This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
It was Mr. Rufe who named me “Polly Junior.” Which was one reason I didn’t like him. One. He appeared at odd times, mostly spring, as far back as I can remember. My father referred to him as “that perfect case of human driftwood.” Whenever he’d say, “It’s about time for that perfect case of human driftwood to show up,” my mother, “Polly Senior,” as she was called by Mr. Rufe, would give a little sniff and hike her “humpbacked whale cold shoulder” high, high, high.
I wondered how Daddy knew Mr. Rufe was coming, but, somehow, I got the message that I dare not ask him.
I was born knowing what a “cold shoulder” was, but Daddy was the one who made it personal. I loved Daddy’s way with words, and “humpbacked whale cold shoulder” has always seemed to me a classic example. He didn’t talk a great deal, but, when he did, he made it count.