Saturday, December 31, 2011

June Bug Shuffle

There once was a girlie named Catherine
Tying bugs onto strings set her gigglin’
Danced, looking excited
Need to pee, not delighted
Her poor panties, she left big stain therein

Ken Goree

For those of you who have never heard of the June Bug, the ones referred to in the title of this poem were in the southeast United States.  Every few years, when I was a kid, our family would go to visit my mom's relatives on the ancestral farm, in the Smokey Mountains of eastern Tennessee.  One of the things to do as kid in that area, if you are lucky enough to be around when the June bugs start swarming, was to adopt one as a pet.  This may sound lame, but it was pretty fun, because you could tie sewing thread to the beetle and take it for a walk ("flight").

I must mention, I was forced into writing this poem.  I had reminded the "real girl" about this "real event," earlier this year.  I didn't want to write the poem and embarrass her (internationally), but she kept reminding me to write the poem, so today, I did.  

We were standing on the back porch of the log cabin.  My grandfather built that cabin himself, from trees he cut and shaped with adze, ax and saw.  My father had just given us some of my grandmother's sewing thread and we were tying loops in one end and a June bug to the other.  After bringing the string, my dad took his leave of us. I was quite young, and not very dexterous.  The girl, was older and had her pet tied off and flying in moments.  Like any self-respecting little kid, I begged for help; said, "This is stupid;" whined; and pouted.  

Soon, I noticed that "the girl" was doing a dance while playing with her pet.  "Now, that is just showing off," I thought to myself.  Then, I realized there was something very familiar about the dance she was doing.  "What is it?" I thought.  "Hmm, what is it?" Then it came to me.  I knew the dance, I had done it a hundred times, especially at school.  This older girl was doing "The Pee-Pee Dance."  In her confusion of growing excitement over her pet and the growing pressure inside due to three bottles of old fashion Mountain Dew, straight from the glass bottle, which you had to use a bottle opener to get into.   The pressure won before she was able to figure out a way to tie off her pet and make it to the bathroom.  

I saw the growing dark stain on the front of "the girl's" faded bell-bottom blue jeans.  My first thought was, "That's what you get for not helping me get the leash onto my June bug."  Later, I realized that that hadn't been a very compassionate response to the girls distress ... much later ... like about ten minutes ago, while finishing this poem.  

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