The Adventures of Jo Jo Beandip
808 Siena Court
Harker Heights, TX 76548
The Adventures of Jo Jo Beandip
The meeting between Jo Jo and myself began around the time we were both about thirteen-years old. Like a lot of friendships, ours started by disliking each other. We lived just down the street from each other but had not met, not formally anyway. We went to elementary and middle school together but only knew of each other by sight only. This is rare since Dingleberry, Texas isn’t a very big town. Dingelberry has been “small town America” since it was founded in the mid-1800’s. It was named for the founder, Harry W. Dingle. It started out being known as a one-horse town, even though it contained a large quantity of horses.
Anyway, one day during summer break from school, I decided to take a walk down the only set of railroad tracks that ran through Dingleberry. They are located on the south-side of town, just off Mane Street (no it is not spelled wrong…large horse population, remember?). The day started out slow and had the makings of a really boring day. It was fun walking along the tracks and discovering all types of neat things. Stuff like wild strawberries, broken colored glass, iron ore “balls” that had fallen from the railroad cars…of which make great ammo for slingshots!
The railroad tracks lead into a wooded area so I was taking advantage of the shade. It was starting to get hot, not unusual for Texas in the summertime, so it felt good to being under the trees that blocked the sun. All of a sudden, something caught my eye…some kind of movement. It was an animal but I didn’t know what kind. It moved quickly so I didn’t get a chance to get a good look at the thing hiding in the bushes. I hesitated to investigate further, like I said, I didn’t know what it was, a rabid coon or a jackalope? I slowly crept toward the underbrush…doing it quietly so I would not startle the “monster.” As soon as I crouched to get a better look, WHOOSH!—the “monster” had leaped at my chest! It was a good thing I went to the bathroom before leaving the house or I would have had a terrible mess to clean up.
I fell backward, landing on my rear-end. I hurried to get back up on my feet, then, looked down and saw one of the ugliest puppies that I ever laid eyes on. But there was something about this puppy that made me look past his appearance. Its breed was unknown to me but I would later find out that these type dogs are known as “Heinz 57’s” (slogan used by Heinz catsup company to advertise 57 varieties…it has come to mean anything mixed from a lot of parts or origins). In other words, this puppy had a bunch of different breeds of mommies and daddies in its ancestral archives.
I couldn’t believe my luck! My very own puppy! I automatically began to think of what name to give him, not worrying what my mother would say when I dragged him home. I recalled that my mother had a boyfriend some time ago and she would occasionally call him a “tallywacker.” I didn’t know what that meant but I thought it sounded cool! I looked at the puppy, picked him up and told him his name was now Tallywacker.
“Hey, let go of my Baloney,” replied someone from the other side of the bushes.
“What?” I replied.
“I said unhand my Baloney!”
“Who are you and what the heck are you talking about?”
Stepping out of the bushes to show himself, he said, “My name is Jo Jo and I found this puppy just a few minutes ago, so she belongs to me”
“She?...didn’t you notice that clump of stuff hanging down from between his back legs?”
“Uh…crap!…anyway Baloney belongs to me”
Jo Jo proceeded to grab the puppy… I had its front legs and Jo Jo had his back legs. Before we knew it, we were playing tug-o-war with the puppy.
“Let go of my Tallywacker,” I yelled.
“No, you quit pulling on my Baloney”
And with that, Jo Jo yanked hard and succeeded in taking the puppy from my arms. He turned and ran back down the tracks toward town. I was going to chase him but had no idea how fast that kid could run. He was as fast as greased lightning. I stood there in disbelief. One minute I thought I had a new pet and the next minute he was gone. I may have lost my Tallywacker that day but I also gained an enemy! And Jo Jo Beandip was the name of that enemy. I slowly walked back to my house feeling angry and trying to think of ways that I could get even with Jo Jo!
I awoke the next day, headed downstairs to greet my mother, sit down to breakfast, and try to figure out what I was going to do for the day. I walked out on to the front porch and looked around to see if anything was going on so that I could take part in any available activity. I hopped down the porch steps and took a right on the sidewalk. The street I live on is lined on both sides of the street with Live Oak and Magnolia trees that offer plenty of shade. As I walked, I couldn’t see anything in particular happening, other than a few people out walking, perhaps going to the store or to work.
I continued walking toward town and soon approached Luther Street. I took a left on to Luther and headed west of town. Luther Street has a few houses on it and contains a few small farms before getting to the edge of town. I was slowly walking along, approaching a couple of farms, and just minding my own business. All of a sudden, something bounced off the side of my head. It wasn’t hard like a baseball, but a little smaller and soft. It didn’t really hurt but just stung a little.
I looked down on the ground and noticed a dark, misshapen object that appeared to be split in half. I took a closer look and was stunned at what I saw. It was a horse turd! I looked back up and scanned the area to see where it came from. Across the street, inside a small wooden fenced corral, next to a house, stood Bubba Jasper. Now, I don’t recall ever having any confrontation with Bubba before but apparently I did something to warrant a horse turd “up-side-the-head.”
I hollered, “Bubba, what the heck was that for?”
As soon as I asked that question, another turd-missile was heading my way. I ducked and proceeded to run to the other end of the corral and squatted behind one of the fence posts. I had noticed another pile of “ammo” on the end where I stopped. I could easily reach through the openings of the fence so I prepared to fire back at Bubba. It didn’t take long to figure out that he had done this type of battle quite often because turds kept coming at a fast rate. I was being bombarded. No sooner did I rise up to throw a horse turd, Bubba hurled two or three back at me. I ducked down and cursed (Momma, if you are reading this I actually said, “Oh, darn!”). I rose up again and noticed that a turd was headed toward Bubba but it was coming from my left. I glanced over and saw Jo Jo crouched behind a another fence post and was throwing at Bubba, as well.
OK, confusion set in. What was Jo Jo doing here and why was he helping me win this horse-turd war? No need to worry about that until we finished out-throwing Bubba. Eventually, we overtook him and he ran off into the house. Sweat was running down my face as I stood and walked toward Jo Jo.
“Jo Jo, where did you come from and why did you help me?”
Jo Jo said, “I was just walking along and heard you holler at Bubba. I noticed that you might need help, and since I don’t like Bubba, due to the fact that he once tossed an earthworm onto my food while having lunch at school, I decided to take your side.”
Well, if that wasn’t a turn of events from yesterday.
“I can’t believe that, in one day you take my dog, and the next you’re wanting to help me?’
Jo Jo explained that he found the dog first and it looked like I really needed the help. I told him I certainly appreciated it.
I asked Jo Jo what he had planned for the day. He replied that he didn’t have anything planned and he was just out walking and killing time.
“Where is the dog and why isn’t he walking with you,” I asked.
“My mom said that if we were going to keep him, we needed to get him some worm pills and get him fixed. I was against the getting fixed part but she said that was the only way I would be able to keep him,” Jo Jo said.
“Ouch!” I replied.
“Tell me about it,” said Jo Jo
I asked Jo Jo if he wanted to goof off together for the rest of the day. He was a little reluctant but agreed that it would be better than doing anything by himself.
So, that was the beginning of a friendship that would turn out to be an adventure. I am going to let Jo Jo tell about what happens next. So, in the near future, you will be able to read, in the words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story.