.’  Not what I was expecting.  No.  Not at all.  We stopped at a little polka bar instead, and met some real nice Wisconsin folk.  They bought us a beer and some ‘fried cheese curds.’  Oh my – I’d sell a truckload of hubcaps and drink a pint of pickle beer if I could have those regular.’


‘Anyways.  We made our way to the Mustard Museum.  Now, I like mustard as well as the next fella, but that struck me as a lot of mustard.  These Wisconsin folk are single-minded, aren’t they?  Hmmm, this package says its ‘mustard cheese.’  Which place you suppose that came from?  Well, anyways, Bacon Bits and I are sitting out here in the Skamper, munching on some cheese bites.  Got a nice flavor.  Kinda smoky.  These must be the smoked cheddar bites.  Here, let me grab that package.  Oh.  Oh my.  Well, those are bacon-flavored cheese bites.’

‘Do not tell Bacon Bits that I fed him bacon.’

‘Do not tell Raylene.’

‘I’d best just get rid of this package.  She always knows when Bacon Bits has been eatin’ cheese as his poop comes out looking like Lincoln Logs.  If she asks if he smell like bacon – just laugh and say ‘of course he does!’  Land sakes, here she comes.  What is she carrying?  That looks like a stuffed chipmunk paddling a canoe.  She also appears to be carrying a whole bag full of commemorative spoons.

‘Well, that about covers things.  Wisconsin was nice.  Uh, this is Carl Schputt reporting.  Hehehehe.’

Carl and Raylene's Travelogue

[Hi Everyone!  Kim here.  I think this entry was created shortly after Carl and Raylene’s trip to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.  I have no idea why it took so long to get here!  The box was pretty smashed up, it looked like someone (something?) had chewed on a corner, and smelled strongly of . . . . . something revolting.  Its best not to go into specifics.  I hope you enjoy the account of their trip!]

Raylene: ‘Well Hey!!!!  We’re back again, and hot on the trail of another . . . oh, what are the kids calling it?  ‘Epic Adventure!’  That’s right, we’re gonna have us an epic adventure.’

[Note: I wish you could really hear what Raylene’s laughter sounded like.  The best I can do is a cross between a hyena and a flock of geese.  Use your imagination.]

Raylene: ‘That ball of twine was a sight to see, but it ended up as rather a fiasco.  After we got that thing rolled back up, we had dinner with some of the townsfolk.  We got to talking about our little project here, and got some great suggestions about places we should head next!  Did you know there is a castle of cheese AND a mustard museum just one state over, in Wisconsin??  Well, I do believe we are heading there next.  Carl does love him some cheese.  Actually, he’s having a bit of a snooze right now so I won’t have him interrupting every 2 minutes!.  Not surprising really, as we got invited to a pot luck in Darwin, and the man purt near ate his weight in lutefisk, lefse, and some kind of ‘hot dish’ made with tater tots and cheese.  The cheese done made the man gassy, and that lutefisk does not smell any better in the encore.  Well, let me think now, we were headed East towards Wisconsin.  Bacon Bits had his head out the window, ears a-floppin.  Now – I don’t think I ever explained about Bacon Bits.  I told y’all he’s small – he’s only a little bigger than a football.  He’s fat as a little pig though. HA!  He IS a fat little pig!  Oh hold on to your underpants Raylene’s on a ROLL!  Anyways, no one knows why Bacon Bits is so small.  My cousin Pooter (who almost finished half a year of vet school – so he’s got some learnin’ to back him up) says there’s no reason that pig is so small.  As to why he’s so fat?  I suspect that’s cause we feed him on chili and fritos.  And cornbread, of course.  He just loves it – and I can’t deny my little porky baby what he loves.  Anyway.  Carl was driving along and Bacon Bits sets up a SQUEALING!  Lordy that noise was something.  We looked up to see a turn off for a pickle place.  Well, Bacon Bits loves pickles – and Carl and I don’t mind them ourselves!  We decided to check it out.  I’m going to try to recount the whole situation as it happened.’

‘CARL!  Turn off the road!’ I said.  ‘Let’s get us some pickles.’

‘K,’ said Carl as he cranked the wheel on Betty Jane hard enough to make the skamper rock.

There was the sign, arching up over the gravel drive: ‘Pickler’s Pickle Ranch.’

