Out in the Boonies
Darcy and Lizzy went to work every day the next week, textin’ and talkin’ to each other on their phones, livin’ for the weekend. When the sun peeped over the hill on Saturday, that boy was at her house, knockin’ on the door. Lizzy was ready for him, and she answered the door before the noise could wake up her sister Jane Bea. He kissed her good mornin’ and took her hand to walk her to his car. When they were on their way, he started shootin’ questions at her.
Darcy: Have you been waitin’ long? I thought I might be late. I didn’t realize it would take so much time to get here.
Lizzy: I told you I live out in the boonies. This is the coun’ry, Sugar. No “t.”
Darcy: Is all this your daddy’s land?
Lizzy: Yep. That’s his house over there across the field. It’s almost two hundred years old, and I grew up there. Jane and I moved into this house after the renters moved out a few years ago. When we decided to live here instead of in the big house, my other three sisters each got their own bedroom, so nobody complained. Daddy likes it ‘cause he can still see what time we come and go, and who we come and go with. The rent’s cheap, too. He gives us a break since he wants us to live close to him.
Darcy: Your daddy owns the house, and you still pay rent?
Lizzy: Shoot yeah. We’re payin’ only about half what he could get from anybody else, and he’s payin’ the utilities. Jane and I both have good jobs, so we should pay him somthin’, and we’d pay a lot more to get any other place. Daddy and Mama can’t afford to let us live here for free. They still have three daughters at home. I know you’ve got more money that you can shake a stick at, but my family doesn’t. We all work. I’ve been workin’ a payin’ job since I was fourteen.
Darcy: I work, too, and I was just asking. Don’t bite my head off.
Lizzy: Sorry, Darlin’. I haven’t had my coffee yet. Sometimes I wake up grumpy. I’m not really an early mornin’ person, and I was runnin’ around as soon as I got up like a chicken with its head cut off, tryin’ to look good for you.
Darcy: Well, that just dills my pickle. And might I add, mission accomplished. You look so fetchin’, the sun came up just to see you. Like my grandpa always told my grandma, you’re prettier than a mess of fried catfish. We’ll stop for breakfast as soon as we see a good place.
Lizzy: We folks from out in the boonies don’t eat tofu and bean curd for breakfast, so our ideas of a good place to eat may not line up. I want eggs, grits, and home fries with toast.
Darcy: What? No bacon? You’re missing an opportunity to eat more fat if you leave off the bacon.
Lizzy: Don’t poke the grumpy bear. Remember, you’re in the Deep South where sushi is still called bait.
Darcy: You goin’ to pitch a hissy fit?
Lizzy: I never pitch hissy fits, duck fits, or dyin’ duck fits in enclosed spaces. This tank is big, but I don’t want to chance it. No fits of any sort in a moving vehicle. That’s the rule. Why’re we driving’ so slow? We’re racin’ along like a herd of turtles, and I’m starvin’ over here.
Darcy: I’m already drivin’ two miles an hour over the speed limit.
Lizzy: I bet you always colored inside the lines, too. You fly planes, for heaven’s sake. Don’t you like to go fast? You drive like my memaw.
Darcy: I fly planes like I drive cars – safely.
Lizzy: Let me drive, then.
Darcy: Do I have “idiot” tattooed on my forehead?
Lizzy: I don’t know. Let me look.
Darcy: (smiling) You’ll have to come over here. When I’m drivin’, I keep my eyes on the road.
Lizzy: Give me some duck tape so I can make sure your hands don’t leave the steerin’ wheel, and I’ll lean over there and look. I like safety, too.
Darcy: (laughing) Duct tape? I don’t carry duct tape around in my car.
Lizzy: (shocked) You don’t have any duck tape? Didn’t you know that duck tape is like the Force down here? It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds everything together. After we eat, we need to stop at a hardware store or a seed and feed.
Darcy: I think we can make it through the day without duct tape. We have to be at the air field at a certain time, so we don’t have time for an errand.
Lizzy: Do you know what you’ll never hear a Southerner say?
