The Kensley Report X – To Kim Cooper Brooks from Ken Ken – I almost beat Uncle Ben out of bed this morning. He did not get up until eleven o’clock and I slept past noon. Actually he said he got up about 4:00 AM and did a wild goat dance beneath the pine trees in the cul-de-sac in front of the house. According to him it’s sort of a celebration of life for real old guys but it took its toll on his ability to remain awake past six o’clock so he went back to bed to replenish his energy. He talks funny sometimes. He says he usually only does the wild goat dance on a Friday night during a full moon but something inspired him to dance early this morning. He said a voice told him to dance. I told him that was probably a stray thought and you don’t have to act on every stray thought you have. He said, “Oh.” Apparently he has never had a real thought before.
I watched “Storage Hunters” all day. It was hour after hour of “Storage Hunters.” Uncle Ben said, I can’t believe you’re watching that rubbish. It’s all mindless junk and increases the “Dumbing Down of America” factor tenfold. He said none of the so-called reality shows are real and every little crisis is staged for idiots with a ten second attention span so they won’t switch channels. So I said, “Okay Uncle Ben, lets watch “Victorious” or “Good Time Charlie’s” and Uncle Ben looked stunned for a minute and then said, “Nah, lets watch a couple of more hours of “Storage Hunters.” I’ve got about five or six brain cells left and I need to salvage something out of this deal.”
We ate at The Olive Garden. Aunt Kay said, “Look, I’ve got a coupon worth ten bucks at the Olive Garden!” Uncle Ben says, “Well, why don’t we go there for dinner?” Then he says, “You know this is quite a challenge for me and Kensley and you are really putting us to the test because I’m sort of quasi-retired and Kensley is out of school for the summer and we don’t take lightly to having to just up and take a bath and clean up all of a sudden for nothing more than going downtown in Statesboro, Georgia. Besides, I’ve got a three layers of dirt on my feet that have kept them warm since Wednesday and Kensley took a bath last Tuesday.”
Aunt Kay said we were bathing and we were not going to talk about it anymore. Uncle Ben left the room because, as he says, since he has gotten older and he is not too sure that he can whip her in a fair fight anymore, he has chosen to become more obedient. He cleans up pretty well. Aunt Kay cut his hair and shined up the bald spots on his head until it looked as bright as a 1953 Hudson Hornet hubcap. I was going to watch her cut his hair but he had to remind us that he likes to get his hair cut while wearing a pair of old briefs and it would not be proper for me to stand around gawking at him in his unmentionables (whatever that means) and besides, he says, “This ain’t no spectator sport.”
When we got seated at The Olive Garden, Uncle Ben discovered a dead fly on our table. He said he was going to handle the problem discretely but when he brushed the fly away with his napkin, the fly stuck to the napkin and since it was a cloth napkin, I could see he was becoming a bit annoyed. He tried to control himself but when the hostess came over he said in a pretty good sized voice, “I’m not sure I can eat at the same table where this poor fly just fell over dead. You know, I think the fly was here first and it would be the right thing for us to do if y’all just gave us another table and that would give you time to properly dispose of his poor little body.” The girl looked really embarrassed and after they moved us way back to a table right next to the restroom I noticed our service became much smoother and quicker. I could see people poking their heads from inside the waitress’ station to take a look at us. I think they were hoping it wouldn’t take us long to eat.
I said, “Uncle Ben you were pretty hard on her weren’t you?” He said, “Not nearly as hard as I was on that gal in the new restaurant out on the Dawson Road who brought me an empty soup bowl to the table so I could get some soup from the buffet line and then she said, “Can I get you anything else?” I said to her, “Yes Ma’am, you can bring me another soup bowl and, this time, don’t put your thumb in it. Ken Ken, sometimes if it ain’t right you have to tell ‘em. I know you and I are not put here on this earth to educate every dumb jackass that comes down the pike but sometimes you have to let them know they are wrong.
Unfortunately, it took us a pretty good while to eat. I could see the wait staff was getting more and more nervous because Uncle Ben takes naps at odd times and his head kept bobbing over and bouncing off the table from time to time and I was praying he would not get his face stuck in his seafood brodette bowl. Finally Aunt Kay and I finished up by dividing a Triple Chocolate Strata dessert and Uncle Ben paid the tab. I could hear him muttering, “My gosh, how in the world can two little short women like that eat that much doggoned food?” As we were about to leave, Aunt Kay exclaims “Oh no, I didn’t use my ten dollar coupon!” Then we had to sit there on that bench near the cash register while the manager, the hostess, the waiter and two dishwashers tried to figure how to give us back our ten dollars. Uncle Ben began to make strange noises from somewhere deep in his body and I saw the waiter jerk his head in our direction and I could tell he was very alarmed because his eyes were getting bigger than the brodette bowls. He ran over to us and snatched a ten dollar bill out of his pocket, and said, “This ain’t going to be hard to figure out because you paid us in cash so just take this ten dollars and we won’t be holding y’all up any further.
Uncle Ben took the ten said, “Thank you my man,” and we walked right out the front door as Uncle Ben explained to me again, “Sometimes you just gotta let ‘em know if things ain’t right.