When it comes to being neighborly, I heard a very amusing story about a group of country neighbors who wanted to get together on a regular basis and socialize. As a result, about 10 couples formed a dinner club and agreed to meet for dinner at a different neighbor’s house each month. Of course, the lady of the house was to prepare the meal.
When it came time for Jimmy and Susie Brown to have the dinner at their house, like most women, Susie wanted to outdo all the others and prepare a meal that was the best that any of them had ever lapped a lip over.
A few days before the big event, Susie got out her cookbook and decided to have mushroom-smothered steak. When she went to the store to buy some mushrooms, she found the price for a small can was more than she wanted to pay.
She then told her husband, “We aren’t going to have mushrooms because they are too expensive.”
He said, “Why don’t you go down in the pasture and pick some of those mushrooms? There are plenty of them right in the creek bed.”
She said, “No, I don’t want to do that because I have heard that wild mushrooms are poison.”
He then said, “I don’t think so. I see the varmints eating them all the time and it never has affected them.”
After thinking about this, Susie decided to give this a try and got in the pickup and went down in the pasture and picked some. She brought the wild mushrooms back home and washed them, sliced and diced them to get them ready to go over her smothered steak. Then she went out on the back porch and got Ol’ Spot’s (the yard dog) bowl and gave him a double handful. She even put some bacon grease on them to make them tasty.
Ol’ Spot didn’t slow down until he had eaten every bite. All morning long Susie watched him and the wild mushrooms didn’t seem to affect him, so she decided to use them.
The meal was a great success and Susie even hired a lady from town to come out and help her serve. She had on a white apron and a little cap on her head. It was first class. After everyone had finished, they all began to kick back and relax and socialize. The men were visiting and the women started to gossip a bit. About this time the lady from town came in from the kitchen and whispered in Susie’s ear.
She said, “Mrs. Brown, Spot just died.”
With this news, Susie went into hysterics. After she finally calmed down, she called the doctor and told him what had happened. The doctor said, “It’s bad, but I think we can take care of it. I will call for an ambulance and I will be there as quick as I can get there. We will pump out everyone’s stomach and everything will be fine. Just keep them all there and keep them calm.”
It wasn’t long until they could hear the wail of the siren as the ambulance was coming down the road. When they got there, the EMTs got out with their suitcases and a stomach pump and the doctor arrived shortly thereafter.
One by one, they took each person into the master bedroom and pumped out their stomach. After the last one was finished, the doctor came out and said, “I think everything will be fine now,” and he left. They were all looking pretty pekid sitting around the living room and about this time the town lady came in and said, “You know, that fellow that ran over Ol’ Spot never even stopped.”
When I started, I didn’t tell you where I heard this story, but I would like to do that because it’s pretty special. Back in 1971, I heard Bob Murphy speak at a convention in Chicago. Bob is from Nacogdoches, Texas, and over the years he became the best-known humor speaker in the country. He has spoken everywhere including the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry and many other famous places. He came to Little Rock several years ago at my invitation to speak to a group of school administrators and I have considered him a friend. Because his brand of clean humor really fits me, I have used several of his stories in my column over the years.
Lo and behold, a few weeks ago I got a tape of some of Bob’s speeches from Lynnette Collums, who lives in Bee Branch, Ark., and who reads my column in our local paper. She used to work for Dan Dipert Travels and Tours based in Arlington, Texas.
During her tenure, she directed 22 tours through the New England states. On one of these tours she had a man from Baytown, Texas, who was also a friend of Bob’s, and he gave her the tape. They had many enjoyable times playing the tape as they traveled the countryside. This tape was also a favorite of Lynnette’s late husband, Layne Collumns.
Hope you enjoyed Bob’s story as much as I did.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway AR 72034.)