Off to a Hilarious New Year in Maine
Well, New Years day kicked off with our usual brunch down to Celeste and Bud’s. The whole gang was there: Celeste and Bud (of course), Rita and Smitty, Betty and Pat, Dot and Tommy, and Shirley and Junior, and me and Charlie. We’ve been doing this since God was in diapers, and boy, oh, boy, we’ve had some good times over the years.
I think our most memorable New Years brunch was about twelve, thirteen years back, when, instead of the usual fare of baked beans, Betty’s egg dish, bacon and sausage, Shirley’s ambrosia salad and assorted desserts, us girls served up donuts. Nothing but donuts.
Let me back up. See, every November Charlie goes hunting with the boys. That year they were going down around Parsonsfield, I think. Now, when the boys go hunting, us girls go to Portland for a little shopping. We do this every year. Back then, we’d get rooms at the Swiss Chalet for a couple of nights, go shopping at the Maine Mall one day, the Old Port the next. You know, get a jump on Christmas.
So that November, we get off at exit 8 (now formerly exit 8). We're all laughing and gabbing a mile a minute. Before we know it, Shirley gets in the wrong lane and we have to turn right instead of left. Fine, no problem: we'll just pull in some place and change direction. So as a hoot, Shirley turns into Mark's Showplace, as it was called back then. For those of you who don't know, that’s where they had girly shows and a topless donut shop. I kid you not!
So Shirley's driving around looking for a parking place, so we can change direction, and Celeste goes, "Gee, it's wicked busy for this early in the morning."
"Yeah", I says, “the donuts must be exceptional!"
Then Betty goes, "Look at those trucks. They look kind of like Bud and Charlie's."
"Betty," I says, sizing up the gun rack and the "Go Sox" bumper sticker on the Ford, "that don't look like Charlie's truck. That is Charlie's truck."
And Celeste says the other truck looked pretty familiar, too.
"No wonder Smitty didn't want me to cook him breakfast this morning," Rita muttered.
Course, Dot wanted to march right in there and give Tommy a talking to. "Dot,” I says, “you ever heard the saying, ‘Don't get mad, get even’? Well, we're going to have some fun with this one, dear! