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Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story

– Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story –

Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story: Introducing Joe Bob Bass

This story introduces a character by the name of Joe Bob Bass. Joe Bob is a driller on an oil drilling rig that works the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.

I worked the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles for fifteen years. Many of the Joe Bob Bass stories came from that experience. I hope you enjoy his story titled “Wash Day Blues.”

By the way, do you know the difference between a fairy tale and an oil field story? A fairy tale begins, “Once Upon a Time.” An oilfield story begins, “No kidding guys, this is the truth.”

I loved the oilfield. Not only did each day bring a different challenge, but I met some interesting people. I was sixteen when I began my oilfield career. My first drilling crew featured a war hero, (he won the silver star in the Korean War), an ex-convict, and a man running from the law, (he was using an alias). Most of the men I worked with were upstanding citizens, (you’d be surprised how many preachers got their start in the oil field.)

I told my wife I’m the luckiest man I know. I love going to work and I love coming home.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy Joe Bob’s story, “Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story.”

Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story

“I’ll get some help, Dad,” said Trish as she ran toward the door.Wash Day Blues - Joe Bob's Bad Day

“Stop!” I yelled. “I’d rather drown in dirty wash water than have anyone see me like this.”

I couldn’t escape my prison. My sides and my tongue were bleeding. How did this happen?

Three weeks earlier my wife and I had negotiated for a mobile home.

“That’s it,” said the owner, “take it or leave it.”

“That’s the trashiest trailer I’ve ever seen,” I whispered to my wife, Rae.

“It’s either this or we live under a bridge,” she replied.

“We’ll take it,” I said.

The Oklahoma oil boom was in full swing, and housing was scarcer than twelve point bucks in hunting season. We were fortunate to secure the dilapidated mobile home.

Rae whipped the mobile into shape, but we lacked a drain line to our clothes washer. We hung the washer’s discharge hose out the kitchen window to empty into a barrel. This enabled us to wash clothes until we fixed the plumbing.

Saturday morning I returned home from working a double shift on the drilling rig. I was exhausted and looked forward to a shower and some sleep. Rae gave me a kiss and headed out the door to sell cosmetics to neighborhood women. I grabbed a towel and headed to the bathroom. When I passed through the kitchen Trish, my ten-year-old daughter, was loading the washer.

“You don’t know how to wash clothes,” I said.

“Yes I do,” Trish replied. “Mom showed me.”

We argued until I said, “I’m holding you responsible if anything goes wrong.”

“Oh, Dad.”

After the argument I showered. Trish started the load and left to find Rae. She located her mother and said, “Dad’s being a jerk. He doesn’t think I know how to wash clothes.”

“Apologize to your father for arguing,” Rae said. “That’ll smooth things over.”

Trish met her friend, Nicole, and headed to the house to apologize.

Meanwhile, I finished my shower and put on underwear and a tee shirt. I had forgotten to bring a clean pair of jeans.

“Is anyone home?” I yelled.

No one answered. My bedroom was at the other end of the mobile. I ran toward the bedroom. When I passed through the kitchen I slid in a pool of water and crashed to the floor. Water spewed everywhere from the washer’s exhaust hose. Trish forgot to put the exhaust hose out the window!

I jumped to my feet and reached for the washer’s electric cord to unplug it. I failed to realize water was spewing onto the electrical outlet, and I was standing in a pool of water. I grabbed the electric cord…and the electric cord grabbed me. At that instant I shucked my mild mannered identity as Joe Bob Bass and became the Amazing Three Hundred Pound Ballerina.

I pranced through the kitchen at light speed. Zzzzot…a leap, Zzzzot…a pirouette, Zzzzot…a triple spin on my toes with amazing energy, Zzzzot…a final leap, and I slammed into the refrigerator. The cord pulled free, and I fell to the floor in split position. (That’s when I wet myself.) My electrocution was over. I had survived the performance of a lifetime!

I curled into a ball in the dirty wash water and thought, ‘I’ll never walk again.’

Just then Trish entered the kitchen.

“Dad, I‘m sor….”

“You!” I declared.

Adrenalin surged through my body. I jumped to my feet, lifted her arm, and paddled her rear, (which probably isn’t recommended in parenting manuals. Then again, not many parenting manual authors have been electrocuted by their ten year old daughters.)

“No…No…No…” she yelled as she jumped from every stroke of my hand onto her posterior. We made a full three hundred sixty degree circle. I put Trish’s arm down.

“I probably should go,” Nicole, Trish’s friend, said as she shot out the door.

I hadn’t noticed Nicole. To my horror I realized that I was still in my underwear and tee shirt. I ran toward my bedroom, slipped in water, slid head first under a wooden chair in the dining room, and wedged between the chair‘s legs. I pushed myself up until the chair seat struck the bottom of our oak dining table. My hands slipped, and I fell down. I smacked my chin on the floor, and bit a hole in my tongue.

Somehow the chair wedged under the table. I couldn’t get any traction with my hands or knees. There I was…trapped like a bull in a squeeze chute.

That’s when Trish started out the door for help.

After I stopped Trish she turned and laughed.

“You’re one soggy individual,” she said.

“Shut up and help me out of here.”

We worked a full thirty minutes before the chair dislodged, and I was freed me from my prison. (It probably would’ve gone faster if Trish weren’t laughing the entire time.)

My legs had been pinned so long they fell asleep. I couldn’t walk. I crawled around the corner into my bedroom like a crippled walrus.

In the privacy of my bedroom I picked splinters from my sides, checked my swollen tongue, and dressed. When I returned to the kitchen Trish laughed.

“It wasn’t that funny,” I said.

“You should’ve seen Nicole’s face,” she said. “I bet she’ll never forget that little moment.”

Trish and I cleaned the mess thoroughly and sat in the living room until Rae returned. ‘She’ll never know,’ I thought

Rae returned, walked into the kitchen, and said, “Okay, what happened?”

“What are you talking about, dear?” I asked.

“Don’t try to smoke me, big boy. Who flooded the kitchen?” Rae asked.

I went to the kitchen and looked at the floor. There was the tiniest almost imperceptible fringe of water seeping from under the cabinets and appliances.

“You’re a regular Dick Tracy,” I said.

“You bet,” she said. “What happened?”

We shared our shocking secret.

“Poor Sparky,” she said as she doubled over in laughter.

I wasn‘t impressed with her compassion.

“I bet Trish won’t forget the discharge hose again,” she said when she finally caught her breath.

“I think I’ll install a safety circuit,” I said.

Wash Day Blues – A Humorous Short Story: Trish Was Right

Twenty years after the event, Trish’s childhood friend, Nicole, called. She asked if she could visit Rae and me. She had been living in Arizona. After she updated us about her family she asked, “Mr. Bass, do you remember that time you were in your underwear and paddled Trish? I’ve been dying to know what happened.”

Rae and I told her the story. She laughed until she cried. Trish was right; Nicole never forgot that little moment.

Copyright 2009 J-me

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