Shelby Ennis was born at a very young age.
His parents were disappointed. They had wanted a child.
In fact, it is said that he was so ugly that his father tried to find a loophole in his birth certificate.
(His father had been a state champ in skeet shooting, but had to give it up at that time when Shelby's mother hid all the shotguns because of the constant muttering about "shooting the ugly little varment!")
It was later said that with his long nose, he could take a shower and smoke a cigar at the same time. Some said that every time he kissed a girl, he pierced her ears.
Shelby says he was never treated right. Even when he was a baby, people kept pinning things on him.
However, he always said that anybody who isn't a little neurotic today is crazy.
He later claimed that everyone was just jealous because the voices only taked to him.
They tried to get him to go for help. But he refused, saying that anybody who would see a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
He grew up in a tough neighborhood. The boys all used crowbars for toothpicks. In fact, a boy with two ears was a sissy, and a cat with a tail was a tourist.
Shelby was pretty tough himself. He claimed that he could lick any kid on the block except the Mulligans. (They were boys).
He still talks about his first arithmatic lesson. The teacher said, "If I lay two eggs here and two eggs over there, how many will I have?" To which Shelby replied, "Teach, I just don't believe you can do it!"
When he was about ten years old, he came home from the first grade one day to announce, "There were only 3 boys in school who could answer one of the teacher's questions today!" His surprised mother said, "That's certainly a surprise! What was the question?" To which he replied, "Who broke the glass in the back window?"
Finally, in the third grade, he brought home nearly perfect marks for several weeks, much to the amazement of his parents. Then the grades took a sudden slump. His father looked at the last report card with disapproval and asked, "What happened?" "It's all the teacher's fault!" he replied. "What do you mean?" asked his father. "She moved the smart little boy who sat next to me!"
He always said there were three kinds of people. Those who can count and those who can't.
Well, maybe it was due to heredity. As he always said, "If your parents didn't have any children, the chances are that you won't have any, either."
One cold, dark October night he was walking home from a high school football game and took a shortcut thru the city cemetary. In the dark, he fell into an open grave. He screamed, climbed, clawed, and tried to get out. But to no avail. Finally, exhausted, he sank back, staring at the sky. But unknown to him, a drunk, taking the same shortcut, had fallen into that same grave and now sat huddled in the corner. As Shelby stood there, defeated and exhausted, the drunk tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Take it easy, son. You'll never get out!" - He did!
His first job was working on a garbage truck. It paid $2 a week and all you could eat.
(He quit when he got over his cold).
A copy of one of the love notes that he wrote while in high school has been found. It reads, "My love for you is so great I would swim the deepest river for you. I would climb the highest mountain. I would dash thru fire. I would fight wild beasts. - PS - If it doesn't rain, I'll be over to see you Saturday night."
Shelby never was very brave, but this was due to an inherited physical defect. It's known as a yellow streak up the back.
Raised on a small Kentucky farm, one of his jobs was to slop the pigs. Someone came to see him one day while he was working. His mother pointed them in the direction of the field where the hogs were, telling them that he was busy there feeding the hogs. "You'll know Shelby, of course. He's the one with the cap on."
He went out for several sports while in high school, but did not do particularly well. He was a throwback on the football team, a setback on the baseball team and javelin catcher in track and field.
In his senior year, the Yearbook voted him "Most likely."
Well, you know what they say. Make it idiot proof, and they'll invent a better idiot.
He went away to college (a state school that had to accept nearly everyone, of course). At the end of the first semester, he wrote his mother, "Failed in everything. Prepare papa." To which his mother wrote back, "Father prepared. Prepare yourself!"
His first girlfriend was a melancholy. She had a body like a melon and a face like a collie.
The next girl told him, "Sorry. I don't date outside my species.
He always said that a Laundromat was a bad place to pick up a woman, because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will never be able to support you.
Later he met the wonderful girl who was to become his wife. (This was right after her gymnastic accident, while her thinking was still somewhat scrambled).
They hit it off right away. But after the swelling around his eyes went down, he crawled back to her.
As he was preparing for his wedding, his bride-to-be was explaining some of the customs. "The bride wears a white gown because it's a symbol of her joy." To which he replied, "Then why am I supposed to wear black?"
He eventually wore a Searsucker suit. Sears made it, and a sucker bought it.
He later said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; and then it was too late."
Chronically thoughtless as a husband, one night, for no special reason, he brought home a box of candy and some flowers for his wife. Instead of her eyes lighting up, she burst into tears. Like most men, Shelby stood there dumfounded, and finally managed to ask what was wrong. "Oh," she sobbed, "It was bad enough to be sick all day, to have the baby fall and cut her head, and to burn my hand on the stove. But then to have you come home drunk is too much!"
As might be expected, Shelby and his wife disagree theologically. He thinks he's perfect. She thinks he isn't!
But just think - if it wern't for marriage, he would have gone thru life thinking he had no faults at all.
Actually, she says he's a psychoceramic - a crackpot.
She always said, "Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let him sleep.
He and his wife are inseparable. In fact, last week it took four state troopers and a dog!
Their first furniture has sometimes been classified as antiques. But while some people's antiques were said to go back to Louie the 14th, theirs went back to Sears on the 15th.
He once tried his hand at writing music. He always claimed that great singers ran in his family (fortunately, they were never caught). He tried to write a symphony, which was immediately dubbed the "Pathetic Sympathy."
His favorite musician is P. D. Q. Bach, the last and certainly the least of J. S. Bach's children. P. D. Q. was great composer (he said), writing most of his works for the solo wine bottle. P. D. Q. was also a well-known organist, best known for the acrobatic multiple glissandos performed on the foot pedals. They later became known as "Tootsie Rolls."
Shelby's favorite bumper sticker - "I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it!"
He has been trying to learn some etiquette - like, dim your lights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in sight.
Or, a centerpiece for the dinner table should never be prepared by a taxidermist.

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