All Jumped Up
Lizzy and Jane Bea went over to the Piggly Wiggly down in Sugarfield together last weekend, seein’ as how their mama was laid up with the flu and they was slap out of grits. They were in the soft drink aisle near the hard likker when they saw that Caroline over in the produce section, thumpin’ the watermelons and squeezin’ the lemons, right there ‘twixt the taters and the maters.
Jane Bea: Oh, look. There’s Caroline. We should go speak to her, Lizzy. She’s awful nice.
Lizzy: Jane Beatrice! Have you gone completely off your rocker? You know she done her best to break up you and her lily-livered brother up.
Jane Bea: Oh, no, Lizzy! You must be wrong. Caroline ain’t been nothin’ but sweet to me, and Charlie’s my boyfriend now. We just had a little dust up.
Lizzy: I’m about to get all up in your face right here in the Piggly Wiggly! That girl is next door to a hoochie mama, and she’s leadin’ your Charlie around by the nose, bless his heart. And she’s all jumped up, struttin’ around, givin’ herself airs like she’s the County Farm Bureau Queen or somethin’. Just look at her in them daisy dukes and that tight, orange wife-beater, wearin’ her flip-flops and pearls. Snooty thang!
Jane Bea: ‘Lizbeth Frances! I ought to wash your mouth out with soap, talkin’ that way about my boyfriend’s sister. She aint’ all jumped up. You know good ‘n well she was second runner-up in that pageant. Now be nice. She’s comin’ this way.
Lizzy: She was second runner-up in a pageant that had five girls in it. That ain’t nothin’, and you know it. We need to get away from that there wine before she spreads it all over town that we started drinkin’. Our daddy would skin us alive.
Jane Bea: I’m right shocked at you, Lizzy. Daddy wouldn’t never think that, and nobody else would neither. We’re good Baptists, and we don’t imbibe. We don’t smoke, drink, or chew, and we don’t run with them that do. Now hush up. Caroline’s just passin’ the Bluebell ice cream.
Lizzy: (snort) Caroline ain’t never passed no kind ‘a ice cream in her life, and you doggone well know it. That’s what put all that jiggle in her wiggle.
Jane Bea: Lizzy, I’m fixin’ to brain you with this bottle of hard likker over here. You’ll be laid out like a Thanksgiving turkey right by the Jack Daniels, and I’ll leave the store. Just think what folks will say. “There’s Lizzy, following in those gardeners’ footsteps. I knew she wouldn’t never amount to nothin’ with kin like that.” People already gossip ‘bout how our aunt and uncle have a still.
Lizzy: Just ‘cause people say it don’t make it true, but I won’t do nothin’ to bring more shame to our aunt and uncle. Kin is kin. Lots o’ good people are gardeners. Why the preacher’s wife has a big ole garden, too. So do we, along with everybody else in the county.
Jane Bea: But the preacher’s wife and the rest of us don’t have grape vines. That’s what started them rumors about our aunt and uncle. We know that the gardeners make grape jelly and grape juice with them grapes, but everybody always wants to think the worst. Now hush. There’s Caroline.
Caroline: Well, looky what the cat drug in! Fancy seein’ you two in town. Janie, you got to come by the house with Charlie so’s I can show you what I brought down to the Diva Duds. I got me a real nice outfit to wear to the monster truck rally Friday night.
Jane Bea: Why, Caroline! You sly dog. You gotta big date?
Caroline: (bats eyelashes) I shore do. He just don’t know it yet.
Jane Bea: You greenin’ me?
Caroline: No, sugar. I got my eye on a feller who’s gonna be there. He’s Charlie’s friend, so he comes by the house a lot. That man’s the best lookin’ thang on two legs. Rich, too. Don’t live with his momma.
Lizzy: He has two legs? Then he’s right up your alley, Caroline.
Caroline: Well, Lizzy, since I’m shore you ain’t got nothin’ better to do, why don’t you come see fer yourself? Anyhow, I need to get home. He’s probly gonna stop by the house tonight, and I don’t wanna miss him. Bye, now.
Jane Bea: Bye, honey. I’ll tell Charlie to bring me by to see your new outfit afore we go to the drive-in Friday. There’s a new zombie movie on I’m dyin’ to see. It’s based on real literature.
Lizzy: I might just have to go to that monster truck rally and clap eyes on that good lookin’ man you’re out to trap, Caroline. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Caroline: Not if I see you first. Mama’s waitin’ in the car, and I don’t want the ice cream to melt. Catch you later.
Jane Bea: Lizzy, why you gotta be so mean? Caroline means well, and you get her riled up on purpose.
Lizzy: I still say she’s all jumped up. Her nose is so high up in the air, she’d drown in a rainstorm. Have you ever seen the guy she’s talkin’ about?
Jane Bea: I have, and he looks like a movie star. Better lookin’ than Channing Tatum.
Lizzy: Well, she’ll be all over him like white on rice. Bless his heart.
© 2016 Robin M. Helm