I had lunch today after church with a woman who has been a fellow worshiper for about 5 years. Although I speak to CJ every Sunday, I find I'm just now really getting to know her. I am learning that she's an intelligent, delightful, multi-faceted individual -- and a great story-teller. We had a lovely, long lunch with lively conversation and lots of laughter. I repeat here one of the stories she shared.
At the time of this event, CJ was 6 years old and lived in a small southern Arkansas town; you know, one of those where everyone knows everyone... and everyone's business; not many secrets there. CJ's daddy was a deacon in his church (one of the teetotal denominations), and although everyone knew he was a deacon, come Christmas time, someone (not a church member, of course) would inevitably gift him with a bottle of bourbon. Being the good deacon that he was, the gift was never directly consumed, but would be given over to the care of their cook, who would store the bottle on top of the refrigerator then use it as flavoring for the next year's holiday fruitcake. The fruitcake was wrapped in cheesecloth, liberally soaked in the liquor, then put aside to "mature" until the holiday meal. [I happen to be quite fond of southern fruitcake, but cannot think of anything worse to do to it than drench it in bourbon, the flavor of which I find overwhelming!]
After this year's fruitcake making, CJ and her best girl friend, being of a curious nature, decided they needed to sample some of the remaining whiskey. They pulled up a chair to stand on, retrieved the bottle, got two small glasses from the cupboard and poured about a finger of whiskey in each. They didn't actually drink the stuff, she said, but instead stuck their tongues into the glasses for "a taste." One tongue-full was more than ample; they spewed and snorted and poured the contents of their glasses down the drain. Thinking they heard an adult approaching, and not wanting to be caught with the bottle, CJ grabbed it and ran to the living room. Seeking a hiding place, she placed it behind the curtains in the room's bay window.
[You know what's coming, don't you?]
About an hour later, the neighbor across the street telephoned CJ's mother. She told her she might want to check the front window, because there was something in there which was causing motorists to really slow down as they passed.
Now, CJ is younger than I, although not by many years, but she clearly remembers the tongue-lashing she received from both her parents. Mother was horrified and mortified; Daddy was distinctly distressed. She did not say if the discipline she received was more than verbal.
I'm looking forward to our next long lunch.