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Friday, July 22, 2011

Guestworthy



Back in 1958 when men were men and women slaved over large kettles of chickens stewing in broth and making angel food cake from packaged mix and men were inviting their buddies over for poker and women were dashing out to the store in the snow to buy precooked rice and men were sitting by the fire drinking whiskey and women were baking biscuits and mixing glaze and men were swapping notes on that hot young piece who’s dating Fred and women were baking a strawberry sponge cake because it is the middle of winter and men were lighting cigars and scratching their balls and women were breaking asparagus as far down as they could and men were playing poker and women were riffling through the cupboard to find the monosodium glutamate which is behind the jar of beans in which hides the gun and men were bluffing playfully in the den over who has two pair or even one pair and women were dismantling the cooked chicken and men were raising each other and seeing who was going to win Edgar’s watch and women were up to their elbows in chicken grease and draining asparagus and men were trying to remember how much their own watches were worth and women were putting biscuits in the oven and trying to remember where the bullets were kept and men cheered when Louis won Edgar’s watch that had been given to him by his father-in-law and secretly felt shame for Edgar and his father-in-law and themselves and women put the glazed angel food cake in the freezer for another time and men dealt another hand and women wiped the sweat away and took their aprons off and patted their hair and men poured another round and women undid another few buttons and picked up the tray and knocked and the man-of-the-house said here she is at long last I thought you’d never come and women thought he’s right, Goddamit, I never come.

Good Housekeeping’s Company Meals and Buffets, Consolidated Book Publishers, 1958

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