Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Talent Show

The heartwrenching account of,
{Why I don’t do talent shows no more!}

Lidge and I had taken a load of freight over to Virginia City.  The mule th’owed a shoe, so we was runnin’ late and decided to call it a day and spend the night.  The camp had a dandy, little community theatre, and, in hopes of killin’ some time that evening, the folks was throwin’ an impromptu talent show. There was a fifty-dollar prize for first place, so all the miners was filing through doing jigs & flip flops & such, and tellin’ all manner of outrageous, longwinded whoppers that had never failed to bust up Ma & Pa, back home. Lidge insisted that if I was to read a page or two from my journal, they’d be mesmerized.  I did, and they weren’t! So after two or three minutes of dead silence and growing humiliation, I was staring at my feet in mortification, when I noticed that one of my brogans was untied and fixin’ to fall off; so I hoisted my foot up on the lectern to lace up my shoe. Well, folks began to marvel at my flexibility and dexterity, and some fella in the front row asked if I could wrap my leg plum around my neck.  I assured him that I couldn’t, and another ol’ guy bet me ten bucks I was mistaken.  Confident of some easy cash, I hauled off and swung my right leg for my left shoulder with all the determination I could muster.  My loosed brogan flew off, and my big toe became deeply embedded in my left ear, right up to the second knuckle!  Instantly my leg muscles cramped up, in a bunch, and my back went into spasm. Just when I figured things couldn’t get no worse, the frayed cuff of my overalls began tickling my nose, and I went into fits and convulsions of violent sneezing.  This sneezing persisted and grew in intensity, until a particularly virulent sneeze went directly down my pants leg, and proceeded to turn my pockets wrong side out and darn near blow off my underwear!  Reacting quickly, the horrified stage manager immediately dropped the curtain, cracking me on the cranium and knocking me colder than a dogcatcher’s heart!  About 45 minutes later, I come to in the local hoosegow, servin’ a three to six week sentence for vagrancy and indecent exposure. This concluded my stage career. Obie’s Quest

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