We drove up to the visitors center and hopped out. We were met by the sweetest-looking lady.  She was about my age, which is *cough* – so practically still a sprite.  She was a tiny little thing too!  I expect that’s due to eatin’ pickles instead of cheeseburgers.  She was smiling really big too.  Now I mean really big.  Eyebrows disappearing into her hairline, eyes wide open, can inspect her dental-work smiling.  With her was a man who looked exactly like Clint Eastwood – except happy, which I declare looked just plain wrong.  They were wearing pickle badges so we figured them for the owners.  After all – business owner to business owner – we just have a sense about these things.  We just walked ourselves right over to them.

‘Well hello there!’ said the lady. ‘We’re Pat and Pat Pickler!  We’re the Picklers!  Welcome to Pickler’s Pickle Ranch!’

Carl and I introduced ourselves and told them about our travels.  I said ‘A pickle ranch?  That just must be the most interesting work!’

‘Gotta wrangle up them gherkins!’ said happy Clint Eastwood.  Oh, ok – I should call him Pat.  But they’re both Pat!  I don’t want to confuse you.

Pat chimed back in, ‘We’ve been pickling for 3 generation on both sides of the family!  Pickling is in our blood!’

You know – I’m sorry about the exclamation points.  But, I have to be honest, and they were there.  I was kind of starting to wonder if Pat actually HAD pickling in her blood – it would explain some.  Still, I don’t want to be ungracious, and they were very welcoming.

Pat(s) gestured towards this big barn and happy Clint said, ‘Let us give you the Grand Pickle Tour!.’

As we walked through, we saw all kinds of pickling stuff.  I’ll be honest, I was busy chatting and not looking around so much.

Pat was wrapping up her explanation of the pickling process, ‘and that’s how we make the finest pickles in the upper central Midwest!.’

I said, ‘I do love a good dill pickle.  Big slab of brisket on a bun with that crunchy pickle right on top.’

Pat smiled (well, of course she did, she never once stopped smiling, but sometimes the expression in her eyes changed a little bit.  I got the impression she thought I was a pathetic fool – in a very nice, friendly, smiling way of course). ‘Oh my!  Well yes, dill pickles are nice, but you can pickle just about anything.’

I nodded, ‘You know, my grandmamma took first place at the Nose Lick town festival 47 years in a row with her watermelon-rind pickles.  Beats all what folks saw in them – I never could eat one without feeling like one of the pigs out at the feedin’ trough!  Oh!  Land sakes, I declare Bacon Bits, Mamma’s real sorry about that.’  Poor baby cakes needed some extra snuggles, I could just see it in his piggy eyes.

‘Well, yes, you can pickle those,’  Pat added.  ‘You can pickle just about anything!  You can pickle radishes, you can pickle carrots, you can pickle parsnips, you can pickle peppers, you can pickle beets, you can pickle onions!  Why, you can even pickle corn – tastes just like corn, only pickled!’

‘Around here we have a saying,’ happy Clint broke in, ‘CAN YOU PICKLE THAT?’

‘YES WE CAN!’ Chorused the Pats.

We went on in to the next room, which appeared to be some kind of sampling area.  There weren’t any other visitors at this point – can’t imagine why not!  Happy Clint gave a big ol’ wink and reached under the counter and pulled out a mason jar.

‘You know  little pickle juice is just the things to keep everything running as it should,’ he said, with another wink. ‘This is my very special private recipe – Pickle Beer.’

Well, when in Rome.  Oh who am I kidding – when in Rome buy shoes and jewelry!  When at the pickle ranch, I guess you drink pickle juice beer.  Now Carl and I don’t mind drinking a nice frosty beer now and again.

This was not a nice, frosty beer.  But they were hospitable, and we just cannot abide rudeness!   So, we took our glasses.

And were about to drink.  Really, we were.  When all of a sudden Bacon Bits comes a tearing out the other room like his little curly tail was on fire, and ran around at top speed crashing into purt-near everything!  (My little pork-muffin is NOT a graceful creature).  Carl and I both ‘accidentally’ spilled our pickle beer as we ran around chasing him.   Little critter busted darn near every jar in the place!  Carl finally tackled him and I was able to scoop him up.

‘Oh my Mr. and Mrs. Pickler, I declare,’ I started.

‘Just call us Pat!.’

‘I’m so sorry, Pat.  I just do not know what got into Bacon Bits here.  He’s usually just a sweet as a sticky bun.  Please let us make it up to you and help you clean up this mess.’

Pat smiled, ‘You don’t worry about that.  He probably just saw the pickled pigs feet!’

‘Oh My Land Sakes!  My poor baby saw that!’ I nearly fainted, and Bacon Bits was shaking so bad I thought we were having an earthquake.

‘You can pickle those,’ said happy Clint.

