Recently my friends and I were at dinner and we were playing the question game. It started with one of the gals asking if we had ever known anyone in prison. Know someone? I was raised by someone in prison. What do I win?
Eventually we meandered our way to who has the best redneck story. Now, let me just say, I knew I had this one. Hands down. But, I waited quietly while the others told their stories. I had already shown everyone up with that whole STEPDAD IN PRISON thing. I didn’t want to come off like a one upper. I slowly downed another Pabst Blue Ribbon with my koozie wrapped around it that said, “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit,” and waited for my turn.
I must give credit where credit is due and tell you that one of my girlfriends is from the hills of North Carolina and she did give me a slight run for my money, but I walloped her arse good with this story.
Every year for Christmas, my grandmother on my mother’s side, Mimi, would cook up a big feast of ham and raisin sauce and green been casserole and homemade cookies, you get the idea. We would all exchange gifts and get a little too drunk (some of us a lot too drunk, because nothing makes dysfunction more tolerable than a good buzzy buzz) and everyone would be pissed off at everyone else by the end of the night. Inevitably someone stormed out before dessert with a slam of the door, and for some screwed up reason we all looked forward to again the following year. And? Now that they have all passed away, I am desperate for just one more Christmas with that pile of dysfunction. I cry as I type at how wonderful it would be.
Anyway, my Uncle Larry, who is not a slight man and who used to punch me in the arm as hard as he could every time I entered a room, had a wife named Michelle. Michelle was a little rough around the edges.
At around two o’clock on Christmas afternoon, I walked in the front door of Mimi’s home, took in one deep breath of ham scented air, shook my right arm to loosen it up for what was coming and rounded the corner to Uncle Larry. On cue he punched me and then wrapped me up in a big bear hug and said loudly enough for the people two streets over to hear, “How the hell are you girl?” What kind of torture greeting is that? Its a redneck one. Did I mention he was sporting a full beard and overalls? God how I loved that man.
I wiggled my way out of his crushing arms and reached over to give Aunt Michelle a hug and sweet baby Jesus, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Aunt Michelle had her two front teeth back.
Missing your two front teeth in Indiana wasn’t completely uncommon. Hell in some areas it was bragging rights. However, my grandmother was the kind of woman that got dressed at a vanity table her entire life. She had her hair and nails done weekly and had bi-weekly facials. She dressed a certain way and dined with the finest. Her daughter-in-law having two missing teeth, the front two no less, had been the bane of her existence ever since almost exactly a year ago when Aunt Michelle had gotten into that bar fight and had her two front teeth knocked out.
Having endured as much as she possibly could, my grandmother finally decided to offer up, as delicately as possible, two front teeth to Aunt Michelle for Christmas. She eagerly jumped at the opportunity.
After everyone else had gone home and the kitchen was spotless and the last of the wrapping paper had been put in the trash, my grandmother told me how she got Aunt Michelle to get those two front teeth replaced while she sipped her Early Times and water (easy on the water) and I sipped my pink zinfandel. We sat there next to the Christmas tree, lights twinkling and humming, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth…”
What tops your grandmother purchasing your aunts two front teeth that were knocked out in a bar fight for Christmas?
You got a story that beats it?