Coming from a long line of people who lived in the South, and then marrying a man who comes from a long line of people in the South, you would think I’d be prepared for every Southern slang and phrase to pop up at inopportune times. But no, this weekend took a whole new spin in the stuff-you-don’t-wanna-hear category: happy as a pig in mud.
Our oldest offspring had a cross country meet more than three hours away. Of course, she also had to be there at eight am. We overslept because we’re cool like that, jumped in the car with the youngest still wearing just the T-shirt she slept in, and headed off to the competition.
Somewhere around the town of Junebug (yes, the town’s official name is Junebug and they have a mayor AND a Miss Junebug pageant), it started to pour down rain. The coach texted everyone on the team from the venue and told us the race had been delayed.
Once we arrived and the race was underway, our daughter’s category was the seventh event. That means that some four hundred runners in each category in each of the six prior categories…carry the one…subtract three because it’s Tuesday…that means that a bazillion people had already run on the wet, muddy course, tearing up any hope of actual grass on the course and along the spectator side. By the time we arrived and got out of the car, we slopped ankle-deep in mud.
Back up: yes, we took my new car. The new car that has all kinds of rules for the passengers, rules which include no sneezing or burping in the car. There’s no eating or drinking and there is definitely NO MUD ALLOWED.
So it was really a shock to my family when we slogged our way back to the parking lot, filthy from head to toe and picking the mud out of our teeth, when I announced, “I saw a Starbucks on the Interstate, we can walk there and clean up before getting in the car.” I knew before I spoke that no one was going to take me up on that offer, least of all the child who had just set a new personal best in her three-mile race, but I at least thought they could pretend to entertain the idea before shooting it down. They were a little surprised, though, when I held up the key fob and ceremonially locked the doors until they all stripped their muddy clothes off and put them in the garbage bad I held out.
Luckily, the nearby town of Junebug has several major food franchises. And just as luckily, no one in the town of Junebug minds if tourists come into the restaurant wearing only car blankets from the waist down. They’re just happy as pigs in mud that we spent our tourist dollars there.