Well – I must say we bid our good-byes as politely as we could and bought 8 or 9 jars of pickled products (NOT PIGS FEET) to try to make amends.  My shoes still smell like pickles and pig fear.  Bacon Bits has recovered – a jar of pickled jalapenos on his evening chili sorted him right out.  I have to say – if you’re visiting tourist attractions in Minnesota – go for the ball of twine, skip Pickler’s Pickle ranch.

I think I’ll stick my feet out the window and join Carl in a little snore fest.  Ta -Ta everyone!

Carl and Raylene's Travelogue

[Kim’s Note: If you will remember, I introduced Carl and Raylene Schputt a couple of weeks ago.  They will be submitting occasional reports of their travels as they ‘see all the important things to see’ across the country.  They are the owners of Nose Lick Picks, a curio shop that specializes in decorative hubcaps and commemorative spoons, just outside of Nose Lick, Texas (which is in the Northern-ish part of the state, solidly in the middle of nowhere).  You can refresh your memory with the post ‘Introducing Carl and Raylene.’  They travel the company with their inexplicably small pet pig, Bacon Bits, and their Truck/Skamper Betty Jane.  Carl and Raylene send in their reports on audio, so I will be transcribing.]

Raylene: ‘Well hey!!!  Here we are, Carl and I, famous reporters (hooting laugher).  I declare, we are just about having the time of our lives out here on the open road.  We’ve been out and about for a few weeks now, but I’ve been having so much fun I’ve forgotten to keep up with my reporting.  Isn’t that just the way its been, Carl?’

Carl: ‘Yep, sure is.’

Raylene: ‘Oh my land sakes.  Let me start at the beginning.  First, we drove up through Cedar Rapids, Iowa to check in with Kim as we got our ‘official’ travels started.  For some reason, the city has erected a statue of a giant toilet brush in the middle of town.  Bless their hearts, doesn’t make a lick of sense, but does go some way to explain the smell.  In any case, I pulled up to Kim’s house for a little visit (and a sticky bun, because she had them, and it would be just rude to refuse!  Also, I never refuse sticky buns, on principle.)  I declare, they have just the nicest little family.  Her husband reminds me a bit of Carl, so of course I left a big ol’ lipstick print on his cheek – ha!  He did not know quite what to make of me, but I get that a lot.  Carl gave him a t-shirt that reads ‘Been There, Done That, Got the Spoon.’  I think he liked it.  The little guy is as full of questions as a porcupine has prickles.  The little one is just full of sass and vinegar.  I just about put her in my pocket to take along, I think she and I might just be kindred spirits.  Kim – well, she’s a nice girl, she really is.  And she makes fine sticky buns.  But no fashion sense.  Just none, poor kid.  Some day, I’m going to get ahold of her and steal her away for the day.  First some shopping, then I got a box of makeup and a can of Aquanet with her name on it. . . . . Hmmmmm.  Well, I smooched those kiddos too, and Carl and I headed out.

[Note: it took two full days, three showers, a new loofah, and half a bottle of makeup remover to get those lipstick prints off my husband and children.  I am convinced Raylene’s lipstick could be used as a replacement for most industrial paints and dyes.]

Raylene: ‘Well, we drove on up to Darwin, Minnesota to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.  Really, it was the first thing on our to-do list.  After all, Mr. Johnson, who built the ball – Carl!  You remember Mr. Johnson!’

Carl: ‘Yep.  Came by the store years ago.  Sold him twine-wrapped hubcaps.’

Raylene: ‘That’s him!  Anyways, he was just a peach, and we always said we’d go see that little ball of twine he started.  Didn’t we, Carl?’

Carl: ‘Yep, sure did.’

Raylene: ‘So anyways there we were up in Darwin.  Just the day before there had been some kind of incident with the gazebo where the ball of twine usually sits.  I didn’t catch all the details, but it had something to do with pickles, maple syrup, and the mayor’s underpants.  In any case, the ball of twine had been moved out to a nice open area, and I do declare I think it was enjoying getting a bit of sun.  Well, Carl and I spent the better part of the afternoon admiring the handiwork and scouring the town for commemorative spoons (and we got some good ones too – for our collection, and for the shop!).  Why Carl!  Why do you look like you just found out that all the world’s copies of ‘Smoky and the Bandit’ had been copied over with lady shows?’

Carl: ‘Well, I just can’t understand why no one in that whole town knew what became of them hubcaps.  Would have really liked to see them again.  You’d think that’s the sort of thing that would have made it into the museum.’

