I just learned from Momma Tash that youíll
be needing a place to stay when you get to Memphis. Seeing as how weíre
cousins, Iím glad to say it just so happens that things didnít work out
with my last roommate and Iíve got plenty of space for you in my house.
I know how hard it is to move to a new place where you donít know many
people, so you plan on staying here as long as you like.
Memphis can be a hard city, especially for somebody
country like you. Like I used to be. Itís not easy finding a
neighborhood where your car wonít get stolen or your head busted in for
no good reason. My streetís quiet and safe. Iíve lived here now six
years and sleep well at night. Youíll fit right in, especially since
youíve got that job over to Fed Ex. I think a man living two doors down
works there. If you all work the same shift, maybe you can carpool.
I hope youíll accept my offer. All I ask, though,
is you read through the following rules and guidelines Iíve set up to
make living together simple and stress-free. I know youíll understand.
- Park your car in the garage, but make sure you
do on the left-hand side.
- Thereís a spare key in a toolbox on your side of
- Remove any mud or dirt from your shoes on the
- Remove your shoes before you enter the house.
- No smoking inside.
- Your living area has a bedroom and a bathroom.
Theyíre all yours. I wonít come in unless you ask me. Feel free to
bring in your furniture, but keep everything away from the walls and
at an angle. (When you get here Iíll tell you all about chi and feng
- The kitchen has a dishwasher but I donít trust
- Feel free to keep your food in my fridge, only
there can be no meat or animal products. This means eggs, cheese,
butter and milk, too. And Jell-o and Starburst fruit chews. I have it
on good authority that spirits of those murdered creatures can
molecularly alter and taint foods kept in the same area.
- No fast food of any kind can be eaten in this
- Quiet hours are between five am and seven, then
again from ten pm to twelve.
- You can watch my TV in the living room, just
donít move the couch or the sofa and donít ever watch anything on
ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN NEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN U or ESPN HD. No Fox
- If you have any DVDs, keep them out of my TV
- Ask first if you can watch any of my DVDs.
- Donít ask at all to see any of my hidden camera
Israeli Army Officer DVDs, unless you have some of the early volumes.
(Which is doubtful. Only ones Iím missing are the ones the government
wonít allow into the country. So just stay out of my TV cabinet, hear
- Use a coaster for hot and cold drinks.
- Guests are no problem. Just be sure they abide
by the house rules.
- Guest privileges will be suspended if any house
rules are broken. If any of your guests mess with my TV cabinet, guest
privileges will be revoked.
- No microwave popcorn.
- All pennies must be kept in the bucket by the
front door. We roll them every second Saturday, right after quiet
- Recycle all plastic and glass.
- I know youíre country, Everett, but use a
- No drugstore aftershave.
- The door to the right of the basement stairs is
painted green for a reason. You come from the same part of Arkansas as
me, Everett. I donít have to tell you what that means.
- Sunday worship is optional.
- Seriously. Stay away from my green door. And
donít mess with my hidden-camera Israeli Army Officer DVDs.
Iím sure Iím forgetting a few things. I wrote
another list by hand and my last roommate ran off with it. But
twenty-fiveís a very spiritually positive number. And if I remember any
more rules, Iíll be sure to tell you. Otherwise, I hope Momma Tash and
all your brothers and sisters are doing well and that youíre anxious to
start living up here. Just sign the line below my signature, next to the
notaryís seal. Youíll want to get this notarized yourself before you
send it back. I think Mr. Dempsey over to Marianna still has his office.
Looking forward to living together,
Pebbles In the Path
by Nancy Dunaway