it was snow on the outside and grandma on the inside. dad and his new lady-friend in command of grandma's own old car - driving everyone to laporte city for their supper. stephen, charles dante, and grandma: clunked up and clattered in the back - stacked sideways - conjoined in a flood of winter coats and stocking caps. grandma had a squirrel mane around the back of her neck. it was top - notch.
this was the first meeting of the new girlfriend. everyone assumed the polite position and employed their best civil manners. the destination for the night was 'dave's chicken house' - for loads and explosives of fried chicken and frenched fries - the old squeeze red ketchup baby bottles and the big tank of yellow fish next to the cash register when you first walk in. the rain-soaked shingle roof that had collapsed and then been cuddled from above by a brand new saint of a ceiling. that red brick building.
and then the antique store in the backroom - filled with the bric-a-brac and knick knacks - tin trains - spoons with states - china dinner plates. the box of lps - christmas and country - chipmunks and partridge family. lamps and postage stamps already stamped - porcelain cats and rubber dogs - a box of checkers and a set of homemade lincoln logs - rings and polished rocks - pencil patched post cards and coffee mugs.
so they grew near - a beeline for the chicken house. the car - slowly straining through deep mashed potato snow - amid the chit chatting and small talking - afloat as a boat. it was going well for the new girlfriend with her new impressions. everyone was very polite and asked the proper questions.
though, as time went by - a stomach in the backseat began to growl like a badger. it twisted and wrenched - it dreamed of chicken skin and deep dark gravy. the tremors from the organ shook up the spine and struck the head like a frying pan.
so, with hands folded and a beautiful smile - grandma proclaimed to them all:
"i'm so hungry i could eat the asshole out of a skunk!"
love you, grandma