Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Tea with the Hedge Sisters, Chapter 1
"I have biscuits too . . . or, . . . " Magnolia cried over her shoulder as she laid out the tea time spread.
"I don't want any biscuits, Maggie." Declared Hydrangea, already enthroned in the exact center of the sofa with her perfect skirts, the latest fashion, of course, spread expertly from pillow to pillow, providing the most aesthetically pleasing display.
Catching Magnolia's pause, Hydrangea became uncommonly interested with the silverware, "My, these are nice, Maggie. Are they new?" Hoping to divert Magnolia from reciting a list of alternate items in the pantry available for tea.
"Why?" Stared Magnolia "Don't you like my biscuits?" She asked, with just the hint of a tremble in the voice, before moving to the sideboard for napkins.
"Just hush and take a biscuit Hyde." Bougainvillea whispered harshly through gritted teeth as she passed Hydrangea with the tea tray. "If you think Mag's biscuits are awful, try spending the rest of the afternoon listening to her go on about how you insulted her cooking."
Bougainvillea punctuated with her patented 'hush-up-and-keep-the-peace' look, which was met and acidly destroyed by Hydrangea's own patented triple combination high-octave-'hmph,'-overly-exaggerated-eye-roll-and-invisible-lint-pick.
Rounding out the foursome in what can only be deemed an unmannerly 'holler' from the next room, "Bou, there's no beer in the icebox!"
"Ivy, this is tea time." Replied Bougainvillea patiently.
Ivy popped her head through the doorway, "I'm not here for tea. I'm here to visit my deeear sisters. But if it'll make you happy," popping back out "just pour the beer in a tea cup and I'll drink with my pinky extended."
"Now there's something wrong with my tea?" Magnolia breathed, turning her disappointment from Hydrangea and the biscuits to Ivy and the clinks and thumps of items being shuffled in her search.
"Your tea is fine, I'm sure. It's just not beer." Said Ivy blithely as Magnolia joined her in the kitchen.
"Or coffee." Uttered Bougainvillea to the air.
"Barbarian. I'll never fully believe that Ivy comes from the same bloodline as we do. " Hydrangea said, leaning into her sister. "Haven't you noticed the resemblance between Ivy and the milkman?"
"Well, she does tan awfully nicely." Began Bougainvillea thoughtfully. "Do you think that mother . . ."
"Not that milkman. I suppose you would have been to young to remember Mr. MacGregor."
"Careful Hyde, that statement shows your age." Glared a triumphant beer-wielding Ivy from the doorway.
"So does direct sunlight." Added Magnolia, the eldest sister, nudging Ivy toward her usual place by the window as she passed and replaced Ivy's teacup with a glass. Pausing once to be sure everything was out, "Now," Magnolia seated herself with a 'whump,' "Would someone at least try the biscuits?!" and began to pour.
"I love your biscuits, dear!" Bougainvillea affirmed by reaching for the tongs and passing the heavy, flour and lard stones to the others with a stern 'you'll-eat-it-and-you'll-gush-loudly-about-how-scrumptious-they-are' look.
"But they clash with my outfit!" Sputtered Hydrangea, desperate to avoid more dental work.
"What doesn't?" Said Ivy, who dressed in men's clothes and clashed with pretty much everyone.
"Ivy, you hold your tongue." Hydrangea began, "I'll have you know that this is an orig-- . . ."
"What a grand idea!" interrupted Bougainvillea forcefully. "Why don't we all hold our tongues?"
So, as it inevitably happened every Saturday, the foursome sat quietly and stared at nothing in particular, especially not at each other and certainly not at the biscuits, sipping their tea -- and beer.
Posted by Just-Chuck at 9:21 AM