The whole time I was in PurtyMouth, I kept hearing about this woman who was going to come by. She was apparently interested in my mom’s books, of which there were about 4000 in the store. Unfortunately, I had sold all of the books and bookcases to another local. I assumed she was just going to resell them until her daughter told me, “Oh, she’ll probably read ‘em all.”
So much for my Podunk stereotype.
Finally on Saturday morning, she came. A weathered old cowgirl who was probably quite the looker in her younger years. In fact, she probably still got a lot of attention from the old country men. I didn’t know it was THE WOMAN. But I saw a customer perusing the shelves of books, so I felt compelled to inform her.
“I’m sorry, but all of those books are sold,” I said.
“Oh, I’m Cowbell from down the street. (Your dad) wanted me to come by and look at books.” She seemed disappointed.
“I’m afraid all I have left are several boxes of romance novels . . . if you’re interested.” Dumbass, of COURSE she’s not interested. She’s a cowgirl.
“OH?! That’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for!” And the verbiage unleashed like a bronc at a rodeo.
“See, I’m writing a romance novel. I’ve submitted several, but I’m looking to read different kinds. There’s a formula, you know.” She went on to tell me all about the rejection notices she’d received and how she had killed her heroine off in the book—a big no-no in happy ending land.
And then she began talking about the big birthday party for her horse that weekend. He was turning 34 and she had had him since he was 3 days old or some nonsense. He was a quarterhorse and apparently her long, long time pride and joy. Apparently, some years back, his birthday became the impetus for a giant annual celebration on the ranch. Her friends would gather, bringing gifts of apples and carrots, wrapped in gift paper, which the horse would tear through to get to the treats.
Apparently, I wasn’t looking impressed enough.
“Mr. Ed was his brother," she said. "Seriously.”
Oh sure. Play the Hollywood card. But sorry, honey, you'll have to do better than that. This is not my first rodeo.
"Oh? Wow. Cool." Well I couldn't say what I was REALLY thinking.
Cowbell gathered her meager purchases and said her goodbyes.
I sat back down and said, “She seems nice.”
My father, who had been mostly silent replied, “The rumor is she fucked that horse.”
I looked over, expecting to see a grin on his face, but there was none. He wasn’t kidding. In fact, I think he believed the rumor.
“Wow!” I thought, “Cowbell could have been Mr. Ed’s sister-in-law.”
Now THAT was impressive.