Well, I wasn't going to tell this story, but at the urging of my girlfriends on a recent girls' night out, I agreed it was too good not to share. You see, on July 4, we had a fire drill -- a ladies' only fire drill.
We spent the day watching our men folk fry batch after batch of catfish, tater tots, hush puppies, fried pickles and anything else they thought might taste good battered and smothered. We were as stuffed as could be -- everyone contently sitting around a great big vat of oil.
That's when my friend came out of the house and said, "We have so much food left; I'm going to take it to the fire department. Who wants to go?"
Remember Road Runner?
That's what every woman there looked like. We hopped up and took off so fast, you would have thought our chairs were on fire. In fact, I even left my purse behind -- the purse I take everywhere with me -- even to the bathroom -- in my house.
As relatively old married folks, our husbands looked on in utter amusement. We could have said we were going to see Chip and Dale strippers and probably gotten the same look -- they were full of fish and content and knew we'd be back by supper.
My friend's daughter, however, has only been married two years, and I must say, her husband looked slightly alarmed as we ran, yes, ran toward her van. The van she'd already jumped in and started up. I guess I didn't help matters when I looked his way and said, "Do I need to put on my lipstick?"
I'd never seen a more shocked looked in my life. As we let out a whoop, my friend's daughter commented, "That's the fastest eight women have ever done anything!"
What can I say? We love our public service officers.
We waved an excited good-bye to our spouses and drove the less than half mile to the fire department. Once we arrived, we excitedly got out, amidst many giggles, with a big pan of food in hand. Ready to make the handsome firemen, I mean, er, the fireman happy by delivering some freshly fried food.
To our disappointment, however, the station was deserted. Perhaps my friend's daughter's husband alerted them that middle-aged-ish women were coming with half-warmed fried food. Either way, they were gone. The place was a ghost town.
What do we do now? We struggled to find an answer. We knew we couldn't go home and let the men folk laugh (more) at us. So, we did what any good citizen would do, we hung around and waited, listening in on the CB radio, until we got tired and eventually wrote a note and left, driving slowing back to our husbands. But not before we made a pact: "Let's not tell them no one was there."
"Agreed!" we all said in unison. Not to be cliché, but how many times do eight women agree?
We didn't have to worry very much. Most husbands didn't ask. As for me, I got in the car and immediately blurted out to mine that the place was deserted. I guess the others did too because by that night, the only poor husband left in the dark was the newlywed.
"So, how many firemen were there?" he asked his young bride later that night.
"Oh, I don't know. I didn't count them,' she said. Months later she confessed the (complete) truth. I must say, I can't help but admire her fortitude and her wit.
And, I have to say, now I know if our house is on fire, we'll be OK, even if we have to go to the fire department to pick them up ourselves. In fact, it may just be quicker that way.