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The Accidental Cootchie Mama

gardenia photo, gardenia blossom, gardenia bloom, cootchie

Okay. So. I think I can safely be called the Accidental Cootchie Mama.

We were invited to go out to dinner with Kristin Walker and her husband Randy. Because Kristin is very involved in the biking community in Charleston, we decided that we would all ride our bicycles for our outing. She and Randy proposed that we meet before dinner at a new place called The Gin Joint, the old Robert’s of Charleston on East Bay Street. Being adventurous, we’re always happy to discover another destination and obliged with a 6:15 meeting time.

MTM selected what I wore, a Patagonia dress that he recently bought for me as a surprise. It is a knee-length halter dress, but I thought it would be okay on the bike. When we started out, it was a little warm, and MTM thoughtfully suggested that if we rode on Concord Street we’d likely catch a breeze off the water that would keep us from arriving drenched with dew.

To digress for a few seconds, Charleston is a rather prudish place. Head on down to Savannah, and people walk around brazenly with open containers. Here, a guy tries to walk a block with his brown paper bag and gets arrested. In the Holy City, it is a weeks-long front page drama when college co-eds want to sun themselves in Marion Square, with numerous folks rising up to call their behavior “indecent” because they’re wearing bathing suits. Revealing oneself to unsuspecting strangers is certainly frowned upon here.

So, we’re riding along Concord Street. Only the slight cooling breeze that MTM hoped for was actually a gale that was blowing off the water and into our faces. I leaned over my handlebars and peddled as hard as I could in my kitten heeled thong sandals. Surely, we would make The Gin Joint on time.

Then it happened. The wind caught my dress and blew it up. I swerved precariously but stayed upright as I yanked my skirt back down with one hand. I wrangled my bike back into a straight path and pressed on. Only, my skirt kept blowing up. I’m weaving all over the road trying to keep my skirt down; MTM is laughing at me; occupants of oncoming vehicles are either howling with laughter, covering their eyes or staring at me reprovingly like I’m some sort of sick, twisted flasher person.

I kept waiting for the Charleston Chief of Police to personally arrest me for indecent exposure, as he would surely be wont to do given his hard line views. Mercifully, we made it to The Gin Joint without my landing in the clink, though I think it is safe to say that my face had not blushed that much in a very, very, very long time. The breeze did have a cooling effect in other places, though.

53 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lou Mello #

    You guys need a bike for two with the 2nd person riding facing the rear, then you can do what you choose to do coming and going. Flash and dash!!

    August 27, 2010
    • MTM wants a bike for two Lou so that he can do the work while I sit there and do……whatever it is I do…….

      August 27, 2010
      • Just after hurricane Hugo, I found a wonderful Schwinn bicycle built for two on a trash pile in my ‘hood. I politely rapped on the door to gain permission to salvage the bike. Permission granted, I took it home, cleaned it up, oiled it, and tinkered to get it just right. I also added a “baby” or toddler seat on the back, so my 3 year-old-Edward could ride with me. His brother went on the “second seat.” We went to the park like this and rode all around town. When I wanted a cruiser, I traded my Schwinn to Mike (of Mikes Bikes) at his downtown location for a semi-used cruiser. Then had the toddler seat moved over and we kept on cruising. Me and my two sons. (Bad grammar, I know.) It was so much fun to take them with me. Nate on his bike and Edward riding shotgun behind me.

        August 27, 2010
  2. michele fister #

    Cootchie Mammy…..I just blew coffee through my nose I am laughing so hard!!! Cootchie Mammy has been “our word” since potty training my girls.!! Love it, you are a riot ! Hope your weekend is very “flashy”.

    August 27, 2010
    • Always a pleasure to make people laugh. Not so much to show them my cootchie. πŸ™‚ I hope your nose has already recovered. For some reason, I got a laugh out of imagining potty training to cootchie mammy. Very funny.

