"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."
"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.
(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.
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.