Monday, April 12, 2010
Aunt Birdie's Hat ...
The Widow VanMeter had been stricken ill and was temporarily incapacitated ... so some of the ladies in the neighborhood got together and took turns making sure her housework got done and that she had plenty to eat ... on this particular evening it was Grandma DooLittle's and Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet's turn to fix supper for the Widow ... Aunt Birdie Mae was one of the most large-hearted individuals you would ever want to meet, always keeping herself busy doing acts of kindness and charity for the needy and less fortunate ... the only bad thing anybody could possibly say about Birdie Mae was that she was an outright habitual, bald-faced liar!
That evening Grandma DooLittle had prepared some chicken and dumplings, gravy and green beans to go along with a loaf of Aunt Birdie's fresh-baked sourdough bread, some churned butter and a pitcher of warm, homemade custard ... as the ladies carried their fare down the street to the Widow VanMeter's place thunder could be heard rumbling off in the distance and an occasional flash of lightning lit up the darkening sky ... now it so happened that Birdie Mae was wearing a new hat that was stacked nearly two feet high with what appeared to be clusters of red and white, silk rose petals ... she had purchased the gaudy thing at a rummage sale the day before for .25 cents, likely overpaid too .. however she had been telling Grandma DooLittle that she had ordered the ornate head covering from Saks Fifth Avenue for $2500 dollars!
Well Grandma DooLittle hadn't fallen off no turnip wagon, not lately anyhow ... she knew better, that hat had been discarded by the community theatre and donated to the rummage sale just last week ... as they got closer to the Widow VanMeter's house Grandma DooLittle was taking Aunt Birdie Mae to task for lying about the purchase, all the while thunder claps kept getting louder and lightning flashes kept getting brighter ... but Aunt Birdie kept sticking right to her original claim concerning the hat, insisting that "if I'm lyin' I'm dyin' ... may the Almighty strike me down!" ... now the Widow VanMeter lived in one of those small houses with extremely low ceilings, probably no more that six and a-half feet in height, and to make matters worse, she had installed a ceiling fan in each room of that house and kept them running day and night ... just as the ladies walked through the Widow VanMeter's front door into her living room, a bolt of lightning struck a tall tree right next to the house, and at that exact second Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet forgot all about those low hanging ceiling fans and let her beloved hat come into contact with the spinning fan blades.
The timing was perfect ... at the very instant lightning struck the tree, fan blades struck Birdie Mae's hat ... KaBooooom!!! ... red and white, silk rose petals exploded all over the Widow VanMeter's living room as Grandma DooLittle and Aunt Birdie hit the floor screaming at the tops of their lungs, the smell of fire and brimstone hanging in the air ... after things settled a bit, Grandma DooLittle rolled over and exclaimed "oh Birdie, just look at your beautiful new hat, it's ruined, and to think you paid $2500 dollars for it ... Aunt Birdie Mae looked over at Grandma DooLittle with a sheepish grin and declared "Lord knows it weren't no real loss ... I only gave .25 cents for the old thing yesterday at the rummage sale!"