Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gardiner's Garden Basket - Part Three

Gardiner's Garden Basket

Part Three

            “Cook?  EAT?  Gardiner don’t invite me to EAT.”
            “You never?”
            “WHALE... NOPE”.
            “I did.  Right from the garden... RIGHT from that basket.”
            “WHALE THEN I know WHY I SKIPPED THAT”.
            “No donuts?”
            “WHALE...:  At the GAS STATION.  She (Gardiner’s wife) made them donuts for THERE.  I HAD THOSE.  But no veg-ah-TABLES ‘cept a BEAN maybe.”
            “He’d go inside with the basket.  He’d put it all out in a wash pan in the sink.  He’d wash all of it and set it on towels.  He’d put the BASKET back on the porch.  First he’d put the potatoes to boil; one extra for me.  Then he’d put three strips of bacon in the big skillet.  Cook that hard and then set the strips off.  Then hot as hell he’d have set up the rest of the vegetables from the basket; nipped the beans and all.  He’d dump it all into the smoking hot grease.  STIR FRY IT just like a WOK.  Then put the skillet  on the table.  DRAIN out the potatoes.  Set those on the plates with a bacon strip.  SLICE those potatoes and put the plate at your place.  With a slotted spoon you served yourself that STIR FRY on top of the potato slices with the bacon strip on the side.  ALL SUMMMER that’s what they ate.  PAST FROST too... “
            “Don’t seem a MEAL I’d WEASEL for.  Even SALT and PEPPER won’t FIX a veg-ah-TABLE.  WENT DOWN to the CHURCH FEED SATURDAY.
            “You WEASELED?”
            “WHALE.  SEE... I said I’D PAY:  SIX DOLLARS they SAID.  WHALE... I said OK Fetchy DO IT.  It’s a GOOD FEED.  SO I STAND INSIDE and ELIZABETH sees me at my STAND.  SHE comes over and says MR. KEELER wanted me to HAVE a ticket.  OH I said and she says I have it RIGHT HERE.  OH I said and sure she DID HAND me a TICKET.  So then I STAND with my ticket.”
            “SEE; you WEASELED”.
            “WHALE... NOT YET I say.  SEE that ELIZABETH says to EVERYONE HAS TO GO INTO the CHURCH for a SERVICE before the FEED.  WHALE... I don’t LIKE THAT.  BUT WE ALL START OVER to the CHURCH DOOR.  Then Elizabeth comes OVER AGAIN and says Fetchy you don’t have to go to THAT.  Go into the FEED and get yourself a plate of HOT ROLLS and eat those while you WAIT for the others.  She says if MR KEELER says something to tell him to SEE HER.   So I went RIGHT OVER THERE.”
            “And got the rolls”
            “WHALE:  COURSE.  HOT rolls TOO JUST out of the OVEN.  I didn’t make a FUSS.  SAT over by the PORCH DOOR where they brought the TABLES in from OUTSIDE.  SAT THERE... you know... let them OTHERS have the HALL TABLES”.
            “Very KIND OF YOU, Fetchy.”
            “WHALE I got the WEASEL too.  I can GET OUT that PORCH door with my doggie bags.  I parked the truck UNDER the TREES right there.  SEE THEY make me UP a doggie but OH I GET few DOGGIES myself.  THAT Mrs. Taylor watched me with some more ROLLS but Elizabeth told her it was just ME being FETCHY.  THAT Mrs. Taylor you know; she’s the one that got me OUT of that CHURCH service.”
            “Mrs. Taylor?”
            “WHALE... she:  WHALE THEY MADE ME GO ONCE and SHE SEEN ME SIT in there and THEY SAY SHE wouldn’t SIT IN THAT PEW AGAIN.  I guess it was suppose to be HERS but I didn’t see THAT.  SO that way SINCE THAT they don’t MAKE ME GO.  SHE done that GOOD FOR ME I say.
            “NOW Fetchy:  THEY SAID; Crazy Karen and her NEW MAN, that TUESDAY THEY SEEN YOU up there AT TAYLORS hauling a load of TRASH for her.”
            “WHALE I WAS up THERE but I weren’t hauling TRASH.  GOT ME a GOOD LOAD FULL of HER trash but it’s MY CASH.  WEASELED you’d SAY.”
            “You weaseled Mrs. Taylor?”
