Finally Published! – The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs

Finally Published! – The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs

The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs

The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs

The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
Part 1 of The Ruby Chronicles
Ruby Daniel is a 30-something widow trying to get by in a small backwoods Northern town in the 1950’s. Her chicken farm is failing, and she takes a weekend job as a barmaid at an illegal drinking establishment run by a crooked police officer, hoping the extra income will allow her to keep her farm and raise her kids.
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“Poor Little Deer…”

Mr. Hobbit and the Deer - 1942

Mr. Hobbit and the Deer – 1942

Isn’t that a “deer” little picture? That’s actually what Ruby said to me when she passed it over her coffee cup, laughing, but I’m stealing it for myself…

I got to see a lot of Ruby’s old photos last night; most actually had The Lady Herself in them. Mushy’s instincts are quite correct: she surely was a “looker” in her day.

It’s unfortunate that she won’t let me post any… Ah well… on with the story.

That man – whose name I’m not allowed to publish, and I won’t make one up because his real name was just so spectacular that I couldn’t possibly come up with a better one (I swear there’s a hobbit somewhere with the same last name, and no, it’s not “Baggins”, but wouldn’t that have been groovy-cool?!) – owned a cabin right beside Northland Lake. The photo was taken somewhere ’round about 1942-43, if Ruby’s guess is correct.

The deer was a “gift” from a couple of men who “found” it in the bush, wandering around without a mother.

“Hmmmphf!” says Ruby. “No doubt they shot her and then found the baby.”

Ruby says Mr. Hobbit – there, I’ve named him anyway, haven’t I? – was a real nice fella. She and her brothers and sisters and all their crazy teenaged friends used to go visit him. They would swim in the lake in summer, and skate on it in the winter.

He never let them on the lake after the sun went down, though, afraid something might happen to one of them, and no one would find them in the dark. So, after sunset, they would all crowd into his little cabin, and he would wind up the old victrola so they could dance.

Or he’d pull out his fiddle and they would dance to that.

Nice guy, Ruby says. It was Mr. Hobbit that gave them the deer to take home. “Followed us home right smart,” as Ruby tells it. “It was a tame little thing.”

Ruby’s Mom, now (She of the No. Forearms.), wasn’t so fond of having a deer around. I would have thought she’d worry about the gardens, but no, it was the railroad tracks that scared her. Ruby’s dad was the Line Foreman in Northland, remember, and their house was right beside the tracks. Ruby’s Mom was sure he’d be killed (the deer, not Ruby’s dad – although she probably worried about that, too).

That deer entertained them for most of the summer. It lived outside, but was not in the least bit adverse to coming in for dinner. Ruby always knew when her dad was up in the morning, because once it saw movement in the house, that little deer would be at the door hammering on it with his head. Her dad always gave him breakfast, too.

The bigger the deer got, though, the more Ruby’s Mom worried about him playing on the tracks… she finally convinced the kids to take him back to Mr. Hobbit’s cabin. They didn’t want to, but they did. None of them wanted to find that deer lying bloody on the railroad tracks some morning.

Ironically, after he had been back with Mr. Hobbit for a week or two, a couple of “rough” boys started trying to catch him. Trying to get away, Ruby’s little deer broke a leg on the rocks by the shore.

Mr. Hobbit had to shoot him.

I swear Ruby had tears in her eyes when she told me this story. She very nearly wouldn’t let me take the picture with me, for fear I’d forget to bring it back to her.

Which I had better go and do, right now.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Lucky” – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat

NewsFlash: Love Found on the Internet

NewsFlash: Love Found on the Internet

Image: I Heart U

“I Heart U”
Taken July 13, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

No, not me, silly! Myself, I am quite content with singlehood, as of yet; it’s Ruby that told me this story, and isn’t it high time for another one from our favourite Little Old LandLady?

Yes. Yes, it is…

We were watching a ball game… the Jays were playing; Ruby’s favourite team, and for once they were actually winning while I was watching, which is unusual, because I generally jinx them into doing stupid things that cause them to lose the game…

During a lull, Ruby started to talk – took me a bit to realize she was speaking to me and not the umpire – my first clue should have been that she didn’t start the sentence with, “Idiot!!” (Ruby rarely calls me that).

“Remind me to tell you a story when we go back to the kitchen…”

Me: “Oooh! What kind of story?”

“It’s a cute story. Funny, but cute, I think.”

Me: “Yeah? Is it about you?”

“No. Shhhh, now!”

So, I had to shhh for about 15 minutes. I got up to get another cup of coffee. Ruby doesn’t drink coffee in her living room. She says she forgets about it, and it gets cold. Usually by the time she gets her coffee on baseball nights, there’s only enough for a 1/2 cup left, but she doesn’t seem to mind…

By the time I’d jinxed the Jays badly enough for Ruby to give up on them, I was wired on caffeine and worked up about the upcoming story…

Me: “So, give it up.”

