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Mr. Green Jeans and the Jelly Bandit

By Jan Miller Penton

Do any of you remember Mr. Green Jeans? How could those of us of a certain age fail to remember Captain Kangaroo’s trusty sidekick? Back in the day this show and Romper Room were the hits of the preschool crowd. Well…I had an interesting day this week, and I thought of Mr. Green Jeans in the midst of it.

With the housing shortage in full swing it has been difficult to find a house, but we do have a contract on one. Hopefully, we will close on it in a few days, but meanwhile, all of our household goods are in a storage facility awaiting moving day.

My friend, Martha, graciously offered me her spare room until the house business is final. She lives alone and helped to raise me since her daughter and I have been friends forever. The other day we decided to take a little trip to Hattiesburg for lunch and some shopping.

My little dachshund, Missy, is a go bug too, and she doesn’t mind sleeping in the car for a few minutes if I need to grab a bite or pick up a little something. Missy relaxed while we made our way to our lunch destination. When we arrived at Shady Acres I realized there was absolutely no shade, and it was way too hot to leave Missy in the car.

I rolled all the windows down a bit, got Martha’s walker out the trunk, helped her up the ramp, through the lunch line, and to a table. Then I hurried out to check on Missy. The car was already hot so I turned the air on and left it running while I went in to get my food hoping nobody would drive away with my car and Missy before I returned!

Then I got my food, checked on Martha, and went to eat in the car. Somehow I splashed turnip green juice on my pants and immediately I laughed and thought of Mr. Green Jeans!

I finished lunch without another debacle and went inside to retrieve Martha. She wanted a watermelon, and they were really big so I put the melon on her buggy seat and painstakingly made my way down the ramp with one hand on the melon and one trying to slow down the walker. I finally made it to the car without losing the watermelon or Martha.

By this time I was a mess. My pants were dirty and I was glistening, as we say in our part of the world. Everyone was safely in the car when I realized that Robby wanted some may haw jelly, and I thought I remembered that Shady Acres carried it. So once again I ventured into the store picking up a few other goodies along the way to the cash register.

“Do you have any may haw jelly? I’m afraid I didn’t see any,” I asked the cashier.

“Yes ma’am. It’s on the top shelf in the next room.”

“Would you charge me for a jar and let me pick it up on my way out?”

“Yes ma’am. That would be fine.”

It was only after I was in the back room stuffing a jar of jelly into my bag that I realized to an onlooker I probably looked like the jelly bandit! If you were in Hattiesburg and noticed a disheveled person with turnip green juice on her pants stuffing a jelly jar into her bag it may or may not have been me.