Happy 4th of July to our American readers. To those of you outside the states, you might enjoy meeting Bunny not long after she and George moved to the Pacific Northwest. The original story posted in October 2011. It’s been embellished since.
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The mid-morning sun crested the giant cedar trees on Saturday, June 25th. It rays spread across Gig Harbor, Washington. Reflecting off the immaculate white cement driveway in front of George and Bunny Gutierrez’s home. Not a single speck of moss in sight.
“George, honey, what on earth are they wearing?” Bunny asked, with her refined Texas accent. Her long blond hair swept back into a pony tail behind her head, crowning her statuesque figure. Her eyebrows arching enough to cause her pony tail to go out of sync.
He scanned the street.
“Who, darlin’, are you talking about?” asked George, with his soft spoken Texas accent. A contrast to the bass voice emanating from his lineman’s frame. A pencil thin black mustache and goatee framing his mouth.
“Over there.” she said, pointing across the street. “Would you look at Richard and Fannie. “They can’t seriously be going out in public dressed like that?”
“Well, it is a bit unusual, but I’m sure they have a good explanation,” he said, with his usual calm.
“Well I’m sorry, I can’t let them leave looking like that, it just isn’t right,” Bunny said. Her pony tail bobbing at an angle as though it took on a life of its own.
George put his arm around her waist and held her back. “You may not leave this driveway until you are rational. Don’t make me carry you into the house.”
“George, you wouldn’t dare,” Bunny said. Fire flared in her blue eyes.
“Bunny, I love you enough to keep you from making a spectacle of yourself in front of the neighbors. Now if you can calm down, we’ll both walk over and speak to them like the civilized human beings that we are.”
George let her go. Bunny stood tall. She measured him for a moment.
“Very well, George, follow me,” she said, her back stiffening.
Bunny marched across the street. George trotted behind her.
Before Bunny could say anything, George called out, “Hey y’all, where’re you headed?”
“We’re going to camp a couple days at Surprise Lake up on the Pacific Crest Trail. Thought we’d hike in and do some fishing,” Richard said, putting the tent in the back of the Love Wagon. A red Ford F150 sporting a queen futon and disco ball.
Leaning forward, Bunny blurted, “What on earth are you wearing?”
“Hiking clothes?” I asked, running my fingers through my short brown hair.
“I can see that. I meant on your feet,” said Bunny, putting her hands on her hips.
We looked at our feet. A smile possessed my lips.
“You’ve never seen sandals?” I asked, my evil twin taking over. “They don’t have sandals in Texas?”
“Fannie, do not toy with me, you know very well what I’m talking about.” Her southern lilt tilting.
“Bunny, it’s 65 degrees out here, it’s too warm to wear our boots. Besides, we may have to cross a couple of streams and our feet might get wet,” I said, “they’ll need to dry out.”
Shaking her head as if wagged by her pony tail, Bunny said, “Honey, I cannot in all honesty, let you all leave here wearing socks with your sandals. It’s just not done.”
Richard and I laughed.
“Oh, that’s what’s eating you,” Richard said, his tall lean frame making him look like a flag pole next to George. “I couldn’t figure out what you were talking about.”
“Bunny, you haven’t lived here long enough yet. It’s customary here to wear hiking socks with sandals because the weather can be very iffy,” I said, my eyes twinkling.
“Fannie, we have lived here for six months. I’ve never seen anyone in their right mind wearing wool socks with sandals,” Bunny said.
“Darlin’, remember when we were in Florida, we saw several people wearing socks with sandals,” George said.
“George, they were old and wearing trouser socks. Clearly they were suffering from senility.”
“Bunny, if I can prove to you I’m not making this up, will you calm down?” I asked.
Bunny stared at me for a few moments.
“All right, if you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I will. But if you can’t, the socks come off,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.
George leaned toward Richard. He whispered, “She better know what she’s doing or all hell is going to break loose.”
Richard smiled at George. He whispered, “Trust me, she does.”
“Bunny, would you please follow me into the house?” I asked, leading the way.
I fired up the Garronculator. I clicked on our favorite link. The video started.
Bunny’s jaw dropped to the floor.
“Bunny, darlin’, I don’t think I have ever seen you speechless before,” George said, shaking his head. To me, he said, “You know that wouldn’t fly in any other part of the country because no one would believe it?”
“Bunny, I’d be happy to get you the trading card if you want,” I said, suppressing the laughter.
Her jaw worked up and down a few times. She took the mouse away from me, scooted me out of the chair and started searching PEMCO’s website.
“This is a real company?” she asked.
“Yes, they are as local as they come,” I said.
“You’re not trying to pull one over on me?”
“No, they’re real. Go to the Better Business Bureau’s website if you don’t believe me.”
Bunny typed it in faster than I could say it.
“Honey, I can’t believe this, you’re not making this up.”
“Sandals and socks?”
“Fannie, honey, I’ll never be caught dead in sandals and socks,” she said, her pony tail vibrating, “and this will take some getting used to.”
“Trust me,” said Richard, “you’ll see a lot of people wearing them during the fall.”
“Un huh,” Bunny said, staring at the monitor.
“Bunny,” I said, my grin causing my dimples to double exponentially, “welcome to the Pacific Northwest.”