      August 27, 2010
  3. That has got to be one of the funniest news flashes I have read in a long time! I sympathize with Michele who blew coffee out her nose. And you told me yesterday that you weren’t into that kind of exhibitionist behavior! Could this most recent skin fetish have something to do with your choice of late night reading material?

    And MTM, congratulations on planning that so well. From dress choice to chosen route, you mapped everything out perfectly. Hope I haven’t “blown your cover”!

    August 27, 2010
  4. Oh my that is TOO FUNNY. hahahahahaha Thanks for sharing the moment with your readers. LOL.

    I find it interesting that Charleston is dubbed “The holy city”. I am not sure what the origins are from however as much as I like Charleston it is far from “holy”.

    I will admit that I have some very conservative view points on some things and that I would rather that the female college students NOT sun bath topless in Marion Square. I realize that is my personal opinion and that not everyone holds that opinion as they rush down to Marion Square to be innocent on lookers. LOL.

    I am glad that you made it down to the restaurant and that the breeze off the water kept you cool. HA

    August 27, 2010
    • Bite your tongue man! Those college students should be sun-bathing all over the city.

      August 27, 2010
    • I think the terms holy city stems from the number of churches downtown and spires on view on the skyline. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

      I don’t remember the topless part, but maybe they were doing it that way. I’m too much of a prude to do that, this article notwithstanding. πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  5. I have no problem with sun bathing as long as they are not doing it topless. If that makes me a prude or too conservative for some then I guess it is what it is. πŸ™‚

    August 27, 2010
    • Nobody has a wrong viewpoint here, James. Don’t listen to Michael.

      August 27, 2010
  6. Ginger #

    I do recall when I lived in Chucktown those things happening as I walked down the sidewalks, dressed for an evening, with you, and wearing cute everything, only to turn an ankle on the on so smooth sidewalks and showing up with scuffed knees, and a ticked attitude!
    I am proud of you for not falling off the bike, that would be exactly what I would have done first!!

    I remember taking a guy friend to Robert’s for his birthday, hope the Gin Joint was better!

    August 27, 2010
    • I remember that also. I was always fearful of falling down and showing my unmentionables to passersby even then.

      Gin Joint was good. It is Robert’s daughter, I think.

      Miss you..xo

      August 27, 2010
  7. Updrafts really don’t have much of a sense of decorum. Sick, sick updrafts. (I was going to write a long diatribe about the physics of directional wind shear but I will stop myself…)

    August 27, 2010
    • Yes, I guess this does give a new meaning to the term “bicycle friendly………..” πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  8. so funny – thanks for the laughs. hope you are well.

    August 27, 2010
    • Other than overexposed, I’m doing just dandy. Hope things are still great in the new gig. Have a good weekend.

      August 27, 2010
  9. Well, I’m late to this party! As a former “ride my bike anywhere” person I know exactly the struggle you describe. Glad you can laugh. What I want to know is how do you keep your skirt out of the chain on your bike? That was always my issue. When you wear pants, you can put bands around your legs to keep them from flopping in the chain. I’ve had many an accident from getting my skirt hem caught.

    And with regard to the whole sunbathing topless around downtown, I saw this video yesterday courtesy of Jiimmi Hatt’s facebook post. Shared it with Bill and now it’s on his blog as his request to replace our national anthem.

    August 27, 2010
    • I am afraid to click on the link. I saw Guerilla Cuisine’s link and feared clicking there, too.

      My bike is designed not to have chain issues, though MTM has been shopping (forever) for a skirt guard for my bike. It slips over the back wheel and keeps longer skirts out of it. Absent that, I just bunch it up and sit on it if the skirt is fuller.

      August 27, 2010
  10. alice #

    Too funny – I can so picture the scene – I even have the same dress.

    Gordon’s fondest memory from our trip to New Orleans was sight of a girl riding down Royal Street in the French quarter in a skirt with no underwear. She was not in the least bit worried about either.

    I guess that is the difference between The Big Easy and the Holy City right there.

    August 27, 2010
    • Yes, it was the same blue dress – MTM bought me one just like yours as a surprise. I now have 3 of them in different colors because that’s how much he likes that dress.