Ruby laughed. “Well, like I say, it’s funny, but it’s cute. *I* think it’s cute, anyway…”

And then, of course, she took a long pause while she sloooooowly wandered around her kitchen, sloooooowly getting cream for her coffee, and sloooooowly adding the sweetener (after first discovering that her little sweetener container needed to be refilled and sloooooowly refilling it), and then sloooooowly stirring it all up…. I was ready to strangle her before she finally started to talk.

“Have you met my niece, Carol, yet?”

Me: “No, I don’t think so.”

“Well, Carol has a friend that lives in the middle of the bush somewhere down in Southern Ontario, I don’t know where for sure, but she doesn’t live there all year ’round, anymore. She comes and stays at Carol’s place in the winter. Her name is Dahlia.

And last winter, Dahlia got using the internet, and got herself into one of those chat rooms…”

Now, as we all know, Ruby does not like or trust the internet, and I was really surprised that she actually knew what a chat room was at all. So I waited for her to start shaking her head and talking about how Carol’s friend got herself into something she shouldn’t have, and wondered how this story was going to turn out funny or cute.

“And, of course, she met this guy…” Ruby chuckled again, and stirred her coffee some more, making me wait it out.

Me: “Uh-oh.”

Ruby laughed out loud. “I was thinking the same thing, when I heard about it! I guess she started chatting with this fella, and after awhile, he was the only fella she was chatting with… His name was George. Well, you can guess where this is going, can’t you?”

Me: “Yes, I can. She fell in love and ran off with him, didn’t she? Did he take her for her cabin in the woods and she ended up destitute?”

“Now, don’t go gettin’ ahead of me; you’ll ruin the story!”

So I shut up again.

“So, Dahlia and this fella started talking about meeting up, and I guess that’s when Dahlia got a little nervous about what she was doing, and she talked to Carol about it.

Carol read all the letters, or what-you-callems that they’d sent back and forth so far, and she told Dahlia that the fella seemed like he was on the up and up, but then again, who knows for sure? So, Dahlia decided to stick to chatting with him for a bit longer until she knew a little more.

After awhile, though, she decided to take a chance and meet with the guy. Carol said that Dahlia could tell him her address…”

Me: “WHAT?! You’re not SERIOUS!! OH. MY. GOD.”

Ruby laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

“That’s about what *I* said! Now, let me finish the story!

So, they set up a date and time that this George-fella was gonna come to town and visit Dahlia, and Dahlia got more and more nervous as the day got closer. If I’d been Carol, *I* woulda been the one that was nervous-”

Me: “Yeah, me too!”

“-but Carol didn’t let on that she was when she told me this, anyway.

So, anyway, the day comes, and Dahlia was so worked up that she darn near hit the ceiling when the doorbell rang. So it was Carol that answered the door.

And she took one look at the fella standing there, and said, ‘GEORGIE!! What are you doing in town?!’

It was my nephew, George, Carol’s cousin, standing there! At first, Carol didn’t put two and two together, figuring Georgie had just come to visit ‘cuz he happened to be in town… but, no, it turned out that OUR Georgie was DAHLIA’S George all along!

Me: “So did they hate each other?”

“NO, they didn’t hate each other! They got along just fine, and as far as I know, they’re still seeing one another. Turned into quite the match, I believe.”

Me: “Oh. So, then, he didn’t take her for her cabin in the woods and she ended up destitute?

“NO! Now you be nice, or I won’t let you blog this one!”

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Obla Di Obla Da” – The Beatles

Just So’s Y’all Know…

Edible - But You'll Die, After...

Edible – But You’ll Die, After…
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
Fort Creek, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Somebody found Where the Walls are Soft by Googling “knickety knackety lyrics”, which piqued my curiosity, as I’d thought Ruby had made up that song… so I Googled it myself, and found the following, described as “most annoying song now and forever”.

It was also the song sung by the school-children in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds; something else I didn’t know, which really bugs me, because I love that movie. I should have recognized the song when Ruby sang it.


Alfred Hitchcock used the original lyrics of the song…

Anyway, here are those lyrics, just in case the next Googler really, really needs them:

I married my wife
In the month of June
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

I brought her home
By the light of the moon
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

She combs her hair
But once a year
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

With every stroke
She shed a tear
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Rustical quality
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

She swept up her floor
But once a year
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

She said that brooms
Were much too dear
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

She churns her butter
In her dad’s old boot
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

And for a dash
She’d use her foot
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

The butter it came out
All grizzle-y gray
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

The cheese it took legs
And ran away
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

She let the critter
Get away
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

I asked my wife
To wash the floor
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

She gave me my hat
And she showed me the door
Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Now, now, now

Ristle-tee, rostle-tee
Hey, donnie-dostle-tee
Knickety-knackety
Rustical quality
Willow-tree, wallow-tee
Now, now, now

I called Ruby, accusingly, and she sang most of it to me, but without the “ristle-tee, rostle-tee”, after telling me that she never said she’d made it up. She’d just changed the words of a song her uncle used to sing.

Anyway… that’s it. Slow day.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Captain Vegetable” – The Eddie & Andy Muppets of Sesame Street