Before I get to the interesting part of the entry, there are two things I need to let y’all know about. First off, once my parents and the spud have left to go to Maine next week, I’m going to switch hosts, so the site may be down for a day while that’s going on. I’m going to be sure to do it over the weekend, though, so it shouldn’t be too bad unless there’s some horrible problem I don’t know about. In any case, the notify list will always know what’s going on.

Secondly, much as I love and adore each and every one of you on the notify list and while it’s been a great deal of fun making fun of those not ON the notify list, I’m going to have to go back to having the list hosted elsewhere, because between the additions to the list and the bounces I’m getting, it’s taking up way too much time. I’m going to try out Notify List this time around, which doesn’t add advertisements to the messages like that horrible Topica, and it doesn’t require your first and last name, your bra size and your firstborn before it’ll let you be on a list, like Yahoo Groups (or whatever the hell they’re called these days). Of course, those already on the notify list already know this, because I informed them when I sent out today’s entry, but I suppose it bears repeating.

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There are two Gatlinburg stories that need to be told, which I completely forgot to include in Tuesday’s entry. So I’ll tell y’all one today and one tomorrow, because I’m far too stressed to have to think up new entries between running around and doing last-minute cleaning, and visiting with the ‘rents, m’kay?

The first concerns our trip around the Arts and Crafts Community on Saturday. Our first stop was at a small general-type store, which was next door to a gallery. We parked in the gallery parking lot, since the other parking lot was full, and since it’s rude to park in a parking lot if you’re not going to visit the establishment it belongs to, we went into the gallery for a quick look around.

There were a lot of Gatlinburg scenery pictures, and Fred spent some time looking through the bin of $15 prints, showing me a couple that he really liked. At one point, he said to me, "Do you suppose that if you like one of the pictures that’s already framed with a frame you don’t like, you can get it without?" I told him I didn’t know, and we continued looking around. From the time we stepped into the gallery through most of the time we were there – less than ten minutes, I’d guess – there was a whole crowd of people asking questions of the woman running the place. As we headed for the door, they all seemed to simply evaporate into thin air. Fred turned to her as we were within arm’s reach of the door and said "Is it possible to get a picture without the frame?"

I don’t know what he was thinking.

She latched onto him like a burr, told him that it was, indeed, possible, and then asked if there was a particular picture he had in mind. Trapped, he looked around wild-eyed, and claimed that there was one he had really liked, but couldn’t remember where it was. Frantically, he began running back and forth, looking at pictures, ruminating out loud whether it was in this room or that, and she dogged his every step.

"Where was it, Bessie?" he asked, trying to draw me into the trap with him, so he could perhaps trip me and then run away, leaving me there for her to latch onto.

I, of course, had no fucking clue what he was talking about, and said "I only remember the two pictures in the bin." Now, you’ll keep in mind that the pictures in the bin were $15 each. The paintings and pictures on the wall were $200 and more.

"No…" he said, sinking further into the quagmire. "It was hanging on the wall."

"Well," I said, wanting to get the hell out of there, "I DON’T KNOW. You didn’t point it out to me." I flipped through the bin of pictures and held out the one he’d shown me earlier. "You liked this one, remember?" I was reduced to speaking to him like he was a brain damaged infant. Finally – FINALLY – he grasped at the straw I was offering.

"Well," he said, "Maybe it was one of those pictures. Which one do you like?" I chose one, we paid for it, and were the hell out of there.

The woman stared sadly after us, her dreams of a big commission going up in smoke. When we were out of sight, I turned to Fred and said "Have you LOST your mind? What the fuck was THAT all about?", to which he could only shrug and laugh weakly, giddy with the victory of slipping out of there without spending hundreds of dollars on a so-so painting.