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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Just a bit of silly fun....
You be the Judge by Begin Again
 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: November 5, 2010      Views: 338

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 ABOUT
BEGIN AGAIN 

Begin Again is a resilient "senior citizen". Reinventing and restructuring her life has become almost common place for her.

I love music, books, and sitting by the water. Each of these activities brings a sense of life to me.
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"Smell that, Billy?"

"Which odor you talkin' about Hank? We're standin' darn awful close to the pig barn."

"Don't be messin' with my mind, you young whippersnapper. My nose smells Mrs. Hatterby's barbeque. My mouth's already waterin' fer the best darn barbeque sandwich in this here county."

The two laughed as if they'd just heard a good joke. Truth was Hank loved the fair, to be precise, he loved the fair food. He was quick to tell anyone who'd listen that there wasn't anything like the County Fair and its food.

Of course, a few years ago when his wife, Jenny, was still alive, he sang a different tune. Jenny was the best cook this side of the Mississippi and Hank's rotund body was all the proof anyone needed. Since the love of his life passed on, the old man counted the days off on the calendar, waiting for the County Fair. Being one of the town elders and a real happy-spirited man, people were thrilled to have him stop by their booths to chat for a moment or two. They eagerly let him sample their dishes, knowing full well he'd say it was the best he'd ever had.

He'd smile, smack his lips, rub his stomach, and nod his head. "Mighty good ... can't say I've ever tasted better." After a healthy belch or two, he'd move on to the next food tent and repeat the same scenario again.

Billy steered Hank toward one of the folding chairs inside Widow Johnson's booth. Ole Hank inhaled.

"Mmmm ... smell that fried chicken. I been starvin' myself just so I'd have room for one of those juicy pieces of chicken, Carrie. You ever goin' to give me your secret recipe?" The old man leaned forward and lowered his voice, "Better yet, one of these nights you should just come by my place with a picnic basket filled with your delectable cookin'. I'd crack open one of them fancy bottles of wine I been savin' for some just such an occasion."

Carrie's face turned a proper shade of red. "Oh, Hank, you should be a shamed of yourself. Fooling with me like that. I wasn't born yesterday. You're just looking for me to serve you up a plate. So just quit spreading honey all over." She rolled her eyes and giggled like a school girl. "Now behave yourself while I fix you a plate."

After setting the platter on the card table next to Hank, she remembered Billy. "Oh, gracious me, I must have left my manners at home. See what you've done, Hank. Got me so flustered I pure forgot about Billy. Can I fix you a plate of my southern fried chicken, too?"

"No thanks, Miss Johnson. I just got a call from my dad. Appears his cows are out on County M, blocking traffic." Billy turned to the elderly man, "Hank, I gotta go round up some cows. You going to be okay by yourself?"

"Get your snot-nose self out of here and help your dad. I don't need you to be holdin' my hand." Hank's entire body shook with laughter. "This here nose can sniff out the food just fine."

"Alright then, but don't forget you're judging the pie contest in two hours. You're right outside the pavilion entrance. The pies are to your right."

"I'll be fine. Now skedaddle before those darn cows are in the next county. Yer Dad will havin' yer hide."


After finishing his chicken, licking his fingers, and spreading a little more "honey", Hank's nose got wind of Molly's chili. As he stood to go, he bumped against someone.

"Ooops, sorry, Mr. Walton. I didn't see you."

Hank smiled, "I'd recognize your voice anywhere, Bobby Sue. As for not seein' this old codger, I'd bet my last dime you were eye-ballin' Tommy Johnson back there helping' his mama."

The pony-tailed teenager laughed. "I was just asking him if he would be going to the dance tonight. A woman's gotta look out for herself. You know that, right?"

"A woman are you now. You ain't been outta diapers that long, young lady."

"Diapers! I'll be seventeen next month. Already got my driver's license, too."

"Is that so? Well, then young lady, I've been drooling over Molly's chili. Maybe you could navigate me through the crowd."

"Be my pleasure." She waved at Tommy, yelled goodbye to his mom, and hooked her arm through Hank's. "At your service, sir." The pair melted into the crowd in search of some spicy chili.

Over the next two hours, Hank gnawed on roasted corn on the cob dripping in butter, a brats piled high with onions, a cherry funnel cake sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and washed it all down with freshly squeezed lemonade.

Bobby Sue shook her head in disbelief, "I don't know where you're putting all that stuff. You sure you don't have an hollow leg?"

Hank tapped his cane against his legs. "Not yet, honey, but it's sure something to look into when my parts begin to fail."

"It's been fun, Hank, but I really gotta run. I'm working in the potato shak. Maybe you'll stop by later and I can fix you up."

"Sure thing, Bobby Sue. I've got some pie judging to do anyhow."

"Oh, my stomach hurts thinking about it."

"Hey, just like jello, there's always room for dessert." His eyes twinkled with merriment as he laughed. "Just point me in the direction of the pavilion and I'll be fine."

The teenager escorted into the pavilion. "Do you want me to get someone before I go."

"Not necessary, child. Billy gave me directions." He squeezed her arm. "Appreciate you hanging out with an old man."

"Any time, Hank. You're actually a lot more fun than most the guys I know."

"Except Tommy, of course."

She laughed. "Well, he might give you a run for your money. Gotta go, bye."

"Bye." Hank waved as she hurried away. "Now let's see, Billy said it was too my right. Look out pies here I come."

A man approached Hank. "Can I help you, sir?"

"Why thank you. I'm here to judge."

"The judging table is right over here. I'll get you a chair."

Once settled, Hank prepared to feast on all the pies. Cherry was always his favorite, but he couldn't wait to taste them all.

"Here you go, sir. This will be your first exhibit to judge."

Hank's fingers touched the dish.

Not a winner here. Must be a graham crust, but it's crumbling all a part.

He tried to pick up a piece to see how it taste.

Yuck! What kind of pie is this. It's way to mushy for my likin'"

As he was about to take a bite, Billy's voice boomed across the table., "Hank, what are you doing?"

"Why I'm judging like you asked. Is something wrong?"

Billy bent over in laughter, holding his sides. He gasped for air.

"Enough of your foolery, young man. I'm about to eat this horrible pie."

"Hate to burst your bubble, my friend, but you almost sunk your teeth into a dew worm farm."

"Worm pie? Whatever will they think of next?"

"It's not a pie. It's the fifth grade science projects. The pies are on the other side."

"Fine mess you got me into, sending a blind man to judge a pie."

"I didn't think you needed to see, Hank. Your stomach always works fine." Billy handed him a napkin. "Let's go find the real pies."


















Food Glorious Food!!!! writing prompt entry

Writing Prompt
We all love eating food (well most of us), so why not write about Food?

Author Notes
Thank you feminestudio for the use of your artwork.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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