Southern Fried Austen

Bumfuzzled

Lizzy had just put on a new outfit and come out of the dressing room when Caroline Bingley strutted into the store with a full head of steam, loaded for bear.

Caroline: Charlie! You’re so low you’d steal the nickels off a dead man’s eyes. Why didn’t you tell me the store was open? You must be completely bumfuzzled. You know I wanted first choice of everything, and it’s your store, so I should get it. I’m your sister. Lizzy and Jane aren’t related to you.

Charlie: Tie the tent down. Here comes the wind storm. Caroline, we aren’t open yet.

Caroline: Hey! I like that dress Lizzy’s wearing. Who picked it out for her? I know she didn’t choose that herself. She looks almost pretty in it. Lizzy, take it off. I want to try it on. Red’s one of my colors – not yours. It makes you look like a streetwalker, while I would look elegant in it.

Lost and Confused Signpost

Definitely bumfuzzled.

Lizzy: You can have it, Caroline. I don’t really care. You’re right that I didn’t pick it out.

Caroline: I knew it. Who did? Jane?

Darcy: Georgie and I selected it for Lizzy, and it’s hers. I think she’s stunning in it. She and Jane get first choice of everything. You can come in tomorrow.

Caroline: I heard Charlie owns this store as much as you do.

Charlie: No, Caroline. I don’t. Darcy owns sixty percent, and I own forty. Even if we were equal partners, I wouldn’t overrule him for you.

Caroline: It’s not good to put your girlfriend before your family. Wait ’til I tell Daddy you’ve got more loyalty to your girlfriend than you do to your sister.

Charlie: Go ahead and tell him. Jane and Lizzy aren’t just our girlfriends. They’re the store managers. Employees get first pick of everything.

Caroline: You never gave me a chance to work here. That isn’t fair.

Charlie: You’ve never held a job for more than a few weeks. Uncooked meat has a longer shelf life than you do. We needed people who were dependable and well-liked to manage the place. You fuss with near ‘bout everybody, and your buddies wouldn’t buy clothes in a consignment shop. The girls who will come here won’t want someone waitin’ on them who turns up her nose at everyone who isn’t rich. You must be bumfuzzled to think they would.

Caroline: You’re so dumb you couldn’t find your hiney with a flashlight in each hand. I have an army of friends, and they’ll follow me wherever I go. If I shop at CW’s, they will, too. You must’ve forgot I was prom queen twice in high school. Everybody likes me. If I say the clothes in this store are tacky, they won’t shop here. Your stupid little store will go out of business.

Lizzy: She has a point. Just let her have the dress. There are plenty more in here.

Darcy: That’s your dress, but I’m sure Caroline can find something she likes. Bingley, I don’t care if your sister chooses some clothes today. If she wears them around town and tells people where she got them, it will help our business.

Jane: I agree. I don’t want any hard feelings between us. I can’t enjoy my new clothes if Caroline is unhappy about my having them.

Lizzy: I could, but I’d rather have her working with me than against me.

Caroline: Well, Charlie?

Charlie: It gripes me that you always get your dadgum way. I’m bumfuzzled as to why y’all want to give in to her, but I won’t stand in the way if you’re all in favor of it. Fine! Pick out a dress, Caroline.

Caroline: Do I get a family discount?

Charlie: It’s a consignment store, for cryin’ out loud. The prices are already lower than the lowest settin’ of a limbo stick.

Darcy: I don’t object to a ten percent discount. Georgie can have the same deal.

Charlie: This is ridiculous! If you give in to her, it never stops. She always wants more.

Caroline: Ten percent off, or I walk and take all my friends with me.

Charlie: I think I’ve lost one too many balls in the high weeds, but if it’ll make you leave faster, you can have the discount. We’ll give the same deal to Lydia, Kitty, and Mary.

Caroline: Why? They aren’t related to you or Darcy.

Darcy: No, but they’re related to the store managers. I’m beginnin’ to see Charlie’s point. It’s never enough, is it? You not only want the discount, you also want to say who can and can’t have it. It’s not up to you. If you can’t take what’s offered without tryin’ to control everything, you can go somewhere else.

Charlie: Yep. She’d start a fight at the drop of a hat, and she’d drop it herself. She’s meaner than a skillet full of rattlesnakes. She’s a playground bully.

Caroline: Just shut your ten-gallon mouth. I want to shop in peace. Jane, honey, can you help me?

Charlie: Janie’s pickin’ out clothes for herself. You don’t need help.

Caroline: ‘Course I do. Somebody needs to hold what I pick out so I can keep shoppin’.

Charlie: Your arms aren’t broke. Hold your own stuff.

Darcy: You’re not emptyin’ out the store before it opens, Caroline.  Just choose a couple of things and try them on.

Caroline: Will you stay around so I can model them for you like Lizzy’s doin’? I’d like a man’s opinion.

Darcy: I’ll stay out here to see how Lizzy looks. If you come out at the same time, I guess I’ll see you, too.

(Caroline walks away to pick out clothes.)

Lizzy: I’d rather not try on clothes in front of Caroline. She enjoys this stuff, but I don’t. She’s right. I just look ridiculous.

Darcy: There’re more dressing rooms on the other side of the store. Let me help you get your clothes, and we’ll go over there. Charlie can give her “a man’s opinion.”

Lizzy: You’re my favorite weakness. Lead the way.

Darcy: (smiling) You must be the square root of two, because I feel irrational around you.

Lizzy: Your name must be Waldo, ‘cause someone like you is hard to find.

Darcy: Is your name Wi-Fi? I’m feelin’ a connection.

chocolate cake

Lizzy: I love that you look at me like I look at chocolate cake.

Darcy: Did we just share electrons? I’m feelin’ a covalent bond between us.

Lizzy: You breathe oxygen? We have so much in common.

Darcy: You must live in a cornfield. I’m stalkin’ you.

Lizzy: With guns like yours, who needs a phaser?

Darcy: If you were fruit, you’d be a fineapple.

Lizzy: Are you a ninety degree angle? ‘Cause you’re lookin’ right!

Darcy: I want to be the reason you look down at your phone and smile – just before you walk into a pole. Then, I want to be your emergency contact person.

Lizzy: Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?

Darcy: Always walk by again. I’m callin’ this a tie.

Lizzy: I love that shirt. You know what it’s made of?

Darcy: Polyester?

Lizzy: No. Boyfriend material.

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Southern Fried Austen

  1. Laura Hile

    Women fighting over clothes in a consignment shop? Hoo boy. It’s Black Friday every day!

    “You must’ve forgot I was prom queen twice in high school.”

    Um, does that mean poor Caroline was one of them Super Seniors? On the five-year high school plan?🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Her school allowed juniors and seniors to compete for prom queen. Notice she wasn’t Homecoming Queen. That’s more about whether or not people really like you.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
          1. Laura Hile

            Don’t I know it! I subscribe to the Immersion Theory of school prep. Meaning that because I do everything the week before–this way I do not lose focus and forget what I’ve done–right now I am not at all prepared.

            On the other hand, this is, like, year 16 in this grade…

            Like

            Reply
  2. tgruy

    Wonderful!! A new post!!! Sorry I’m so late, I’m working nights and sleeping days, but I love your posts!!
    “Uncooked meat has a longer shelf life than you do.” And the whole final dialogue are great!!
    I’m so glad you posted again, it felt like forever since the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks! Glad to give you a chuckle. That last bit of dialogue consists of corny pick-up lines, but it seemed to be something Darcy and Elizabeth would do in those circumstances. That was fun to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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

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