Love, Kristen: Milkman Dan, Squirt and Great-Aunt Nettie Merle

Happy Solstice belated for those who recognize the longest day of the year as being ritualistic in nature, or for those who see it as the first day of summer. Either way, to me it’s a blast, especially for being off the next two months with not a care in the world.

That’s the beauty of teaching and not having too many bills. My folks own a cabin up at the lake, where I’ll be spending a lot of my time; but since school let out, home is where I’ve been, just catching up on housework, chores and fixin’ my place up.

The back deck needs painting, so today I went down to the bank’s only drive-up ATM in Beckley to withdraw some cash for buying necessary supplies. Wouldn’t you know I’d pull right behind Nettie Merle Hatfield, Johnny‘s great-aunt and the worst driver in the South.

Nettie Merle

Nettie Merle Hatfield  (Photo swiped from the Net)

Not only does she give her dog the willies, which, by the way, should be wearing a seat belt in the picture on the left; but Johnny even turns a paler shade of white whenever she drops him off at school.

Poor lady, I think she may be on the threshold of dementia; so I just stayed back and watched her in total amazement, wondering how she ever gets things done anymore.

Here in a nutshell, a rather large one at that, is what I witnessed this afternoon:

1  Nettie Merle pulled up to the ATM
2. Backed up and pulled forward to get closer,
3. Shut off the engine.
4. Put the keys in her purse,
5. Got out of car because she was too far from machine.
6. Hunted for card in purse,
7. Inserted card.
8. Hunted in purse for grocery receipt with PIN written on it.
9. Entered PIN,
10. Studied instructions.
11. Hit “cancel.”
12. Re-entered correct PIN.
13. Checked balance,
14. Looked for envelope,
15. Looked in purse for pen,
16. Made out deposit slip,
17. Endorsed checks,
18. Made deposit,
19. Studied instructions.
20. Made cash withdrawal,
21. Got in car,
22. Checked makeup,
23. Looked for keys,
24. Started car,
25. Checked makeup,
26. Started pulling away,
27. Stopped.
28. Backed up to the machine,
29. Got out of car,
30. Took card and receipt,
31. Got back in car,
32. Put card in wallet,
33. Put receipt in checkbook,
34. Enter deposits and withdrawals in checkbook,
35. Cleared area in purse for wallet and checkbook,
36. Checked makeup,
37. Put car in reverse,
38. Put car in drive,
39. Drove away from machine.
40. After three miles I bet she released the parking brake.

I know #40 is standard for Nettie Merle, having seen her wheels smoking while dropping Johnny off, and hearing him yell to her, “Nana, take off the emergency brake before you set the friggin’ car on fire.” At least the boy has toned down his cussin’.

Thank goodness she didn’t recognize me in the auto behind her. She would have walked over and started jawing for an hour.

Outside while working in the flower garden, I should have known today was going to be progressively annoying after hearing Milkman Dan early this morning as he exited his truck with two gallons of milk, telling my next-door neighbor’s ten-year-old daughter, “You know, Karen, I’ve been troubled lately by the possibility that a giant meteor could come hurtling out of the sky at any moment.”

“Really,” the young girl said. “What would happen?”

“Well, the initial cataclysmic impact would kill tens of millions instantly. The ensuing cloud of dust, smoke and steam would destroy the remaining life over the next few months,” the milkman said. “During which time, the survivors would play out their remaining days in a grisly carnival of cannibalism and unimaginable agony.”

“Yuck, why do you think about such awful things?”

“Well, it makes me feel less guilty about having just run over your cat on the dirt road up here!”

That’s when I went berserk and laid it on thick, telling him that’s nothing to tell a child. “You can give her nightmares,” I added. “You are totally an abusive, horrible person.”

“Oh, I’m just foolin’ with Squirt. I know she don’t have a cat. We always kid around like that to see if we can gross each other out,” he said. “Besides, she’s my niece. We’re all family here.”

“That’s right, Miss Kristen,” the youngster said. “I was going to ask if he cleaned up the road pizza and was gonna take it home for dinner.”

Both Dan and Karen were in stitches, making me feel like a dumb-ass.

I bet you’re saying to yourself while reading this, “There aren’t milkmen anymore.”

Ah, but out here in the sticks, it’s a specialty provided by Clyde Curtis, a local dairy farmer, delivering freshly pasteurized milk daily. I don’t drink it much and buy it for coffee at the convenience store when needed, which probably comes from Clyde anyway.

Incidentally, similarities from here to any persons, things or zombies anywhere, known, unknown, dead or alive are purely coincidental.

All’s well that end’s well. Have a great summer. Until next time,



About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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