Monday, June 16, 2008

The Rest of the Story

So we finally got settled in and I made some progress on the play and no progress on the ethnology project. Between you and me, I'm sick of the ethnology project. I can't really come to any conclusions beyond "Mah people? They usedta eat squirrels uhcause they hadta. Now they don't haveta, but for some reason, it's fun ta eat 'em, so they do." This is embarrassing. I usedta, excuse me, used to be able to create entire taxonomies of the minutia of human behavior. Now I'm blanking on modern squirrel consumption in the Southeastern US? I suck. I need to crawl into a hollowed out log and die before my anthro teachers, my friends and my former classmates figure out how far I've fallen.

Okay, dying in a hollowed out log might be an extreme alternative. But as an alternative to what? Writing out recipes for fried squirrel and dumplings? Finishing a play about the personal angst of federal appellate lawyers? The hollowed out log does offer the option of feeding what little wild fauna is left in Middle Tennessee and maybe creating some really good compost so that somewhere a hippie is spared the ignonomy of meth production by the discovery that my remains could fertilize some really great pot.

But I digress. Sorry about that. The last day of my stay at the monastery, Keefer and Stuart came up to visit me. Both of them are chefs, absolute suckers for a pretty kitchen garden and are unable to pass up a chance to talk shop or cook. We put off leaving so they could get together with some of the kitchen monks and figure out how to make a gratin from various greens. In the meantime, TardDawg and I were cooling our heels, walking and talking with friends, well, I was walking and talking with friends. Snoot was given the run of the place and had managed to eat his weight in home-baked crackers and chicken during our stay. (The monks had lost their two elderly German Shepherds within a couple of weeks of each other earlier this year so Snoot was getting a lot of doggie love. More digression. Sorry.)

So fast forward... We had eaten lunch, which unbeknownst to me contained chard, which I cannot eat without getting very sick. I was trying to get home to meet with a friend who is in Nashville for a conference. Snoot was pouting. I threw up and passed out. I woke up to find that someone (Keefer? Stuart? Brother Andrew? Brother Toby? TardDawg? Doc? Sleepy? Happy? Grumpy?) had carried me to my bed and taken off my shoes.

"We need to go," I mumbled as I struggled to sit up.

"Not so fast, Missy! I think - we think..."

"YOU think..." Stuart snapped and rolled his eyes.

"What do you think, Keefer?" I reached for my shoes. Keefer scooted them out of my reach with his foot. I made a grab for them, slipped them on my feet and lurched out of the front door of my cabin with Keefer and Stuart in tow.

"You really scared us. It might not be a bad idea to go to the hospital."

Stuart rolled his eyes again. "Mister Kay also might not know what the hell you're talking about, either."

"Gentlmen!" I hissed, "We are at a monastery. Exercise a little decorum, please."

They mumbled and looked chastened.

"I still think you should go to the doctor just to be safe," said Keefer.

"That's very sweet but I really want to get to Nashville by two so I can give Michelle a call and see if she wants me to take her for drinks or Neely's BBQ."

They looked at each other and then Stuart shook his head.

"Sweetie?" he said gently, "It's 3:42."

"Oh, shit!" I barked and then looked around to see two monks giving me a bemused look as they walked by.

The guys trundled me back to Nashville. I gave them both a kiss on the cheek and crawled into bed for the next two days. Snoot the TardDawg is fine, but he does miss his chicken and crackers. I can just tell from looking at him that he's enacting his version of the old Celebrity Cruise Line commercials: "I was a PRINCE. I was wined, dined, massaged...One day...One day..."

As for me, it's time to get to bed. One of two things will happen. I'll either dream about ragey squirrels piling up Erskine Caldwell paperbacks for a bonfire, or the dog will learn to pull open the freezer drawer and get his own darned chicken. I'll let you know which actually happens.

Bon soir!

copyright 2008 Jas Faulkner

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