As it was, Bunny, Vivian, and Della got tied up at work, so they arrived at the Tea room later than they planned. Instead of noon for lunch, it was 5 o'clock, just in time for the Apres High Tea Hour. They were not aware of the new offerings. However, when Grice brought them 2 menus, 1 for tea and food, and a 2nd for cordials and wines, they did not complain.
All three ladies ordered glasses of white wine and a plate with a variety of small sandwiches, Hattie's cheese straws, and a few scones. They were about halfway through their 1st glass of wine when Parker and Bob walked in.
As Blanche seated them at the table next to the ladies, she said with a smile, "Well, I thought you may be coming back, but I did not expect this afternoon."
"Well," smiled Bob,"we did not want to disappoint you."
"Oh, by the way, did you get the number of that lady Dad was interested in?" asked Parker.
"No, I haven't yet. But please tell him I am working on it." Blanche smiled, "Grice will be right over." With that, Blanche turned and made her way through the dining room to the kitchen.
Parker saw the ladies at the next table, "Well look who we have here!"
Everyone spoke. Parker suggested,"Let's get a larger table so we can all sit together. Will that work?" The ladies agreed. Parker got up and left the table to tell Grice they were all moving. After they were settled and the guys had ordered drinks, they started catching up with each other.
Bunny turned toward Parker and asked,"What lady were you asking Blanche about?"
"We were in here earlier today with Dad. This good looking woman walked in and Dad was smitten. He asked Blanche about her. She told him that her name was Colleen Cantrell. Dad asked if Blanche could get Ms. Cantrell's number for him." Parker replied and took a sip of his wine.
Bob laughed,"Parker, I love your Dad, but, honestly, I haven't seen anyone smitten like that since high school."
Parker also laughing, "Oh, I agree."
Bunny quickly chimed in, "Oh, I know who she is. She just moved here. She is renting a cottage from us on Elm street."
Bob put his glass down,"But the important thing is - do you have her phone number?"
Della chimed in, "I do."
Parker excitedly said, "Yes, that's great. Can I get it?"
Della gave Parker a sly look,"Well it will cost you."
Bob started laughing before Parker could say anything,"If Parker won't pay up, I will."
"Seriously," Parker said, "Can I get her number or do you think that would be some violation of her privacy?"
"How 'bout I do this - I'll call her, briefly explain the situation, and ask if I can pass her phone number on to you."
Vivian spoke for the first time, "That sounds fair to me."
Parker looked at Della, "I'll call you tomorrow."
They went on talking about other things, including Sam's assignment. Just before 6:30 they decided to move their little party to Dot's. Della's mood was definitely better. Bunny called Mike and he came down and joined them.
"Where's Terse?" Della asked Vivian.
"On a book tour."
Bunny enthusiastically said,"That sounds so exciting. Being on TV, meeting all these famous people."
Parker looked at Bunny,"Terse is a famous person."
Della, picking on Bunny, said,"I bet if you ask, he'll give you his autograph."
Everyone laughed. Vivian added, "Well, he will tell you having to go through make-up with a stylist for each TV interview only to give the same answers to the same questions, is far from 'exciting'."
"Make-up?" asked Bunny, "Why Terse is sohhh good lucking, why does he need make up?"
Mike just shook his head, "Bunny everyone on television wears make-up, a lot of it."
Della added, "Why do you think they are so good looking - every day?"
Bunny was honestly taken aback, "So Sonja on TV9 is not beautiful? She looks so beautiful every day. I'd love to look like her."
Bob had had just enough to drink,"Bunny, you do look like her," referring to Bunny's penchant for wearing a great deal of makeup."
Oblivious to the meaning behind Bob's comment, Bunny said (very honestly)"Bob, thank you. That's the nicest thing you have ever said to me."
Everyone at the table laughed. Bunny looked at them, a bit puzzled. Parker jumping in to save the situation, said," Of course you look like her." He looked at Bob, "I just never put the two of you together." There was some quiet giggling at the table.
Bunny just blushed under her layers of concealer, base, and pancake makeup, as she took another sip of her Mai Tai. The conversation continued about other general subjects and local gossip. A great time was being had by all.
That was until Mike's phone rang. He answered it, "Yes sir." He was quiet as he listened. Then he replied,"I'll be right there."
He put his phone back in his pocket. "Sorry folks, but I need to leave. Duty calls." Everyone said their goodbyes and Bunny gave him a quick kiss.
Bob laughed, "I bet Sheriff Quitman is not going to be too happy when his deputy shows up a bit tipsy."
Vivian looked at Bob, "Won't happen. Mike's been drinking straight ginger-ale."
Parker looked at Bunny and asked, "Seriously, what can you tell me about this Colleen Cantrell?"
Bob added, "Besides the fact that she has fantastic taste in clothes. That dress she was wearing was to die for."
Parker looked at Bob, "I'm afraid green is not your color."
Bunny answered, "Well she is very tall and nice looking. She has this sexy smoker's voice - you know the kind you hear in old movies? Besides that I do not know anything about her."
Parker asked,"Where did she move here from?"
Della answered,"We don't know. On her rental application, she did not fill that part out."
Bob asked,"Isn't that required?"
"Well, according to Wade, if you are clean when you come in the office and can pay the deposit, we really do not need know where you came from," answered Della.
Bob asked,"Isn't that discrimination? Requiring them to be clean?"
Vivian laughed and added,"I don't think so, since it doesn't matter what gender they are, what color they are, if they are married with children or single."
Della added, "They can be Catholics, Rastafarians, Jews - faith doesn't matter."
Vivian added, "Even Baptists are welcome."
This brought a loud laugh from the table.
Della finished,"She came in, was clean, and paid with a Gold Am Ex, which went through with no issue, and set-up her rent through automatic monthly payments."
Bunny looked perplexed, "What's a Rastafarian?"
Bob, being a smart ass, answered,"Those are folks who worship fairies?"
Vivian, having had just enough wine, said,"Like you and Parker."
Everyone laughed except Bunny. Who sat there for a moment before she asked, "Do these Rastfaries have a church?"
Della, trying to explain, "Bunny, Bob Marley was probably the most famous Rastafarian."
"Bob Marley?" Bunny asked.
Della, just looked at her and said, "Bunny, don't worry about it. I doubt we ever have a Rastafarian ever come in the office. And, if one does, I'll make sure you know."
"OK, please do. I've just never heard of that religion."
They talked for a while. Bunny got up to go to the ladies room. While she was gone, Bob looked at the rest of the party and said, "$1000 to the first person who shows up to Wade's office, when Bunny is there, with a Rastafarian." They all laughed. Bob continued, "And, I'm talking dread locks and all."
"So 'fairies' won't do?" asked Parker.
"No, 'fairies' don't count," snickered Bob.
Bunny came back to the table and everyone decided it was time to go home. Bunny was walking ahead, talking to Parker. Della turned to Vivian, "Why do I have the sneaking suspicion we will have a Rastafarian show up at the office in the next week or two?"
Della laughed quietly, "No doubt, just a matter of when." She paused, then said with a quiet giggle, "Want to make a bet on how long it will be?"