Darcy: No, but I’m dyin’ to find out.
Lizzy: Duck tape can’t fix that.
Darcy: Words to live by. We’ll stop on the way back after we fly.
Lizzy: It comes in colors now, you know.
Darcy: What comes in colors?
Lizzy: Are you daft? Duck tape! Out in the boonies, we use it for everything from interior decoratin’ to makin’ prom dresses.
Darcy: I think there’s a Walmart where we’re goin’.
Lizzy: Of course there is. You can’t swing a dead cat down here without hittin’ a Walmart. Have you met that Wickham guy my sister Lydia met at the race? We found out he lives pretty close to you.
Darcy: I used to be buddies with him.
Lizzy: You’re not friends anymore?
Lizzy: Why not?
Darcy: He’s just not the kind of guy I hang around with. Let’s leave it at that.
Lizzy: I think he’s not tellin’ my sister the truth about some things. He said he was rich, and you two used to be like brothers until you cheated him out of somethin’.
Darcy: Were his lips movin’ when he told her that stuff?
Lizzy: I would think so.
Darcy: Well, any time his lips are movin’, he’s lyin’.
Lizzy: He came around last week, and I met him. Seemed to be a nice enough guy, but I thought he didn’t have enough chlorine in his gene pool. His jeans were so tight, I could see the veins in his legs. He looked good, but he made me uncomfortable. My “get away from me” meter was at 10.
Darcy: Was he tryin’ to get too friendly with you? I can talk to him if I need to. I can be very persuasive.
Lizzy: He started out tryin’ to be all touchy-feely, but I handled it fine.
Darcy: What’d you do?
Lizzy: I asked him to help me fix my flashlight. The thing that holds the batteries in was broke off.
Darcy: How’d that handle anything?
Lizzy: Well, I got out the duck tape to tape it back together, and I had him hold the cover in place. Then I accidentally taped his hands together around the flashlight.
Darcy: (laughing harder) Did it fix his problem?
Lizzy: He started to get out of it, but I just did what my daddy always said.
Darcy: This, I have to hear.
Lizzy: Well, Daddy always said that if duck tape doesn’t fix it, you haven’t used enough of it. So . . .
Darcy: You used more duct tape on him?
Lizzy: Oh, yeah. A whole roll. I used it on his ankles, too. I trussed him up like a Thanksgiving turkey, and he was yellin’ for Lydia the whole time. Didn’t do him any good, though.
Darcy: Why not?
Lizzy: Daddy had already duck taped her to a chair in the kitchen. He didn’t take a shine to Wickham. Didn’t trust him.
Darcy: I haven’t met your dad yet, but I think I like him already.
Lizzy: That’s good, ‘cause you’re meetin’ him when we get back. He said you can’t come over again until he checks you out.
Darcy: I guess we’ll stop to shop then.
Lizzy: Why? You look fine to me.
Darcy: Not for clothes.
Lizzy: Well, what do you need then?
Darcy: Duct tape.
Lizzy: Good idea. Don’t go in unarmed.
Darcy: I’m goin’ to duct tape our hands together so he can’t take me off by myself. I could end up duct taped to his tractor or combine.
Darcy: Why not?
Lizzy: He loves his tractor and his combine. He never duck tapes boys to them. Just don’t go for a walk with him.
Darcy: Okay. Can I ask “Why not” again?
Lizzy: Sometimes, when he takes things for a walk, they don’t come back.
Darcy: Where happens to them?
Lizzy: I never asked. Some things you don’t want to know.
Darcy: Agreed. No walks with your daddy, and have plenty of duct tape handy.
Lizzy: Stick with me. I can teach you useful things.
Darcy: I’m goin’ to stick to you like a burr on a mule.
Lizzy: (frowning) That makes me the mule.
Darcy: Sometimes, talkin’ to you is like tryin’ to nail Jello to a tree.
Lizzy: You know what would hold that Jello to the tree better than a nail?
Darcy: Duct tape.
Lizzy: See, you’re learnin’ already.