Take a small town in southern Alabama, and a young lady, just slightly out of step. Add gnarly family trees, entrenched traditions, and everyone living with skeletons in their closets - welcome to Gallagher. There one will find an extraordinary cast of insane characters. And, it could only happen in the South.
Friday, September 22, 2017
No Incestuous Hanky-Panky Here
Buzz stopped by the next morning to say he had the safe. Bunny asked if he could meet her at Ivy Lane after work that afternoon to install it. As he walked out of the office, Buzz held the door for two middle age ladies who were walking in. When they reached Della's desk, one said, "Good Morning, my name is Eloise Ellerby and this is my friend Gale Grant."
Della responded with "Good morning ladies, how I can I help you?"
Gale spoke up,"We understand Reginald Jackson lives in Gallagher. Can you tell us where we can find him?"
Della did not look at Bunny. She just smiled and replied, "No mam, I do not know a 'Reginald Jackson'. Gallagher is a pretty small town and I've lived here all my life. Are you sure he lives here? Perhaps you have confused Gallagher with Balaguer. That is a little town just west of Montgomery. You would not believe the confusion people have with those two names."
"Oh, it is Gallagher, I'm sure," said Eloise, very disappointed.
"Well if you will leave your names and phone numbers, we will be happy to contact you if he should show up."
The ladies wrote their names and numbers on a piece of paper Della had handed them. They thanked Della and Bunny and left. Bunny watched them get in their car. "OK, what the Hell is going on here? Why is everyone looking for 'Reginald Jackson' and why are they always looking here?"
Della just shook her head, "I'm clueless."
That evening Buzz met Bunny at Ivy Lane with the new safe. He took it upstairs. Bunny took him into the bedroom. "I think the best place would be right here just inside the closet door," she said as she opened the door to the large walk in closet.
Buzz walked into the closet. "Bunny, my suggestion would be in that back corner." He said pointing to the far corner. "Under those hanging clothes. Even though it is a 'safe' you don't want folks to know it is here."
Bunny wasn't thrilled with the idea but she trusted Buzz. He asked her to move certain clothes and shoes so he could get into the corner with the small safe. Buzz had to lie flat on his stomach to be low enough to reach the corner for the installation. Bunny was helping by handing him tools from his tool box. He asked for a flat headed screw driver. Bunny got it but as she went to hand it to him, she tripped on the hem of one of Mary's formal gowns hanging on the rod.
Bunny fell down flat, not on the floor, but on top of Buzz. Buzz started laughing and tried to turn over to get free from her. Meanwhile Bunny was trying to get up on her knees which caused her to fall again. By this time they were howling with laughter. "Bunny, I think you should keep your day job."
"I think I'll take your advice."
They were lying on the closet floor next to each other. Bunny turned toward Buzz, "You know I always wanted an older brother. And I cannot think of a better one to have than you. It's odd how things just work out."
Buzz gave her a hug,"You're a pretty good little sis' too."
Both were shocked by sound of voice coming from the closet door, "Well, well, well, look what we have here. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And in a bed of Mary's clothes, that makes it special."
Buzz and Bunny looked up to see Tula standing there. "If you are going to play incestuous hanky-panky, it is better to lock you doors."
"It's not what you think," said Bunny as she got up off the floor and straightened her hair.
"Oh honey, I know what I saw.
Buzz stood up and in a very firm voice said, "Tula, get over it. First you are trespassing and second, as Bunny said, nothing was going on."
"Well then explain to me what the two of you were doing canoodling on the closet floor?"
"We weren't and it is none of your business."
"Looks fairly simple to me."
Buzz looked Tula in her eyes, "You do whatever you want to. You are a miserable unhappy bitch, whose ambition is to make everyone else's life as miserable as yours." Then Buzz just stood there and did not not move until Tula turned around and left.
Bunny was about in tears,"It always happens to me. Lord knows what she will tell everybody."
"Bunny don't worry about Tula. She doesn't have a lot of friends around here. She will never get over Beau falling in love with Anna Belle, then spurning her when his mother would not let him marry Anna Belle."
Bunny just sniffled.
"Besides, can you imagine how much dirty laundry she has?
Buzz finished installing the safe. Bunny pulled the box from under the bed. She opened it and explained what was in it. "Mr. Sweeny told me I needed to have a secure place to store it. Now, thanks to you, I have one."
He explained the lock to her. They walked down stairs. She offered him a drink but he said he needed to get home. She walked him to the door and thanked him again.
The following morning Bunny told Della about their misadventure with Tula the night before. Della was howling.
"You think this is funny?"
"What if she tells that all over town?"
"Like they are going to believe her or even give her their time. Bunny, no one around here likes Tula. She is referred to as 'Trouble with a capital T'."
Bunny felt a little better. She and Della reviewed some things that were going on in the office. She gave Della the maintenance list and asked that she get it to Larry. Bunny got up to go to her office, she stopped and turned around, "How long has it been since the 2 of us had lunch together?" "I cannot remember the last time. We used to go to lunch together often." "I miss it." "So do I" "Good, then we will close the office for lunch. Besides, I want to hear all about you and Sam."
They locked the door and headed down to Ed's. It was a lovely day for a walk. They could not help but notice the large tour bus that was parking on the street. As it stopped, the air brakes hissed. Bunny looked at Della, "What the . . .?"
Della just shrugged her shoulders.
The door opened, the driver stepped out and put a small stool at the door. What came out of that door would have baffled Bunny and Della just a week or two ago. A small white lace gloved hand reached out and the driver took it to help the person out. The hand was followed by yards and yards of pink satin and then a dainty foot stepped on the step. As the lady emerged from the bus, they saw not just a regular traveler, but a lady dressed in a very nice antebellum outfit, a lovely pink dress complete with hoop skirt and matching parasol and bows and bonnets.
The lovely lady in pink was followed by a procession and ladies and gowns and parasols. Soon there was a rainbow of satin standing under the old oak trees in the city park across the street. Della giggled, "I guess our invitation to the picnic at Twelve Oaks got lost in the mail." Bunny laughed.
Then the gentlemen started coming off the bus, all in Confederate military uniforms. Della just laughed,"And,... the Calvary has arrived."
A gentleman, one with a plethora of medals on his chest and freshly shined riding boots, walked across the street toward Bunny and Della. "Ladies," he said as he took off his hat. I am Major Harper Hampton Habersham, I was wondering, since it is around noon, if you could suggest a place for my friends and their ladies to have dinner.
Bunny smiled, held out her hand,"Nice to meet you, Bunny, Bunny Vontese. And this is Della Lee." He nodded to Della, who just smiled. Bunny continued,"My suggestion would be a local restaurant just two blocks down on the right. It is called the Starlight Cafe. You cannot miss it."
He put his hat back on, "Thank you very much ladies." He turned and walked back to the group standing in the park.