I was asked if I would rerun one of Janet’s old articles. What you are fixin’ to read is not current; it is from about 10 years ago, so I’ve moved on to other things.

This is Rusty’s busy time of the year with his real job, and he wasn’t here to get a new column out, so I am going to write it for him. I really do not like writing these things, but sometimes you just have to get stuff off of your chest; especially if you are married to Rusty.

People, he is driving me crazy. It’s like living with a little kid. He has the attention span of a gnat, not to mention the brains of one. We will be celebrating (I use that term lightly) our 37th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. Can you believe I’ve put up with him for that long? Me either.

Every week it is something different with Rusty. He gets on kicks. You know how a little kid will see something on TV like a cowboy show and then he wants to be a cowboy? Well, Rusty is just like that. A few weeks ago we were watching TV and Rusty saw a man jump off of a tower into a wading pool.

“Wow!” he said. “Did you see that?”

“Don’t even think about it,” I said.

“What? You don’t think I could do it?”

“Oh I’m sure you could do it,” I said. “You just don’t have a large enough life insurance policy to make it worth my while.” Fortunately, something else came on the TV and took his mind off of the high diving thing.

His poor mother used to tell me of having to chase him down the road back when he was a kid and the only thing he had on was his underwear with a couple of wash clothes safety pinned on it.

“But I’m Tarzan,” she said he yelled.

Another time, she said that she looked out the window, and he had his German shepard dog tied to a train of little red wagons, and was hauling a bunch of kids down the road hollering “Wagon’s ho!” She said when the dog finally died years later, everyone was sad. Well, everyone but the dog.

You would think he would have grown out of this sort of phase, but you’d be wrong. A few years ago, he saw a man playing the harmonica. The next day, he had 10 harmonicas, all in different keys. Rusty usually takes to things pretty well, and it wasn’t long before he could actually play the thing. Unfortunately, everything he played sounded like “Oh Susanna.”

After complaining to one of my well-meaning friends about Rusty, she said that maybe he had Attention Deficit Disorder. I told her, that I thought that it might be a brain tumor, but then we both agreed that he would have to have a brain for that to be the case.

Then she suggested that drugs might help. I told her that I had thought about that, but I was afraid I might get hooked on them. She said that she was talking about putting Rusty on drugs. Well, I told her I didn’t think so. If he’s this bad like he is, just think what he would be like on drugs. She thought about it and agreed.

His latest kick is the guitar. Yes, you heard me right, the guitar. A couple of years ago, Rusty’s dad gave him some money for his birthday. Rusty must have seen somebody play the guitar or something after he got the money, because he called one of his buddies up and talked him into helping him find a guitar. This buddy is Hoss Huggins and although I love Hoss to death, he is an enabler.

Hoss Huggins, as you probably know, is a legend in the music scene around East Texas. He and his band, “Hoss Huggins and the Ponderosa Band,” have been playing around East Texas 40 years or more, 35 of which he and Rusty have been friends. Well, Rusty took Hoss to who knows how many pawn shops to look for a guitar.

Rusty wasn’t really looking for an expensive one, because even he knows that his “kicks” will not usually last but a couple of weeks, and then he will be off on another tangent. Hoss played a number of the pawn shop guitars before he found one he thought sounded good, and Rusty bought it.

Like I said, that was two years ago. We now have four guitars and he hasn’t given up on it yet. I swear that if I have to remove another guitar pick jammed in my vacuum cleaner, I’m going to shove it up Rusty’s nose. Oh, he can play the guitar. I’m not going to say he can play it well, but he can play it. Unfortunately, he plays it all the time when he’s home. Thank goodness he’s gone a lot.

At first he would download songs from the internet, and practice them, but then he started writing his own songs. You heard me right; his own songs. And guess who his sounding board is? You got it. It’s me.

“Sit down right there, Sugar Booger,” he says. “I’m gonna play you the latest song from my album ‘Songs That Nobody Ain’t Never Heard.’ This one’s called ‘Bacon Eatin’ Blues,’” and then I have to sit there and listen. I don’t have to listen to it once, oh no. I have to listen to it until it is so drilled into my brain, that I hear it in my sleep.

So, if you visit our home and wonder why it’s so junky, it’s because there are 10 harmonicas, four guitars, one motorcycle and 37 years of accumulated Rusty hobbies you have to wade through.

Look, I’m sorry I’ve laid all of this on you. Like I said, I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you. I feel much better now. But let me warn you; if you see Rusty, and he has a guitar in his hands, run. Do not stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just run, and don’t look back. Oh yeah, and keep me in your prayers.

Rusty Mitchum lives in New Harmony, Texas, where he writes a regular column for The Lindale News and Times. He says the only reason he writes is to keep the voices away.