I didn’t know quite what to wear for the event. Having hurriedly stitched together a chiffon-cum-Germanic ballet dress, I asked Wayne, the driver and a veteran on these outings “Is this impromptu tu-tu too Teutonic?”
He gave me a ‘heard it all before’ look, but luckily also a reassuring ‘only you could wear a thing like that’ and we were off.
To the 3rd Annual Food Preservation and Preparation Dance-a-thon. In his old blue Chevy, (which had once been Robert’s Redford’. The guy has connections.)
We picked up Kenny Lionel, all pony-tailed and feathered out, plus his son Juan, looking a bit pale in the face for a Chocktaw. Too much ‘Final Reservation II’ in the basement rec-room, I figured, but didn’t mention it; my dress already riding up in the back uncomfortably.
“Nice tu-tu, Desmond.” Kenny joked as he fiddled with his head-dress in the side mirror.
Anyway, some band was already on stage when we pulled in, finishing up a rather bizarre composition. Juan feigned putting his fingers in his ears, but, when it was over, Kenny, busy unloading his jars and colanders from the trunk, opined:
“I don’t know, for me that Stacato Tocato in T minus 1, ‘in toto’ like totally rocks.”
“Yer full of shit.” Wayne told him, pretending to yank a feather out of his buddy’s hair. I maintained a discrete silence, blending in with the crowd as only a guy in a pink lace mini could manage.
We put the equipment on a folding Ball Mason’s Contestants table. A native American, Ken can can can-can candidates right off the Radio City stage in mid-dance. He’s that good. And there were substantial prizes in the Ball Mason Can-off, where he was expected to repeat last year’s first-place performance, when he thin-sliced and marianated a hip hip-hop hipster and sealed the guy for later use in one (1) five-quart jar.
‘Stews and Chews’ was a bit of a let-down this year, I was told. There were no typically top-shelf entries from Progresso®, so ‘so-so’ Soviet soups grabbed most of the categories. Them pesky Ruskies, they taking over, I swear.
Kenny’s son tried in vain for like an hour to throw real-life darts at a non-virtual target with moving product icons flashing. Finally though, success! I smiled at Wayne when a wan Juan won one: a one-ton won-ton Load-O-Soup™ pallet. Supposed to last you all your life. I can see how that might happen.
So it was dark, about 10:30 when we left. We discretely (?) eased out of our front-and-center seats halfway through the comedy programme. Dr. (?) James Kelvin somebody, a washed-up, freeze-dried, comb-over of an ex-refrigerator magnate doing an impersonation of a comedian, is about all I remember. Painful to sit through a stand-up so pitifully far from being an outstanding stand-out. And with Camera-3 seemingly homed in on our famous three-some for Audience Reaction.
“Hi. I’m James. But when you get to know me, I’m Jim.” he started out. Then: “Just like Dames; when you get to know them they’re Dim. Take my wife for example. Please.”
I wasn’t buying. The drummer hit a a meagre rim-shot with the enthusiasm of a condemned man straightening his tie for a hanging. We waded though a bunch more misogynist flotsam; the geezer was truly ‘a farce to be reckoned with’, then did a tactical retreat, me pointing apologetically at my watch when I saw Cam-3’s red light come on.
And we did have work to do. With Juan proudly pulling the tow-cart with his ton of soup through the gravel lot, we thought out our alternatives: We could hang out and try to sell most of the stuff off the tail-gate. Who knew how long that might take, maybe a lifetime? Or kinda abandon some of it on-site, a sign saying ‘Free Soup for the Soup-less’
Wayne had an idea: “Wait. I got a five ton jack in the trunk. If we sacrifice that, we can easily put a mere ton of soup in the old Chevy, no problem.”
I looked at Kenny. Kenny turned toward Juan, who to his credit did appear to smell a flaw in the
argument, but abstained, being low man on the totem-pole, despite his over-whelming soup-ownership…
So somewhere in Yazoo City there’s an abandoned exhibition grounds with a pallet of Won ton soup in the far corner, there by the break in the fence by the gas station. Free. Pray it hasn’t rained before you get there, y’all.
Oh yeah, and a tattered pink tu-tu. Too Teutonic for the ride back to Hattiesburg. Cops, you know.