Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. My husband has provided me with the best Valentine’s present ever! He has arranged for our flock of laying hens to be replaced so the birds leave the barn on February 13th and don’t come back in until the 19th which means….no egg gathering for a full week! I love my Perfect Peter. All women aren’t lucky enough to find the love of their life like I have. I have a good friend in Indiana who is still on the hunt but there have been many who have tried to win her heart. One particular suitor had a unique approach to ‘wooing’ her. This particular knight-in-shining armor was akin to one of the “Trailer Park Boys”, you know, a beer-drinkin’, gun-totin’, red-neck but a knight nonetheless. The setting for their first meeting was a local waterin’ hole in the heart of southern Indiana. The meeting was not a romantic dinner for two but rather a group outing with many familiar faces, all co-mingling in the country establishment. Throughout the evening the karaoke machine was quite active and the consumption of beer was at its prime. A haze of cigarette smoke hung near the wooden barn beam-exposed ceiling. As the hour was quickly approaching for the waterin’ hole to close, the large group of friends began to depart, ensuring that the individuals driving were sober – or at least the most sober. As the groups began to depart, each group asked my dear friend if she needed a ride home. With each negative reply, it became clear to me that my friend was hoping for a ride with this ‘might-be’ knight. Observing that this ‘might-be’ knight would become a ‘definitely-not’ knight if my friend were sober; I attempted to get her to accept my offer of a ride home. My friend is a very independent, “I-know-what-I’m-doing” type of woman so I accepted her somewhat belligerent negative response to my offer of a ride. The only remaining option for her to get a ride was from a Paul Bunyan look-alike, less a front tooth or two. It is this description of the possible knight-in-shining armor that clarifies that my friend was not sober! I left the waterin’ hole, shaking my head and grinning a little with the full knowledge that this event was going to make a very entertaining story later!
I was not disappointed. A few days later, my friend called me. The conversation began with her lecturing me about leaving her with no ride home. I set the record straight and she knew that she didn’t have any room to argue. She proceeded to tell me that an offer of a ride did come from Paul Bunyan. The plan was going just as she had hoped. The commute home involved driving on back, gravel roads in order to avoid possible law enforcement agents in the redneck community where alcohol consumption is a common hobby. A detour was made because the shiny knight needed to “take a leak”. As one can see, the caliber of knights in Indiana is different from most parts of the world. As a gentlemanly courtesy, Paul left the radio playing while he was ‘leaking’ – a romantic radio station, I’m sure. During this time, my friend looked out the windshield recognizing some familiar territory which was somewhat unsettling. Several songs had played before Paul returned to the cab of the truck and his appearance was somewhat altered as he was wearing “nothin’ but his socks!” At this point, my friend asked me if I was aware of the fact that ‘Paul’ was missing a tooth or two from his knightly grin. At this point, I was crying as a result of laughing so hard that I couldn’t answer her question.
I have never let her forget how important it is to pay attention to a potential suitor’s smile and to determine whether or not he is wearing socks – as well as other pieces of clothing. And I was quick to add that if one was in such a state that one couldn’t determine either of these items, get a ride home with a known friend rather than a potential ‘knight’.