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----- Original Message -----From: Howard BramhallSent: Saturday, November 24, 2001 3:03 PMSubject: RC: JD, FEI & Thanksgiving, Part II
This is Part II; don't forget to read the first part first. lol
Miss Helpful is wearing a nightie kind of thing that looked to be more of a summer type sleepwear, didn't even come down to her knees. And she was barefoot. I don't think JD exactly explained to her what was involved and how high up this window was. When she gets to the camper, Miss Helpful says, "You boys have got to be kidding here. I can't get up there." JD says, "Sure you can, all three of us can lift you up and slide you through. We've already tried it with Blake and he weighs a lot more than you do." Miss Helpful is probably 5' 1" and 100 lbs, which is why she was called for the job in the first place.
Now, I gotta admit I am standing up again and peeking out my tent window. I can't see much, not very clearly cause of the screen and the distance, but, man, I just can't lay down and listen to this without some kind of visualization. And I've gone this far with being silent, I'm not about to speak now. After all, "where's Blake going to sleep tonite," if Miss Helpful isn't successful?
So, reluctantly, Miss Helpful agrees to the whole thing, but throws in a caveat. "Now, you boys have to promise me that once you have me up, you'll turn your heads away. I should go back to the trailer and change, but it's a long walk, and I forgot my shoes, cause JD told me this was some sort of emergency. (Miss Helpful has a nursing background). So, I want ya'll to give me your word that you won't be peeking." And, in unison, the three of them say, "Oh, yes ma'am, we won't look, promise." The tone of the men's voices, which implies that they couldn't believe she even had to mention the thought of such a thing, that they would never act in an Ungentlemanly fashion like that, was one of the most beautiful and hilarious things I have ever heard in my life. I was doubled over, in pain, trying to keep this all in, without making a sound. I was able to maintain my silence, somehow; I think one of the things that helped me was I couldn't see the expression on their faces, although my imagination was able to fill in this void. If I had been able to see Ashley's face, up close and personal, as he spoke, in unison with the other men, his voice standing out more than the others, that, probably, would have given me away for sure. Even though I wasn't able to see their faces very clearly, I knew I'd be able to see if any of them was going to break that promise. What would make this promise even more difficult to keep was the fact that Miss Helpful was young and quite purty.
So, up she goes, and, right when they were supposed to, the three of them turn their heads, in unison. Problem was, when they did this, they kind of messed up the aim and positioned Miss Helpful a little to the right of the opening. It was at this point I lost it entirely. I could take it all no longer. I yelled out, "She needs to go a little to your left." Well, the shock of hearing my voice was more than I thought it would be, cause one of the men lost his balance when he turned his body to look in my direction. This movement threw the whole project out of whack and, kind of like dominoes, the three men came tumbling down, with Miss Helpful landing on top of them. Her legs ended up in a compromising position around Ashley's neck and shoulders. Credit goes to Ashley here, cause I did notice he went out of his way to keep his promise to Miss Helpful.
Well, the cat was out of the bag and some words were said in my direction. The most beautiful sound was from Ashley, my favorite Southern tenor. "Howard, is that you?" After several attempted apologies from me, thrown in with hysterical bouts of laughter (I don't think they even heard my apology, but they got the idea how much I was enjoying the whole thing), they all got back up and went at it again. This time, with more success, I watched them slide Miss Helpful thru the small opening so easily, I wondered why this project had taken over two hours to complete. She walked thru the motor home and opened the door for Blake.
Everyone was laughing pretty hard, even Miss Helpful. By this time I had put on some clothes and came out of my tent to join them. We all started talking about Blake, where his keys were, how glad we were that Blake now had a place to sleep tonite, and Blake kept thanking Miss Helpful profusely. Voice imitations were done, and I did my best to tell the whole story, from my perspective. And I kept getting interrupted, from one of the others, who either corrected me or added another twist to the tale, which made the telling even more enjoyable. We all had a couple swigs from Ashley's bottle, even our hero, Miss Helpful, had one or two or three. She said she was kind of cold, even with my jacket on that I had brought out for her, but I think the truth was she just wanted to join in and have a drink with the boys. And, about an hour or so later, we all went to bed.
In closing, on this unusual Thanksgiving, in the year of 2001, with so much happening in the world, I just wanted ya'll to know that it's this kind of thing I am Thankful for. The camaraderie of endurance riders, and the friends that you make and, hopefully, keep, with the sport, surpasses anything I've ever experienced in my lifetime. Including 20 years of that sort of thing with my Air Force buddies, most of whom I've since lost contact with after my retirement. I hope that never happens with friends like JD, Ashley, Blake and Miss Helpful. As long as I can keep going to these rides I plan on trying to make sure it never does. Happy Thanksgiving ya'll. God bless, and someone, please, tell a story (preferably a long one) about JD's ride. Hope it doesn't rain.
Howard (Yea, I know, I do get kinda sentimental this time of year)
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