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Well shut my mouth

 

L. D. Childers Columnist

  Sometimes I talk too much. People who know me a little bit may laugh at that statement, as I’m normally pretty tight-lipped. Strangers sometimes mistake me for a cigar store Indian, especially when I wear some of those clothes Gert picks out for me. But sometimes I talk and talk and talk.

  I think my occasional loquaciousness (I love my word-a-day calendar) is usually due to nervousness. Change makes me nervous—pretty much any kind of change. I still feel a little uneasy driving a car without a cassette player.

  Gert says I’m just an old fogey. (The word “fogey” is from the Greek “foghat,” meaning “an old guy who wears his fog like a hat.”) She says I should embrace change. This from a woman whose hair style—well—whose hairstyle is just fine.

  Of course the problem is when I try to embrace change, I talk so much, pretty soon change gets sick of me and tries to distance itself. I can’t blame it really. So when I encounter change, I always revert to my same old bad habits. I seek out foods that are 200% cholesterol. I tease women who can beat me up. Stuff like that. And I babble.

  Sometimes I can tell I’m talking too much, because I wander off the topic. For example, I recently went to the hardware store to buy some hardware. There were entirely too many hardware choices. An excess of choices makes me nervous. What if I make the wrong choice? Hardware selection errors can have disastrous results.

  Some of the choices were so new-fangled, I suspect they were invented by beings who have visited from other planets. You know the ones—the guys who came here years ago and left the pyramids, and Donald Trump’s hair, and other hard-to-explain stuff.

  Anyway, all the excessive, mysterious hardware choices in the store made me nervous. I got into a pleasant enough conversation with a pleasant enough lady working at the cash register, and within minutes I found myself telling the pleasant lady about the time in 1987 when my neighbor’s cats attacked me. I was on my way to the mailbox when I heard distinctly conspiratorial meowing from my neighbor’s front porch. Those cats never liked me. The two of them sprinted toward me—but I try not to dwell on bad memories. I used to dwell on the past more than I should. I remember a time when I’d think about the past quite a lot. For the past several weeks I’ve been much better about not dwelling on the past. Now, when I think about all that time I wasted thinking about the past, I get so depressed I could almost cry.

  Looking back, I wonder if the pleasant hardware store lady may have been frightened by my meandering talk while I tried to hold up my half of the pleasant conversation. I wonder if I should be frightened.

  Gert tells me I sometimes get a far-away look in my eyes when I talk too much, like my brain has kind of gone off to a different plane of reality or something. I wonder if it’s the space creatures who somehow take over my brain and make me talk too much. I wouldn’t put it past them. Maybe they get bored putting mysterious stuff here and there to make us nervous. Maybe sometimes they just go for the short-cut, and go right into our brains. Kind of like the Vulcan mind meld, but hands-free.

  Anyway, Gert says I look sexy with my mouth closed. She’s probably right. I’m going to work on it.

             

   L. D. Childers lives in Henry County. He could tell you more about himself, but it would probably be more than you’d want to know.

 

 

 

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