Look who it is!

When the doorbell rung I'se makin dinner, so I jes' ignored it--figured the FedEx fella was droppin' off a new set of proofs fer the new Pork Rind logos....so when the back porch door opened an' there was Cuzin Olivia lookin in the kitchen window, Lawdy, I dern near curdled my hollandaise sauce.

"Look who it is, Belle!" she hooted.

Look indeed. I managed a grimace which she took fer a smile, and then pointed her to the wicker table on the porch--"They's ice cold lemonade, Livvy, git a glass and I'll join ya' in a minute."

Livvy Presnell is a cuz of a cuz, but that doan stop her from actin' like close family. Thang is she doan know how ter be mindful of the clock. Decent folks knows when ter arrange they drop in's...after ya's had time ter git yore parlor freshened up in the morning and afore yore man gits home in the evening--but Livvy lost the memo.

Soon as I'se settled she waved off the polite "how's ya'll" and got right to her currency--she is a collecter of weird news items. Whar other women will settle in fer a bit o' neighborly gossip, Livvy substitutes siamese octuplets, or talkin' mummies from lost nile caves.

'Did'ja hear 'bout Eye-ran, yet?"

"Why, yes, I guess so, yer mean about them sendin' missles fer Hez-bowl-ah in Lebanon?"

"No, no...worse than that! Why they cloned a little lamb....but it died afore it could stand up. But they's tryin' agin' soon."

I definately had not heered of this, "Ya' shur Livvy? I thought them Eye-ran scientists was all makin' nukes?"

"It was from the Scotsman."

"Which Scotsman?" Now, what Scotsman is lookin' fer clones in Eye-ran?

"The newspaper, Belle, The Scotsman.

"Livvy, why ya readin' a ferign' newspaper?"

"They's real news in them, thas' why."

I'se chewin' mah lip and starin' at Livvy...jes' thinkin this cain't be true. "How can this be?" I said, "When Muslims ain't even supposed ter draw no live thang? Naw, Liv, this ain't true. Looky, Muslims is instructed ter keep they art as geometry, or mebbe abstract indications of live thangs, but they's gotta religious rule that say no artists can make images of live thangs....it is 'idol worship'"

"Thas' silly, Belle. Why's ya' saying that?

" I din't say it, Livvy, Mohammed said it."

She looks aside. Rocks a bit, then looks back at me. "So thas' why they makes them pretty mosaics on ever'thang? But they cain't paint no pictures of they chillen or bird?"

Nope. In one of the sayings of Prophet Mohammed as narrated by Ibn Umar:

Those who paint pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection

Livvy, never one ter be caught wif'out a last word asked, "Well, what do that religious rule have ter do wif this dead clone of a lamb?"

I'se lookin' toward the gate wishin' Uncle would git on home....
"Well, Livvy, seems ter me that iffin ya ain't s'possed ter even DRAW a live thang, how's Mohammed gonna treat ya' fer CLONIN' a live thang?"

Jes' then the gate banged open and along came Aloysius,the newspaper scrunched under his arm.

"Well well, Look who it is!," Aloysius half barked.

I could see Uncle's face stiffen up knowin' supper might be delayed iffin' Livvy and me was into it.

"You gals solved the world's troubles, I reckon, ain't'cha? I shur hope so, cause I'm a hungry man tonight. Livvy, you give that sorry fella of yourn's a thump and remind him he promised me a trip to the river in his new boat."

The gate banged shut behind Olivia Presnell as she waved back at us.

"What was her alien-landing news today, Belle?"

"Seems them Eyeranians cloned a lamb, but it died."

"Yep--an' it may start trouble for Eyeran wif they neighbors."

"How's that?"

"Eyeran's Shitte Imans gave permission to clone to Eyeran's scientists, but the Sunnis in other parts of Islam is foaming mad at the breech of religious rules....they say the wrath of Allah will follow."

I'se lookin' at Uncle wif half a smile, sorta amazed, "Was that from The Scotsman??" I asked. Dern if his readin' habits hadn't gotten sophisticated when I warn't lookin'.

"A ferign newspaper?" He took the paper from under his arm: USA Today.


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