As scarce as hen’s teeth
Charlie Bingley and Will Darcy stood at the Atlanta hotel bar, drinking their Cokes without straws, on account a real men don’t sip their sodas like sissies, and they weren’t by any means sissy. They watched the group of girls from Sugarfield for a few minutes, takin’ their time about going over to talk to them, ‘cause real men don’t run after girls like they haven’t ever seen one before. And by golly, they were real men. Real, jean-wearin’, one day’s stubble, Southern men with boots on their feet and plaid on their shirts. They didn’t know that Emma had come with Caroline and had stopped at the bar to get a sweet tea on her way back from the bathroom. She made sure Charlie didn’t see her as she listened to some of what the men were saying. Then she hurried back to the ladies’ table to spill her guts.
Charlie: My Janie sure looks good sittin’ over there. She’s finer than a new set of snow tires. So purty I’d look for her with a flashlight in sunshine.
Darcy: Really? A new set of snow tires? Hmm… She’s all that and a tic tac, for sure.
Charlie: Her sisters Lizzy, Kitty, and Lydie are with her, too. That Lizzy is a real hoot, and she’s downright purty. Why don’t you strike up a conversation with her? You look dumber than a brick standing around, never sayin’ a dadgum word.
Darcy: Janie is beautiful; Lizzy is merely pretty, and she’s about as sweet as persimmons.
Charlie: Yep. Gals like my Janie are scarce as hen’s teeth. But y’all ain’t givin’ Lizzy a snowball’s chance in the hot place. She’s just smart, and she speaks her mind. I like her. A person always knows where he stands with Lizzy.
Darcy: Her tongue is sharper than my grandpa’s whittling knife. She’s always carrying on about something. If she had a ham under both arms, she’d cry because she didn’t have any bread.
Charlie: You should ask her to dance. If you don’t, my sister will latch onto you. She’ll be all over you like ugly on an ape. She likes you, Darcy, and she has champagne tastes with a beer pocketbook. You have a boatload of money, and that makes you awful handsome in Caroline’s eyes.
Darcy: Your family is well off, Charlie. Caroline doesn’t need to chase money, and she’s right nice looking, too.
Charlie: Yeah, but you’re old money. Your kinfolk came over on the Mayflower. We got rich running textile mills before they all got sent out of the country. My paw saw the handwritin’ on the wall and was smart enough to sell the mills before the market was gone. He invested his profit in some computer company named after a fruit. Hit it big with that one. As for Caroline, Paw put her on an allowance. She wants money of her own.
Darcy: Then she’d better get a good job or find some other rich man. I’m not getting hogtied any time soon. We plan to stay here at the bar drinking Cokes all night?
Charlie: Heck, no. I’m so hungry my belly thinks my throat’s been cut. Let’s go sit with the girls and order something to eat. And you be nice to Lizzy. Don’t start no fight. She’s Janie’s sister and her best friend.
Darcy: I’m not planning on starting a fight, but if she starts one, I’ll sure finish it.
Charlie: Get off your high horse. That always gets her going. She thinks you’re jumped up ‘cause you got enough money to burn a wet mule, and it drives her crazier as a bedbug.
Darcy: That’s not a drive. It’s a short walk. I won’t apologize for having money or making a good living. I work hard.
Charlie: So does she. Remember that.
Darcy: I’m not likely to forget it this weekend, since she’ll be right in front of my face reminding me at every turn.
Charlie: Oh, Lawd. Shut your trap. She’s coming this way, lookin’ madder than a wet hen.
Darcy: The times she’s not mad are scarcer than hen’s teeth. Don’t worry. I’ll keep my mouth shut. Her face looks like nine miles of bad road right now, and I don’t want to be the semi hitting those curves too fast.
Charlie: Smile. She’s almost here.
Darcy: I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I know when to zip my lip. Starting now. Five, four, three, two, one.
Lizzy: Hello, boys. Counting backwards, Mr. Darcy? I always knew you were bookish.
Darcy: It’s on. I tried, Charlie. I tried.