Queen Tush rolled up the driveway honking the horn of her powder blue pickup. She oozed out from behind the wheel in a black velveteen slit-up-the-side number.
My first thought was, "Where's Elvis?" Then I recognized the dress from her gothchick nuptials.
I said, "Queen, what are you doing in your wedding gown?"
She modeled almost twisting out of her red high-heeled sandals.
"Don't you love it, Bud? Isn't this the fun-est thing?" She stuffed back her right boobage as it made a run for it. "It still fits." Queen Tush batted her raccoon eyes.
"Still fits" maybe in Queen's magic mirror. Those seams better be reinforced. The red lipstick overshot her mouth; black roots teased peroxide straw. I glanced down skipping the scary bits. The terminal digit of each toe, including the nail, was painted at one with the red sandals.
I said, "Hon, you are a sight! Where you headed?"
She shrugged, "Over to Scooter's. Taking him my squash casserole. His old lady is down to the Eastern Star in Savannah. Kids are off at their Maw-maw and Paw-paw's. Thought I'd be neighborly."
Her neighborliness smelled like she'd mugged Earline, the Avon Lady. From the unidentifiable lumps, I envisioned the squash casserole stashed under her skirt.
She cooed, "Listen, Bud, I was wondering." She flirted, "You boys spare some eggs?"
Fringe benefit of two men living together. You get called "boys" into senescence.
I said, "Imagine so. Let's head out back. You put eggs in casserole?"
Queen shifted her weight, "Eggs are for breakfast. Scooter's hens quit laying after the coyot' snatched the rooster. Liked to scared them biddies to death! Poor things."
I furrowed my judgmental brow, "Queen, Honey, a lady would drop off her casserole and go home. To her husband."
"Are you saying I'm no lady?" Queen ruffled, asking and answering her own question.
I said, "Queen, did you drive off and leave LeRoy in front of the TV?"
Mother Nature weighed in with a lightning bolt and thunder clap.
Queen cowered looking up, "I haven't seen LeRoy! All week!" She burst into tears. "Last I saw, he was cleaning fish. Who knows who he's feeding his trout to?"
LeRoy Tush makes a fine hush puppy. Hope he's not gone for good. The violet sky darkened, and light dimmed to chartreuse.
I motioned, "Come on. Let's get your eggs. Looks like a gully-washer." I reconsidered, her red sandals and wobbly kankles. "Better yet, you wait here. Queen, Darlin', you been drinking?"
She pursed her finger-painted puss. "Just a sip of Skeeter's condom wine."
"Skeeter," not to be confused with "Scooter," lives two places farther down. Skeeter came up with the foolproof trick of condom wine: Crush your blackberries, mix in the sugar, yeast and a little water, unroll an UNUSED latex condom over the mouth of the jug and let the thing flop. As the essence ferments, the rubber allows it to breathe and keeps the Florida bugs at bay. In two or three weeks when that Cream Sicle hits ten inches, strain through a clean tee-shirt, and you have yourself one potent party and a brand new tie-dyed garment.
First I heard-tell left me scratching my head, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Condom wine caught on in Sandtrap and Mercer County. Even the Hardshells are using it for Baptist communion. Marge down at the hardware now stocks prophylactics with canning goods.
Queen's eggs secured, I rolled her back into the pickup just as the bottom fell out. She cranked up the window quick-like, but mascara already streaked her cheeks. She backed over the canna lilies and wove down the road toward the peach orchard and Scooter's double-wide on the other side.
Now blacktopped, that Peach Orchard Road once was treacherous. When I was but a tot, the slick red clay route had rut gullies either side deeper than the vehicle that ran like blood rivers every storm. My heart pounded as our vehicle shimmied along the ribbon of clay, like a squirrel crossing an overhead fiber optic cable. My Dad's expression never wavered, but Mama gripped the passenger door, like that would save her. When we made it safely to the other side, one of them would tell the story of Uncle Lucius drowning in the Walnut Creek freshet just trying to get home, and lecture me on how I shouldn't take chances.
In the garden I picked a mess of squash, and by the time Duck made it home for supper, we had some casserole of our own.
Up next in the Heart of Jawja:
“Ding Dong Avon Calling,” Sandtrap’s horseback Avon Lady attempts a gay makeover. (Go!)
© Phil Comer
Disclaimer: Although loosely based on reality, characters and events are none you or I know. If you think this doesn't totally suck, please Comment, Follow and click Like. Thanks!
Text is copyright material of the author. Photo by Brad Griffies with permission. Unless stated otherwise, photos and links are for information and not the property of the author.