So last Saturday, I’m just about to get all settled into my comfortable chair in the living room to watch Hockey Night in Canada when, no sooner do I reach for the remote than Minnie says, Aren’tcya gonna get ready?
I looked down at myself – my favourite old gray joggin’ pants, my favourite red plaid shirt with barbeque sauce down the front from wings the other night.
Ohhh, I says to Minnie. I got a letter from the NHL and it said they don’t care how I dress when I’m watchin’ hockey.
Ha-friggin’-ha, she says. Cyril and Joan’s comin’ over tonight to play Tarabish.
Now I got no problem with Cyril and Joan, of course, but you know how sometimes you get that feelin’ like you’re wearin’ your joggin’ pants with the hole in the crotch, and ya haven’t shaved for five days or showered in two and you’re just about as comfortable as you can possibly be, waitin’ for your favourite thing to come on TV? Well that’s how I was, sittin’ there.
I told ya about this two days ago, Minnie says, tsk-tskin’ me. Poor Joan’s been laid up for the past week since she took that fall on the church steps and I figured since she’s startin’ to feel better, it would do her all the good in the world if she got out of the house for a while.
So, of course, off I go for a (somethin’), shower and shave and come down all clean and dressed just as Cyril and Joan is gettin’ there.
Now, like I say, I was all set to watch hockey, but god love Cyril, he’ll give it if he’s got it to give. And what I mean is, he hauls out a 40-ouncer of Captain Morgan.
Joan’s brother gave me this for Christmas, he said, so I figured I’d bring ‘er over!
I just about danced a jig right there in my pit socks, but I could tell from the look Joan and Minnie exchanged that Joan didn’t know anything about Cyril bringin’ the big thing of rum.
I went right to the cupboard to get a glass for me and Cyril when Joan says, get some glasses for us, too, meanin’ her and Minnie.
And right away I could see what was happenin’. Maybe your wife is like this, too, but some women when they notice their man is sittin’ next to a bottle that’s way too big for him, will take a few drinks themselves just so their man doesn’t get completely hammered.
Ohhh, says Cyril, better get two more glasses, Billy. Joan’s gonna try to keep me respectable!
So anyways, Minnie gets all the low cards out of the deck and deals us up the first hand. And like the way it is every time we play, Me and Cyril ends up in half a conversation and Minnie and Joan end up in another half a conversation about somethin’ else.
How’s your back doin’? Minnie asked Joan, and Joan said it wasn’t too bad and told us how she was carryin’ a thing of sweets into the church hall for a baby shower when she fell.
Bucky that looks after the church, she says, he thought he’d be smart and put down a bunch of salt on the steps BEFORE we got any snow, so he wouldn’t have to get up the next day and do it.
Is he stupid, or what? Minnie asks.
Is he ever, Joan says. So my foot hit the pile of salt on the step and went right out from underneath me.
Anyways, it was somewhere in the middle of them talkin’ about her fall that me and Cyril were finishin’ our first drinks and pourin’ more.
Joan eyeballed Cyril somethin’ wicked and I could tell she wasn’t happy about how quick he was drinkin’. So she takes a deep breath and finishes off the rest of her own drink and asks for another one.
Now, ya see already the problem with this kind of plan. Joan is not a big woman by any stretch, so it’s pretty hard to believe she’d be able to drink enough of the bottle to keep Cyril from gettin’ too sideways on her.
And I’d say it was only a sip or two into that second drink when Joan started talkin’ foolish.
Minnie, she said. Remind me to tell ya about the spaghetti. And the recipe for gumboots.
Minnie played her card and then it just dawned on her. Did you say gumboots?
Er, Joan said. Shortbreads, I mean.
By the time it got back around to her turn again, she sat there starin’ at her cards for the longest time.
Whose go? Minnie says, thinkin’ it was mine.
Oh, Joan says. Then she looks up from her cards again and says, How come the man… er, the cards… are we diamonds over spades and the dog let the milkman in?
We all looked at her funny because that gibberish made no sense.
Joan, are you OK? Minnie says, but Joan just looked at her, confused.
Sounds like a bad case of Tarabish head, I said, tryin’ to make a joke or somethin’.
She should be all right, Cyril says. Then he turns to Joan and says, You only just took them pills for your back a little while go, so you should be fine, eh?
Pills for her back? Minnie damn near jumps out of the chair. They root around in her purse and Minnie comes out with a little bottle of pretty potent painkillers.
She can’t drink when she’s takin’ these! Minnie says. It’s written right on it! No wonder she’s so friggin’ loopy!
Anyways, to make a long story short, Minnie took Joan over to outpatients just to be safe and after waitin’ a couple of hours to get in, they said Joan was fine.
The good news is, they left for the hospital just in time for me and Cyril to see the start of the second period.