In this blog:
A Note from Joy
New Offers in The BOOB Girl Series
They were in Alphonso Greatwood’s oversized office at Meadow Lakes Retirement Community. The furniture – all with a Kansas City Chief’s theme – was oversized. Alphonso’s desk was oversized. Alphonso himself was oversized.
He sat in his over-expensive red leather desk chair, his bald, black head gleaming in the over-expensive ceiling lights, grinning at the six friends sitting in also overly-expensive chairs in a semi-circle facing his desk.
Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield, Robinson Leary, Raven Fivehorns, Marge Aaron, Mary Rose McGill and Wiley Vondra all held half-full wine glasses. A bottle of 19 Crimes Red and another of Chardonnay sat comfortably on the table within reach of any one of them.
They were listening to Alphonso with their mouths hanging open. All that was, except for Raven Fivehorns. Raven sat with his hand on Robbie’s arm, his mouth closed, his eyes revealing a near-twinkle and his mouth hiding a near-smile. He was being what he was – an Apache.
Alphonso had his audience in the palm of his hand.
“So I rolled down the hill, not able to take one damn breath, the giant bull snake wrapped around my neck – choking the hell out of me.”
When Alphonso became intense, so did his language. The floor to ceiling windows in his office let in ample light, but the weather outside was unforgiving, and dark shadows throughout the room gave a darkness and seriousness to his story.
Alphonso had been drafted into the National Football League by the Chiefs early in the franchise and had spent his entire football career there. Today, his knees were beyond repair, his weight gains had made him even bigger, and sports talk shows still invited him to do color commentating or interviews. He was oversized. He was tough. He was a black menace if any of his friends or any resident at his retirement community was endangered.
He was also a good storyteller. Even Geoffrey, the oversized mastiff, was listening intently to Alphonso’s snake tale, feeling safe lying in front of Mary Rose McGill, who was resting both feet on this broad back.
“So when we finally landed at the foot of the ravine, in a dry Arizona river bed, I took as deep a breath as I could and started to unwind the sonofabitch.”
“He swears when he gets excited,” Mary Rose whispered to Marge Aaron. Marge nodded.
I unwound it, looked it straight in its beady little eyes and said, ‘You are mine, buddy!’ When I got it home and measured it, the sucker was seven and a half feet long.”
They looked at him, mouths still open.
“Had a special aquarium built for him. Fed him live rats.”
“Ick,” Mary Rose said.
“Yuk,” Hadley said.
“Sweet Jesus,” Robbie said.
Wiley looked at Raven. Raven grinned back.
Marge did an eye roll.
Wiley reached over, grabbed the red wine, and filled his glass.
They were quiet for at least a full minute.
Robbie looked around. “Reminds me of Methuselah,” she said.
Hadley began to laugh. She looked at Marge, then went around the circle, looking at Wiley, Raven, and Alphonso. “It was before any of you,” she said, mainly to Marge.
“We were with Maggie Patten, out in the Sandhills. She led us to a huge bedroom in her brother’s old farmhouse, and as we were ready to climb into bed in what was almost like a dormitory, through the floor register comes this massive snake.”
Wiley and Alphonso grinned. Raven almost smiled.
“What did you do?” Marge asked.
“Screamed our heads off!” Mary Rose informed her.
“Maggie came running up the stairs, grabbed the snake, put it around her shoulders and looked at us,” Robbie said.
“Then she introduced us,” Hadley added. “She said, ‘Ladies, this is Methuselah. He’ll sleep on the glider with Homer and me.’”
“Biggest snake I ever saw,” Mary Rose said.
“Loudest scream I ever screamed,” Hadley said.
Robbie looked at Alphonso. “What did you name your snake?”
“Benedict McBovinini,” Alphonso said
McBovinini?” Marge asked.
“Mixed nationalities,” Alphonso grinned. “Scots/Irish.”
‘And obviously Catholic,” Wiley grinned as he patted Mary Rose’s knee.
Outside an icy mix began hitting the big windows.
A Note From Joy
Methuselah, who crawled joyfully into BOOB Girls BOOK I, was a real snake and he belonged to my English teacher in Jr. College, Edna McGuire. Her husband, Uncas, was a naturalist and Edna dressed very primly – as teachers did in the 1950s. But as one of the boys in the class said, “Under that housedress, there’s a pack of tigers fighting.”
Her hair was severely pulled back into two braids he spinned to the top of her head, she wore ugly, sensible shoes and she was beautiful. She was also an inspiration.
One day in class, a student came in with a small box for her. She took it, looked at it then at the class and said, “Oh, it’s from my husband.”
She opened the box and dumped a handful of rattlesnake rattles into her hand.
“He’s had a good hunt!” she smiled. “He’s been culling the pits and dens in the desert.”
Then she told how they had taken a six foot bull snake on their honeymoon, stayed at a bed and breakfast and were made to move out when the snake escaped and came down for breakfast.
You don’t find English teachers like that anymore.
Or do you??
Never underestimate a Burned Out Old Broad
Or an English teacher.
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