The Pleasers

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As was their custom, the four members of the Pleasers clan loaded into their ’05 Ford and headed down the road.

Mrs. Pleasers, being slightly more adept, slid in behind the wheel, her husband at her side. Molly, 10, and her younger sister, Rachael, claimed the backseat as the family headed south down Highway 12. First stop was Bakersville.

Rolling into a gas station, the family unloaded and stretched. Mingling out front were some local townsfolk.

“What a shame!” said one. “That man makes his wife drive him around! It’s a travesty women are treated as such!”

Though spoken in whispers, the Pleasers heard it all. Embarrassed, Mr. Pleasers traded places with his wife as he drove to Babbtown. There they stopped to eat, but overheard some locals say, “How will his daughter ever learn the art of driving? She should be up front to observe the technique.”

Perturbed, Mr. and Mrs. Pleasers brought Molly up front as Mr. Pleasers headed to Flintlock, a town of 300. There, they pulled into a rest area and overheard a crowd, “That poor little girl! Confined to the back seat! How cruel!”

Embarrassed, Mr. Pleasers brought Rachael to the front as the four now rode, shoulder to shoulder, down the two-lane road.

Mid-afternoon they pulled into Nell’s Café in Scottsville and ordered their supper, quickly gulping it down because they were all quite famished. Some local chat was overheard, “It’s a shame people drive everywhere these days! What happened to old-fashion walking? No wonder folk are out of shape! Take that family that just drove up…”

Embarrassed, Mr. Pleasers lined up his family of four and they started walking.

Presently, looking for refreshment, they walked into Harriett’s and quenched their thirst, but overheard the townsfolk, “How unkind to walk one’s family this day and time! Seems the least the man could do is offer some assistance!”

So, readers, if you are riding south on Highway 12 and see an older man, having left his vehicle up the road, carrying a woman on his back who in turn is carrying children in her arms, don’t stare (for it is not nice to stare). It is only the Pleasers family, trying to please everyone.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is