      If I keep up these antics, maybe we will redefine Charleston a bit. πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  11. Steve #

    A very long time ago I was told that Charleston was called the Holy City because it was the exact opposite from it’s founding through the 1980’s (when we still had 2 strip joints below Calhoun St.)

    My dad toured through Charleston when Galliard had just opened – he remembered the Market was the red light district at that time.

    Port city, pirates, scallywags, stevedores, sailors, the great riot on Chalmers Street red light district in the 1700’s (I think) – Charleston does not have the prim and proper past that it wishes to present itself as today.

    August 27, 2010
  12. Amber Deutsch #

    Marshall and I have a tandem bicycle (or “a bicycle built for two” as some of you wordier but more poetic people term it). I adore it – it allows me to cruise along with little effort when I need a rest, thus allowing for Marshall’s preferred length of ride (15-20 mi.) as opposed to mine (.5-.6 mi.) The other major benefit is that he blocks the wind, so no “blowback” issues. Of course, I wear a dress only once in a while, so not so much of a problem for me…

    August 27, 2010
    • Supposedly, MTM is looking for a tandem bike for us. Where do you put Elena? That would be awesome to behold. πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  13. Amber Deutsch #

    So far she’s stayed with Grandma during our rides. Marshall wants her to ride in the Baby Bjorn on his chest, but to date I’ve prevailed in keeping her home. It’s the closest we’ve come to a date in a while.

    August 27, 2010
    • I’d be happy to keep her any time, though she cried for the duration the first time she met me and cries every time she sees me. Maybe she’d just cry herself to sleep and be pooped when you got home. πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  14. Teresa Mello #

    Solutions! You need solutions! Not an expensive bicycle for two! One solution is to find a pair of capri type leggings that stop above your knees and another solution we used when we were kids insisting on riding our bikes with dresses on: clothespins! Clothespin your dress front and back between your knees! Have fun flashy!

    August 27, 2010
    • I never think of these things until it’s too late, Teresa. πŸ™‚

      August 27, 2010
  15. michael maher #

    I’ve seen London,
    I’ve seen France,
    When we ride,
    I’m at Andra’s side,
    So I have to look askance to catch a glance.

    August 27, 2010
  16. Lou Mello #

    a lady in a dress
    astride a bike did rest
    the wind was somewhat spooky
    a glance was indeed quite askance
    as the lady became a mama cootchie

    August 27, 2010
    • Even I cannot believe I told this story, Lou. Please don’t call me Mama Cootchie in front of the English people (though it would be a cultural exchange explaining it to them.)

      August 27, 2010
  17. I loved this story. Once I was reading an Erma Bombeck Book and starting laughing so hard. Roger rolled over and said that he did not mind me having the light on and reading in bed, but could I stop the giggling. Your writing reminds me of her. She was from Dayton and a good friend with Phil Donahue — they were neighbors. Just keep it up because I read almost every day, but I have a lot of catching up to do.

    August 27, 2010
    • Phyllis, your comparing me to Erma Bombeck actually made me tear up in the car. Thank you. Very, very much.

      August 27, 2010
  18. I am so, so sorry to have to do this… but this story and your blog name require it. You need to listen to this song ( The chorus is essentially one melodious, stretched-out vocalization of the word “coochie.” And it is catchy as all get out and it will get lodged in your head and, for that, I apologize.

    May 13, 2013
  19. So you weren’t wearing underwear?

    June 6, 2013
  20. Bee #

    You have been part of the wordpress family for a long time please accept this ward nomination

    July 4, 2013
  21. I often wondered how the blog title came about. Great tale, I just knew there was. I’ve always wanted to ride a bicycle in a pretty dress but now….might have to develop an anti cootchie mama device. Kind of like the elastics I wore around my pant leg when I was a kid.

    August 18, 2013
  22. I also have an incredible talent for innocently making a monsterous fool of myself. Thanks for the laugh.

    September 5, 2013

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