Day 235: Back Seat Defeat

Next on Laetitia’s agenda was a visit to Oklahoma, the Sooner State. “Sooner” was the name given to people who illegally occupied unassigned lands in Oklahoma Territory, before the lands were officially opened for homesteading in 1889. The tour stopped in Oktaha, in eastern Oklahoma, and visited the art gallery of Jeanne Rorex-Bridges, an artist of Cherokee descent whose exquisite tiles with scenes of Native American life were admired by the tour group. Several individuals bought tiles.

The group’s destination was Hugo, a town of a bit over 5,000 inhabitants in Choctaw County. They spent the afternoon hiking in Hugo Lake State Park. Back in town that evening, they stopped in a local bar for happy hour and, as usual, the bartender was an excellent source of local gossip. His story, which gave rise to the day’s limerick, was hearsay, of course, but he had heard the story in two versions from Mortimer and Yvonne, who were the story’s participants.

The story began when Mortimer purchased a Yugo subcompact. When this product of Communist Yugoslavia was first introduced in the United States, it was an instant marketing success, owing chiefly to its exceedingly low price. The euphoria didn’t last long. It wasn’t a good omen when the car that Motor Trend Magazine was testing broke down. Some authors who review automobiles called it “the worst car in history” and others joked that its owner’s manual included a bus schedule. But the bartender’s story wasn’t about mechanical problems. Mortimer and his girlfriend, Yvonne, were two very large people who still lived at home, and Mortimer’s car was the only place they could go to “fool around.” After the incident that became the limerick, Mortimer traded in his Yugo for a used Cadillac.

Yvonne said to Mortimer, “You go
And take me on back home to Hugo”
His back seat was so cramped
That her ardor had damped
And he vowed to get rid of his Yugo.