            “She come; at the FEED, and said she had a DUMP LOAD needed HAULING.  FINE JERSEY I say.  She knows I know she LIVES in NEW JERSEY NOW.  So I go up.  This is at the NEW HOUSE.  So she has this PILED in that GARAGE.  So FINE I say but I can see I’m REALLY OK.  So I load all that quick in the truck.  She comes back out and says look at how all that truck is ALREADY IN THE TRUCK.  I say that’s the idea; whole truck full.  Well she looks at that and say Mr. Fetchy you done a good quick job for me how much do I owe you.  WHALE I say weasel to MYSELF but SHE don’t know that TRASH is TREASURE so I say TWENTY.  She says THERE YOU GO Mr. Fetchy.  Then we said about Mary ANNE but she don’t know where she is anymore.  But we said how long ago it is now isn’t IT.  WHALE it is.”
            “So what’s that LOAD?”
            “WHALE it’s HER TRASH”.
            “From the OLD HOUSE?”
            “WHALE NO!  SOME of it MUST BE that one HUSBAND’S.  SEVERAL BACK that one:  CADDIE.  The one that lived there in the WINTER.  Mr. Chickering right?  ‘Member HIM?”
            “BACK TWO FELLAS (husbands) AT LEAST.  Maybe NOW THREE.  But she AIN’T married NOW is SHE?”
            “I don’t know.  Pretty nasty all that.  Too much for me.”
            “WHALE.  Them FOOLS throw out EACH OTHERS TRASH.
            “So anything GOOD?”
            “WHALE... I went down to the gas station with THIS SIGN that said TOWING”.
            “Sign?  Towing?”
            “BIG WOOD SIGN that was for TOWING.  CAME from THAT GAS STATION I figure.  WHALE... I SAY it did.  So they say HOW MUCH.  I say four gallons.  THEY SAY SOLD.  SO... WHALE... they put it over by the BAYS.  I start pumping but I SAY WHALE while I’m LOOKING at the SIGN.  WHALE FIVE I say and fill THAT.  So they sees THAT and SAY FETCHY you weaseled.  I SAY NO I PAY THEN and TAKE MY SIGN BACK.  THEY say GO ON OFF FETCHY then.”
            “Sounds like it could be a good sign Fetchy.”
            “It ain’t.  It come from the DUMP.  THAT CADDIE took it from the DUMP.  ALL I GOT was HIS from the DUMP.  Probably won’t go BACK to the DUMP.  Figure:  WHALE... FIGURE.  I figure I SELL most of it.  I had that TWENTY dollars from Mrs. TAYOR if they MADE ME take the sign back.  LUCKY THERE.  THEY weaseled me I KNOW IT.”
            “I’ll go down and look at the sign and let you know”.
            “WHALE’ll SEE.  Who got WEASELED I think I know.”
            “Mrs. Taylor isn’t doing anything at the old house is she”.
            “No.  Drum TIGHT just the SAME.  I think she come back from New Jersey after she wears out this beau.  SHE WEASEL more than WE EVER WEASEL.  SHE and her fellas are the biggest WEASEL of US ALL.”

            “I did get a garden basket off of Mary Anne.  It come out of Mrs. Taylor’s old house; the one by the road.  Mary Anne used it at the new house.”
            “Mary Anne was Mrs. Taylor’s COOK they called her.  HIRED GIRL is what she WAS.”
            “You LOVED Mary Anne.”
            “WHALE... I DID love her.  She...  Whale...:  She’s a FINE woman”.
            “Coming from you Fetchy; she heard you say THAT and HEADED for the HILLS.”
            “Remember them cookies?  Oh DO I.  She knows to FEED A BOY cookies.  I did anything for HER.  ALL THAT FIREWOOD.  But she left.  HAVE A BABY.  THEY MARRIED.  AND THE BABY GREW UP; Paulie.  HE come here ONCE.  Come here.  I met him.  WHALE... time DOES GO BY.
            “I still have that basket.  It’s up on the shed floor.  HOT up there.  We can go up.”
            “WHALE Paulie... WHAT KIND OF NAME IS THAT.”
            “It’s PAUL”
            “I know that but they call him PAULIE”.
            “So they call you FETCHY”.

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