Southern Fried Austen

I’d rather …

The next week, Lizzy and Jane had an appointment with one of the beauty pageant consultants at Wickham’s business, Crowns R Us. Darcy and Charlie insisted on accompanying them, sayin’ they didn’t trust Wickham any further than they could throw him. When the girls said they could handle him, Darcy reminded them that Wickham’s whole staff was made up mostly of men – men they hadn’t ever met yet. Finally, Lizzy and Jane gave in, sayin’ they were tired of fightin’ with their boyfriends about it. Both girls were secretly relieved, though they’d rather set their teeth on fire by garglin’ lighter fluid and swallowin’ a lit match than admit it.

The four of them had lunch together in Roseland before they went to their appointment. When they finished eatin’ good Southern cookin’ (‘cept Darcy, who had a grilled chicken salad), they all piled into Darcy’s big ole Range Rover and drove to the store. They didn’t have a problem findin’ it.

Darcy: Think that’s the place, Lizzy?

Lizzy: What gave it away? The flashing, neon sign that says Crowns R Us? That’s one butt ugly sign.

Pageant perfect

Charlie: Yep. I’d rather grow a foot long rattail than let Jane go in there. It just screams tacky.

Darcy: A rat tail? Wouldn’t that be really inconvenient? You’d have to have a hole cut in your pants. Tryin’ to sit down would be interestin’.

Lizzy: It’s a hairdo. I think you missed those years down here.

Darcy: I don’t think I missed much.

Jane: Y’all know pageants are all about glitz and sparkle. Let’s go on in. It’s time for us to see what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

Lizzy: Yep. I’d rather pass an entire pack of Slim Jims through my sinus cavity than do this, but we said we would.

Darcy: And you can’t break your word?

Lizzy: I’d rather be the “Before” model in a TV infomercial sellin’ diet products than go back on what I said.

Jane: Well, let’s get it over with.

They all climbed out of Darcy’s SUV and walked across the parkin’ lot, headed for the door to Crowns R Us. The ladies went first, carryin’ gym bags. Jane and Lizzy went to the desk and checked in with the receptionist, Mrs. Young, while the men sat down to wait. Lizzy told Mrs. Young she and Jane were to see the health and fitness coach. Before long, the girls were called back, and Darcy and Charlie got up and followed them.

Darcy: I’ve never seen so many mirrors in my life. I can’t get away from myself.

Charlie: Is Mr. Muscle over there the fitness coach? I bet he has pet names for his biceps. Good grief! Look at him flexin’ his pecs. He can make them jump separately. He looks like Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel.

Darcy: Who?

Charlie: The Rock. The Fast and the Furious.

Darcy: TV shows?

Charlie: Have you lived under a rock for the last twenty years? Never mind.

Lizzy: I’m fixin’ to buy him a shirt. I don’t think he owns one.

Janie: Y’all hush. He’ll hear you. Here he comes. Be nice!

Fitness Coach: Hello, ladies. I’m Fred Tilney, your fitness coach. Did you bring anything fitted to wear?

Lizzy: Yep. We have on leggin’s and fitted Ts under our dresses.

Fred: (grinning) Then take off the dresses. Who are you guys?

Darcy: We’re their boyfriends. We’ll just sit down on the coach, uh, couch and watch you work.

Fred: Whatever floats your boat, sunshine. Okay, ladies. You’re both pretty, but let’s see kind of shape you’re in. Turn. Turn. Flex. Hmmm…

Lizzy: I feel like a slab of meat. I think I’d rather swallow a pack of batteries than stand up here while you look at my parts.

Fred: (pointing to her hiney) And the hindquarters of that slab need to be about ten or fifteen pounds lighter.

Lizzy: Excuse me?

Did I stutter

Fred: Did I stutter? What size do you wear?

Lizzy: A six.

Fred: And you look like it. You need to be a four, or even better, a two, so you’re going to lose fifteen pounds. I’ll design a low carb, high protein meal plan for you. Low fat, no sugar. We need to work on toning your buttocks and legs. Your arms are good. Do you work out?

Lizzy: I help my daddy on his farm. Lots of heavy lifting. I ride my bike a lot.

