Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Free Association.”


Anyone who has read here for very long knows that I’m from Small Town, USA.  Make that Southern Small Town, USA.  Home of red clay.

When I was a kid I got into soooo much trouble one day after a big rain.  We had a trench, more like a ditch, that ran the length of our property.  It was full of the reddest clay dirt you’ve ever seen.  Some of the neighborhood kids and I thought that a game of war involving said red clay as mud bombs would be cool.  It was.  Now those are some cool IED’s. We built mortar shells of red clay and lobbed them back and forth at each other, ducking, and dodging, and hiding behind things.  For hours.  It was a blast (pun intended).

The shit didn’t hit the fan until my mother saw me, though.  See, I decided if I was going to get all wet I should probably wear my swim suit.  That brand new one that we’d just bought the day before.  That brand new white swim suit.  Which was now ruined because red clay does not come out.

What I learned that day carried me far beyond that childish mud slinging incident.  You see, one of the “perks” of living in Small Town is that everybody knows everybody.  And everybody knows everybody else’ business.  If they don’t, hell, they’ll make it up.

The thing about mud slinging, though, is that anytime you want to sling it you’ve got to get your hands dirty, too.