When I was growing up, and approaching my teenage years. My friends and I wanted to push the curfew just “one more hour.” Our Moms all told us the same thing. “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Our miss Murdo Girl has a couple of humorous tales she thinks will make you smile. Sometimes her stories might be a bit irreverent, but they’re fun to tell. Peter Marshall wrote, “God is at home in the play of His children. He loves to hear us laugh.”
Every year right before Mom closes the Motel for the summer, she let’s my girl cousins and me have a slumber party in room number ten. We have it in 10 because it has the TV. Remember, we only have one television in the whole motel.
Many different girls have participated over the years. There are two double beds and a roll away bed, which normally would sleep about six, but we cram as many in there as we can. It takes a lot of preparation to get ready for the party. Everyone brings chips, dips, candy, pop, and stuff for breakfast.
We eat all the junk, watch TV, take turns taking bubble baths, and goof around. The only problem is, we’re finished by 10:00, when the TV goes off the air, and we’re all so full we can hardly stay awake. We can’t really play monopoly or anything because there are too many of us.
You know how it takes so much time for our Moms to fix a huge Christmas dinner, and not even an hour to eat it? Well that’s what it’s like with the slumber party. It’s kind of like being stuck in your bedroom with a bunch of girls. There are no other rooms to go to. One year, we sneaked out and walked all over town which helped a little, but there’s not too much going on at midnight in Murdo.
It’s kind of interesting living along the highway. Especially if you’re like us and you don’t lock your doors. I don’t think very many people in Murdo do. One night when Dad was out-of-town, and it was just Mom and me, we had an unexpected visitor. He works for Dad and his name is Not Fred. It was around midnight, and Not Fred just walked into our house without knocking. Mom heard him and got up to see if Dad had come home early. She saw Not Fred sitting in a chair by Dad’s desk, and he was taking his boots off. Mom said, “Not Fred, what are you doing?”
Well, Not Fred just looked up at her and said, “Go to bed dumbhead.” Then he walked over to the kitchen booth, laid down, and went to sleep. The booth curves around, and the short part is against the wall our telephone hangs on, so we sit there when we talk. I heard Mom calling a guy that lives a little farther down the highway, who is also a friend of Not Fred’s . She told him she needed him to come and get Not Fred, because he was walking in his sleep or something and she couldn’t get him to leave. I guess the friend asked what Not Fred was doing, because Mom said, “He’s sleeping on my booth. His head is right here beside me.” Then, I heard Mom say, “Well, okay, I guess you’re right.”
Mom came into my room and got in bed with me so I wouldn’t be worried. She said, “I called a friend of Not Fred, and he told me to just let him sleep cause he won’t bother anything.”
Well, he didn’t bother anything, but he snored all night and kept us awake. Early the next morning the phone rang and Mom just went and sat by Not Fred’s head and answered it. While she was talking, Not Fred woke up, walked over to the door, put his boots on and left. Later that day, I was walking over to the motel, and Not Fred drove by in his work truck. I was going to wave at him, but he didn’t look my way. Mom said he doesn’t wave at her either.
When Dad got home and Mom told him about Not Fred sleeping here, he about laughed his head off. He said, “Well, it was really nice of him to take his boots off, but I’ve never heard Not Fred call anyone a dumbhead before.”
On a different occasion, another guy who works for Dad, whose name is Not Tom didn’t get home when he was supposed to, and his wife came and got Dad to go look for him. For some reason she thought Not Tom might be in Pierre. Well, a little ways out of Murdo, Dad saw Not Tom’s work truck, parked in the ditch. Well, the wife didn’t see it, and for some reason, Dad didn’t tell her, and they drove all the way to Pierre and back, and of course, no one had seen Not Tom.
Well, lo and behold, when they got back to Not Tom’s house, there was his work truck parked outside. Dad walked to the door with the wife just to make sure everything was alright. When they opened the door, Not Tom came running down the stairs, and when he got to the bottom, he slipped on a throw rug, and slid all the way to the door on his backside. Dad said, when he came to a stop he looked up at his wife and said, “Vere have you been?” (I don’t know why he said vere instead of where.) Dad broke the silence, by saying, “Well, I guess I’ll be on my way.” Dad said it was a pretty funny sight because Not Tom didn’t have any clothes on.
Dad has some characters working for him. He says the two in my story are loyal, hardworking, and good at what they do. Someone asked Dad the other day, how many men he has working for him now. He said, “About half of them.”
Bill Francis plumbing and heating
Dad with his cigar, Francis Plumbing and Heating,and Billy holding the FP&H toilet ashtray