Fred: Farm girl. Not surprised. And you probably eat all sorts of fried foods, bread, and potatoes. I’ll bet you just love butter.

Jane: We both do.

Fred: (touching her hips and stomach) Yep. I can see it right there, princess. You and your sister can go do the meal plan and exercise program together. The buddy system is good.

Darcy: (whispering) Sit back down, Charlie. They’ll throw us out.

Charlie: (whispering) I’d rather eat my weight in Mexican food and then ride a roller coaster that goes upside down than watch that muscle-bound pea-brain put his dadgum paws on Janie.

Darcy: (whispering) I feel the same way about Lizzy. I’d rather pluck out my beard with tweezers every morning than be here, but we need to stay with them. Settle down.

Jane: So, you think I’m fat? I’m a size six, too.

Fred: Every ounce shows on a stage with those lights and fitted clothing. In a bikini, you’ll look heavy next to the size two girls. Each bit of cellulite will be obvious. I’m going to show you some exercises that’ll give you a flat abdomen, too. Here we go. Down on the floor. Do what I’m doing.


Lizzy: (After an hour) I think I’d rather start every sentence for the rest of my life with, “I’m wearing a diaper, because …” than do this every day.

Vin Diesel

Fred: And with that observation, I’m going to send you home. You can put your dresses back on now. Just go right through that door, ladies and gents. I’ll see you next week to weigh in.

Darcy: (muttering) I’d rather be locked up in a Turkish prison.

Charlie: (mumbling) I’d rather eat a molded bread and old sardine sandwich. That cotton pickin’ Fred didn’t even break a sweat.

Lizzy: And I’d rather sleep naked in a septic tank than show my size six, dimpled rear to judges, but I promised to do this. You can stay home next time if you don’t want to come here with us.

Darcy: (stands) No, I’m with you like Bonnie and Clyde.

Lizzy: I may be a murderer before this is finished. Lizzy Borden Bennet.

Jane: (joining them and whispering) Fred just asked me out.

Charlie: (stands up) I’ll punch his lights out. He won’t know what hit him.

Jane: I handled it, Charlie. I’d rather lick a public toilet in a gas station than go out with him. He makes my skin crawl. Besides, I really like your face the way it is. Let’s go.

Charlie: I could take him. Help me out, Darcy.

Darcy: You want me to help you fight him?

Charlie: (whispering) No, I want you to hold me back while I make this look good for Janie. I’d rather play hide and seek in a pasture full of cow patties than fight him.

Jane: I heard that.

Charlie: (loudly) That’s one lucky guy. Let’s go, Darcy, before I change my mind and rearrange his face.

Lizzy: I want to see that. Go get him, Charlie.

Darcy: Instead of spending the night in the ER, let’s keep playing “I’d Rather” as we head to the car. I’d rather get a massage from Freddy Kruger than stay here another minute.

The guys held the doors for their gals, and they all walked across the parking lot to the Range Rover.

Charlie: You don’t know who The Rock and Vin Diesel are, but you know who Freddy Kruger is?

Darcy: I know. Go figure. Kiss me, Lizzy. Fred’s lookin’ out the window, and I want to stake my claim.

Lizzy: Even my lips are tired.

Darcy: So, no kiss?

Lizzy: I didn’t say that. You can kiss me, but you’ll have to do the work.

Darcy: I can live with that. Want me to carry you to the car? Fred could see MY muscles. (flexing)

Lizzy: You think you could lift my fat, size six self?

Darcy: You’re not fat, Lizzy. You’re perfect. Fred’s an idiot.

Lizzy: Just for that, I’ll kiss you back. Pick me up. Watch this, Fred.

Charlie: I’d rather get trapped in an elevator with Justin Bieber than watch you two make out.

Jane: Then don’t watch them. Kiss me.

Charlie: I like the way you think.


4 thoughts on “Southern Fried Austen

  1. Gayle Mills

    Lizzy: Yep. I’d rather pass an entire pack of Slim Jims through my sinus cavity than do this, but we said we would.

    I know exactly where that girl is mentally. She’s about to come unhinged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      She might pitch a dyin’ duck fit or have a conniption before it’s all over. I’d back away slowly.



Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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