Thursday, June 11, 2009

One Sick Little Pilgrim

Lately Bean has developed this habit of grabbing my (omnipresent) water bottle, whippin' off the cap and guzzling large quantities of it down without so much as a glance in my direction.

"Carrie Alexis FriedOkra!" I say. "You know better than that! You need to ask permission before you go drinkin' somebody else's drink, Little Missy, or you may just live to regret it."

"Sorry Mama."

"Yes, well, you see that it doesn't happen again."

Hey did I ever tell y'all about the time I learned that "ask before you swig" lesson the hard way?

No? Then do let me share! You'll love this one!

It all happened one Thanksgiving back when I was ten or so. We used to have these HUGE family Thanksgivings with both sets of the Grandparents and all their corresponding aunts, uncles and cousins, and of course the menfolk'd all arrive at our house, make a bee-line through the bustlin' KITCHEN FULL OF BROADS out to the back porch and immediately pop open their celebratory Turkey Day beers. And we young cousins (all girls!), havin' acquired a taste for a little bit of the HOLIDAY ALE, would creep around behind their backs and sneak sips out of the cans when Dad or Uncle Butch or Grandaddy FriedOkra weren't lookin'.

(Grandaddy Clover was a tee-totaller so he just had sweet tea. Or water, from the kitchen spigot, which he drank out of a large metal dipper, like he'd done from the well when he was a boy.)

Now we girls didn't get drunk or anything, y'all - it was all in good fun and I think the Dads knew all about our little game and they'd've stepped in and put a tire-squealin' stop to it if we'da been seriously gettin' liquored up before the big Turkey Feast.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, so we'd sneak around and try to get a sip of beer from our own Dad's can, and ...

(Are y'all now thinkin' to yourselves, "Well dang! Turns out Megan was raised by a bunch of rednecks!"?)

(Because I really wasn't. I mean, sure, they drank cheap beer outta cans on the back porch as the turkey spun away all morning on a jerry-rigged rotisserie over smouldering hickory nuts and some sticks my Dad found in the yard, but they did it with the commensurate amount of REFINEMENT).

And speaking of refinement.

A couple of these male kin-people also partook of the Red Man.

Chewin' tobacco.

(Did I previously state for the record that I was not raised by rednecks? Perhaps I was a bit too hasty.)

And, oh yes ma'am, they'd use the empties left over from all their refined beer swillin' as repositories for the, um, unpleasant by-products of the Red Man.

Yes, those by-products.

The spit.

Do I need to spell the rest of the story out for you, or can I just stop here and tell you that after one particularly un-beerlike swallow out of my uncle's can that day, I have NEVER, EVER surreptitiously drank from anyone's beverage again?

Yeah. I didn't feel particularly hungry for turkey and dressing come dinner time.

And no, I'll confess now, thirty years later, that it wasn't because I'd pilfered all the black olives and baby gherkins out of the annual Thanksgivin' fancy relish tray, as my mother speculated and I felt it best not to deny.

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  1. Oh, dear. What a funny story! It's good to hear from you, Megan! :)

  2. I once took a swig of a Coke with a cigarette butt in it. I still gag everytime I recall that foul taste!


    Can I ask how you got the background of your posts to be white instead of the background image? Pretty please? My photo blog looks silly.

  3. Aaagghh! That would teach any little pilgrim a lesson!

  4. I have to say, having grown up in SC not too far from where you did...I knew how that story was going to end before you even got there! Sorry you had to learn that lesson the hard way.

    my "don't drink w/o asking" comes from my dad, whose brother used to work for the health department. I guess my uncle told daddy too many horror stories, b/c daddy instilled in me a "drink from your own cup" policy right from the start.

  5. My son did the same thing. Although he thought he was grabbing his own pop not the bottle that his uncle was using for chew and he took a big swallow of it. GROSS! Lesson learned... don't set your pop down when you are sitting near Uncle Ed.

  6. With your wonderful words, I am almost there with you stealing sips of adult beverages - or is that spits of adult beverages??

    really enjoyed the trip back in time

  7. haha this cracked me up. and made me gag a little too.

  8. I feel your pain! Back when my husband and I first started dating, he was fresh out of the Army and he used to "dip" Skoal. UGH. It was such a disgusting habit.

    He used to spit into an empty beer can and I too, have accidentally consumed tobacco and spit remnants.

    I am gagging now just thinking about it!


  9. Uuuuuuugh. I actually feel sick to MY stomach just reading that! My brother, cousins, and I used to do the same thing on holidays. Thankfully (though I never thought about it until just now) none of my family members ever used chewing tobacco. Yeurgh.

  10. Sometimes you can look back on things and laugh! This isn't one of them! This one calls for a groan. Loved the story.

  11. It is truly a wonder that you all survived and are refined! We were (are?) still rednecks! Tell about the raft trip to the Holiday Inn, or climbing up on the "shed" when it rained!

  12. Ugh! Reminds me of a similar story, when I was in my 20s and I picked up what I thought was a bourbon and coke (in low light) and turned out it was somebody's almost empty drink that they were using as an ASHTRAY! Gross, gross, gross! But likely largely the reason I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life, so I guess it turned out to be a good thing. :)

  13. Do you call a combination gag-laugh a gaugh? Or a lag?

    Because EWWWW!


  14. And that would be the exact reason I only drank beer that came directly from a keg as a kid (reminds me of a story I really need to write up for my blog). I had seen too many spits or cigarette butts make their way into empty or mostly empty cans to make that mistake.

    You poor thing!

  15. Oh man...I always worry about something like that happening when we are camping. Nasty!!

  16. As I started to read this post the ending flashed through my brain. And I thought, "no, she didn't do that too." I recalled my own daughter doing this exact same thing and didn't think it possible another child (meaning you!) could have endured such grossness. I know my daughter (who is now 22) has never forgotten the time she did the very same thing! The only thing that tops it is the time she was at the crawling stage and we were visiting friends. She crawled over and helped herself to some "moist" cat food. My husband thought it best I not know the details. I probably never would have, had she not let out this gawd awful burp when I hoisted her into her car seat that day. As I wiped her chin and said "good grief what is that awful smell", my husband and my four year old son busted out laughing. Because THEY knew what that awful smell was from!!! Some things you never forget!

  17. Hi Megan- After reading this stomach churning account of your childhood, I'm sure you would have no problem putting up some pictures of your eye tumor. I know you took pictures! Really though, I Hope it's all better.

  18. OH! MY! LORD! That had to be nasty!

    Very funny story.