Raylene: ‘Carl, its past time you stopped pouting about that.  I have to tell the rest.  So, we decided to back Betty Jane up to the ball of twine, cause her feelings get hurt if we don’t include her in pictures.  As we were posing, Bacon Bits got all out of sorts, an just started running round and round that ball of twine, and then hid under Betty Jane and wouldn’t come out!  It took the best part of 10 minutes and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to get him out again.   We figured we’d call it a day and pack up.  As we drove off, we were surprised how friendly all those folks were, just calling out and waving.  Well, we waved back and each one and gave a cheery little ‘beep beep’ on the horn.  It wasn’t more than a mile down the road, though, that we realized what had happened.  Somehow, that fool pig managed to untangle a loose strand, and it got hooked on Betty Jane’s bumper.  Bless my soul and bake me a cupcake, but we had unrolled that whole darn thing!  We felt pretty silly, but what was there to do but start rolling the thing back up.  The town people met us about halfway back, and with a bit of help we managed to get that whole thing rolled back up.  Of course, now my favorite lace hanky is missing and my new pink heels are just caked in mud.  But I do not despair.  You can’t clean up the back yard after Bacon Bits and not know a thing or two about cleaning shoes.  Pretty sure the hanky is in the middle of that ball of twine, though, and I’m not sure if I should tell someone.  After all, what if they weigh it, and not all the weight is twine?  Is it still a record holder.  I just cannot abide a falsehood, and I am just beside myself.  Well, nothing to be done now.’

Carl: ‘Wish I could have seen those hubcaps.’

Raylene: ‘For the love of bacon and flapjacks, Carl!  If you mention those hubcaps again I will hide all your belt buckles!’

Carl: ‘That’s just mean.’

Raylene: ‘Well, all, you don’t need to witness our squabbles.  I guess we’ll say ‘bye’ for now.  Don’t tell Kim what I said about her fashion sense, okay?  We’ll just keep that our little secret.  Oh!  Carl and I want to hear lots of ideas about where else we should go across this country!  Ta-ta!’

[Note: Raylene only has a loose idea of how this blog works – so its probably simplest just to add a comment about where you would like to see them go next!  I heard them say something about pickles since they are in Minnesota, but I will have to await their next report.]


Carl and Raylene's Travelogue

Hello to all my readers! (reader?)

I am very excited to announce a new segment here on Quirk and Logic!  I have been tirelessly interviewing potential contributors for a travel category.  I have found a couple that I just know you will love.  They will be traveling the country, reporting in periodically on what they find!

They were really the perfect candidates as they were already traveling the country, and had an extensive lists of sites to see.

I would like to introduce you to Carl and Raylene Schputt.

Here’s a little background on Carl and Raylene.

Carl and Raylene hail from Nose Lick, Texas, and have been married ‘since Carl had hair.’  They own and operate ‘Nose Lick Picks,’ a roadside shop that specializes in Decorative Hubcaps and Commemorative Spoons.  As a matter of fact, they are hoping to acquire some new merchandise for the shop on their trip around the country.

Raylene wears her very blonde hair styled ‘just so’ every day.  When the wind blows she looks a little bit like the ‘Flying Nun’ except with more sequins and lipstick.  She does ‘declare’ a lot, and dotes on her pet pig Bacon Bits.  Raylene declares that her somewhat curvyish, somewhat fluffyish figure is a result of ‘loving life and sticky buns a bit too much.’  She is, in fact, a hoot.  Perhaps a hoot and a half.  Definitely one of a kind (I hope).

Carl is a patient, much quieter soul.  He’s never too far from a YooHoo, and has an extensive collection of belt buckles – some shaped like Hubcaps!  I’ll be honest, I don’t have much of a read on Carl yet – mostly because Raylene rarely stops talking, and the poor man never has a chance to speak.  He seems happy enough though.

Then there’s Betty Jane.  That’s the truck.  Complete with Skamper – because ‘what fun is it to see the country if you’re always inside a Super 8!’  Its pink.  The truck, not the Skamper.  Bright pink.  Its. . . . . interesting.  There’s also quite a collection of tokens hanging from the rear-view mirror.  Raylene claims they are Betty Jane’s good luck charms.  I smiled when she said it, but I’ll be honest – I’m not entirely sure she doesn’t really believe the truck has a mind of its own.  Time will tell.

For the most part when Carl and Raylene check in, I’ll let them share their travels in their own words.  I’ll try to only add information when I’m relatively certain no one knows what they are talking about (from some of our early conversations, this may be frequently).

So – So long for now!  Happy Travels Carl and Raylene!

Carl and Raylene's Travelogue