Of Country Ham and Laundromats

You know it’s been a slow week when your excitement peaks on Blue Monday at the laundromat.   We’ll save that for last, so you first can hear all about a festival so boring that even its vendors are incapable of enthusiasm, one so dull that the church people apologetically ask $5 to park in its lot, and the homies don’t even bother to post “NO PARKING” signs.


I’m talking about Lebanon’s Country Ham Festival. You thought Lebanon was a mostly Muslim country where they don’t raise no pigs? It is, but this one ain’t. This Lebanon is 20 miles up the road from Campbellsville. Country ham is an acquired taste, and like chitlins’, its odiferous boiling creates that rarest of occasions when the flies on your window screens struggle to get out.


The Ham Fest had some decent food – funnel cakes, caramel corn, and a pretty good beef menu – but you would have been out of luck on the arts and crafts unless you wanted a belt with your name carved into it. Or maybe not; there were 80 other booths offering various crafts, but most appeared to be Chinese imports made specifically for “crafts fairs” or as dollar store stock. The music was good. We heard a clear recording of Diana Ross doing Someday.


Which brings us to the laundromat. Travel trailers are too small to carry a washer and dryer, so we are dependent upon washaterias. You can meet interesting people there. A couple of them met me. And when the mood strikes, I can be very interesting.


I like liquid detergent.   It mixes with water instantly. You can rub it into stubborn food stains and to some small degree mitigate them. But liquids can leak, and will when their container suffers a puncture. I have no idea how that happened, but our Wisk bottle somehow, somewhere suffered a lethal wound. We set the container wound side up, and I promised Kat I would look for an empty at the washateria.


Once there I started the wash process, and then set about looking in the trash for an empty detergent bottle big enough to handle a quart of Wisk. These big trash cans all have closed, hinged tops. Empty handed, I probed around in the first one. A black guy was watching me. I thought about explaining my purpose, or pretending to eat something out of the can, but decided to let him wonder. I pulled several items out of the first can, but none would hold liquids. The man was now watching me intently. I moved over to the second can, and after reaching into it down to the shoulder, I came out with a liquid detergent bottle large enough to take my leaking soap. I carried it below his line of sight and then poured my Wisk into the sound Brand X bottle. It was plain that he was thinking “Them peoples crazy”.   He looked a little like Earl Billings (the AFLAC guy), the only human in their ads who ever finds it odd that a duck can become an insurance salesman.


Earl Billings
Earl Billings

Here he is at the very end. You get some Yogi Berra at no extra charge. Enjoy!



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