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  • OKIE IN EXILE: Aunt Vidalia and Giant

  • My wife and I are quiet people.  Our idea of a good Friday evening is to sit down in my Man Cave after supper (maybe at Mall Deli) and watch a movie on Netflix.  Many times this will be an old movie.  We were doing exactly this the other night when the doorbell rang.

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  • My wife and I are quiet people. Our idea of a good Friday evening is to sit down in my Man Cave after supper (maybe at Mall Deli) and watch a movie on Netflix. Many times this will be an old movie. We were doing exactly this the other night when the doorbell rang.
    Jean was standing up, having just brought in a basket of laundry to fold, so she told me to sit down and she would get it. I told her I would pause the TV.
    She disappeared and I picked up my iPad to work on a Words with Friends game that I’m being beaten at when I heard the door open and Jean squeal with joy.
    “Hello! It’s so nice to see you! Come on in!”
    I stood up and was about to go out to the living room when I looked out of the door of my Man Cave and saw the tall hairdo and the cherry-sucker red finger nails.
    It was Aunt Vidalia and in her tow was her gentleman friend Bum.
    “Well, hello,” I said. “Let me turn off this TV and we can visit.”
    “Oh, what were you watching?” she asked.
    “Just an old movie,” I said. “Giant with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.”
    “Don’t you dare turn that off,” she said. “I love Elizabeth Taylor.” She then turned to Bum and said, “Bring it in now.”
    Bum thereupon immediately disappeared while Vidalia and Jean folded laundry and we all caught up on where all Vidalia and Bum had been. The answer was all over the place, mainly casinos. Bum was looking for someplace to salve the wounds his psyche received because of the outcome of the presidential election and Vidalia was looking for someplace loud enough to drown out the sound of Bum’s grumbling.
    This was just finished being said when Bum returned with two Christmas packages, one stacked upon the other.
    “Go and open them up,” Vidalia said. “That’s why I had Bum bring them in now.”
    Jean opened the big one and I opened the smaller one. The big one was a five-gallon can of popcorn and the smaller one was a 12-pack of hard cider.
    “Merry Christmas,” Vidalia said. “Now we are ready for the movie.”
    Three hours seventeen minutes and half of a 12-pack later we were all feeling a little bit philosophical.
    “Elizabeth Taylor was so beautiful,” Vidalia said. “They got Texans right.”
    Bum nodded his head.
    “The one thing I would quibble with,” he said, “is that more of the Texas women I know are forthright with their opinions like Elizabeth Taylor was than the wallflowers they showed in the movie. I know all about forthright women.”
    Page 2 of 2 - He kind of grinned and Vidalia kind of elbowed him.
    “Did you notice how they were sleeping in separate beds when they were older?” I asked. “What was that about?”
    I knew, but I was just being a bit puckish.
    “In those days,” Vidalia said, “there wasn’t any such thing as a birth-control pill, so if you didn’t want babies you slept in separate beds.”
    “You mean you can do that?” asked Bum with feigned shock. “I thought you had to have sex, you had to have pills, and you had to have someone else pay for them.”
    “Would anyone like to have some more cider?” I asked.
    Ignoring my lame attempt to change the subject, Vidalia flashed.
    “Now don’t you start in on me,”she said. “Things are as they are. Your man lost the election. Get over it.”
    “I notice you didn’t answer me,” he said.
    They each looked as if they had a lot more to say to each other. I was opening my mouth to say something--I’ve no idea what--to pour a little oil on the waters. When I heard a sweet voice by my side.
    “This has been such a nice evening,” Jean said. “We’ve enjoyed your company so much. Family is one of the things that make life worth living. Don’t you think that’s kind of what the movie is about?”
    All three of us took a breath and sat back.
    “I do believe I will have some of that cider,” Bum said.
    “Me too,” Vidalia said.
    I took another myself and as we finished up the evening I watched Vidalia’s body language. My guess was the separate beds thing wouldn’t be an artifact of history for her and Bum for a while.
    Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, is Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University. He blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. You may contact him at okieinexile@gmail.com.

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