And so the first adventure of Sally Mae Riddley has hit the ground running!
The Trailer Park Tiara and Goat Incident is the first in a series of novellas about the adventures of Sally Mae Riddley, and hoo doggy, she’s a hoot! This story was so much fun to write–I giggled through the entire thing. It started off as a joke between a few friends, and eventually Sally Mae’s voice became so loud in my head she just busted out all over. Take a look at this excerpt:
The thing you gotta remember is the Queen of the Trailer Park title has been held by the womenfolk of my family for three decades. So for me, Sally Mae Riddley, the pressure was on. And I was really motivated, see, because of the goat.
I’ll get to that.
My nemesis was Mabelline Townsend. She had bigger boobs, true, but most people knew they was totally fake. You can’t hide nothing in a trailer park, ’less you’re real clever, and people called Mabelline a lot of things but clever warn’t on the list. Of course, fake or not, that kind of thing don’t matter to boys. If it’s got mammary glands, they’re going for it. Just look at my cousin Jimmy, stuck in the County Jail for the next six months on account of the cow problem he had.
Don’t act like no one in your family never got in trouble over something stupid.
Anyway, Mabelline had the boobs. She’s right pretty, too, if you squint your eyes and dim the lights. To, like, full dark. Other girls in the trailer park thought they had the title sewed up this year for sure, seeing as my older sister, Sue Ann, was out of the running since she won last year. Sue Ann’s a real beauty, with long golden hair just the right shade of yellow–thanks to the bottle of peroxide under her bed no one knew about but me. And a nice tan with no tan lines anyone could see. Never mind the orange look to her, it was real complimentary to the yellow of her hair. And pretty, painted nails, thanks to the fine people at Lee Press-on Nails from Walgreen’s.
I could hardly compete with that package, what with my red hair the color of carrots, gangly legs and big feet. Mama just loved to remind me of my god-awful looks, compared to Sue Ann, every chance she got while Sue Ann pranced around the trailer in her coveted beer-can tiara. “Sally Mae,” she’d say, “I afeared you got out of the wrong end of the gene pool. If I din’t birth you myself, I’d swear you weren’t any o’mine.” Then she’d get this funny look on her face like she knew something she warn’t telling and she’d grab for the whiskey bottle and turn the tee-vee to Maury.
Ever since Daddy disappeared, she ain’t been right in the head. Rumor had it he ran off with DeeDee Townsend, Mabelline’s older sister. Truth is, a few of the town boys on vacation found DeeDee on the strip in Vegas, and never found Daddy. If anybody knew something about my daddy, nobody was telling. Mama din’t talk about it, but I sure did miss my daddy fierce.
So, Sue Ann won fair and square last year, and what she did with her moonshine prize was her business. But, here’s this year’s Trailer Park Pageant coming up, with my family’s reputation on the line and competition stiff. To be honest, I din’t really care too much for the reputation part, in spite of Mama’s harping–I only cared about the prize. Oh, the prize. When I say “moonshine” you probably think of some ass-kicking hooch from an illegal still in the woods. You’d be wrong. I needed that prize. For the goat.
I’ll get to it.
I knew for a fact Mabelline was taking pole dancing lessons for the talent part of the show, and it was going to be hard to beat. Not that she needed lessons, mind, she had more than enough experience dancing around poles, if you catch my meaning. Me dancing around a pole would be like looking at a grasshopper having an epileptic fit, so it was out. I couldn’t sing to save my life. I din’t have many options other than to figure out some way to beat Mabelline.
I thought about going to the swamp witch, Mad Hattie, for some advice, but since it was her what caused the problem with the goat in the first place, I figured I’d better come up with something on my own. Besides, I planned on visiting Mad Hattie when I won the competition, and it was going to be a one-time visit. Nobody wants to see Mad Hattie more than once.
So, I did the only thing I could think of. I went to my big sister to ask her advice. After all, she’d won the competition last year with a spectacular fire baton twirling routine. Sure, she set the honorable Mayor Tim Smith on fire, but she put him right out and that was pretty impressive. He was out of Intensive Care in a week, and nobody noticed the scars anymore. I figured she could help me out. After all, the family reputation was on the line.
“Sally Mae, I don’t know what to tell you,” she said, sitting on her bed, which was covered with the pink satin spread Mama got for her at the flea market with some of the prize money from Sue Ann’s big win, and wearing her tiara. She barely took it off since she won it.
She hardly paid me any attention, she was so focused on filing her nails to a sharp point in anticipation for her big date with Roscoe Diesel. He had a reputation and I guess Sue Ann wasn’t going to give it up that easy, which made me feel right proud. “It took me weeks to get that routine just right, and you don’t have weeks. The pageant’s tomorrow.” She looked up and gave me the once-over. “You know, even though Mabelline has bigger boobs, she ain’t no prettier than you. Especially if you do something with that hair.”
I smoothed my hands over my curls, quite aware Sue Ann was probably just being nice since last I saw in the mirror, my hair looked like the patch of spleenwort over yonder. “That ain’t my problem, Sue Ann. I can stuff my bra, but I heard tell Mabelline was going to do one of them pole dances for the talent part. I can’t do that, not in a million years.” I flopped on the bed next to Sue Ann and heaved a long sigh. “I have to win this thing. First of all, Mama will kill me if’n I don’t, and second…”
Sue Ann nodded. She knew. At least, she din’t know about the goat but she knew how valuable the moonshine was. I never asked her what she did with hers, and she din’t ask me what I was going to do with mine, if I won. When I won, I told myself.
“Well, you can’t sing, you can’t dance, and you can’t twirl a baton.”
“I already know what I can’t do,” I snapped. “You ain’t helping me much.”
Finally satisfied with her wickedly pointed nails and sticking the file back in her makeup bag, Sue Ann said, “Oh, don’t be getting your panties all in a bunch, sweet pea.” She turned back to me and smiled. “You can’t twirl a baton, but you can still do the fire thing.”
I shook my head. “No, I can’t. The last time I played with fire I set the outhouse to burning, remember that? Mama made me promise not to do it again.” I looked at my hands and wriggled my fingers. All us Riddley women had an affinity to fire; mine happened to be stronger than most. For instance, Sue Ann was pretty impressive with the fire batons, but I din’t need them to handle fire. Plus, I could make a lot more fire than what it took for two puny batons.
Sue Ann sighed. “Girl, if’n you don’t win that tiara, Mama will set your ass on fire herself, trust that. It’s been in the hands of Riddley women for decades. She’ll be mighty ticked if’n you don’t take it this year.” She stretched out on her bed. “Besides, you ain’t got boobs, so unless you plan on flashing your panties, the only thing that can compete with Mabelline is fire. Men love fire.” She grinned.
And that’s just the start of Sally Mae’s hilarious adventure. What starts out as a simple task ends up as complicated as it gets. Sally Mae and her best friend, Becky Jo, end up in a heap more trouble than they counted on, with a most unusual goat and a trip to visit the swamp witch, Mad Hattie.
As an added bonus, the first part of Sally Mae’s next wild ride is included, titled “You Ain’t the Boss of Me”.
“I promise you, you will laugh until you’re able to sit in the kid’s chairs. When you finish this book, you may have to worry about falling into the toilet when you sit down because YOUR ASS! IT WILL BE GONE FROM LAUGHING!” ~Joseph Paul Haines, author of Marooned and Ten With a Flag.
Disclaimer: Author shall be held harmless in any injuries resulting in the loss of asses or any toilet accidents.
You can also find The Trailer Park Tiara and Goat Incident on Smashwords. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!
VIVA LA GOAT!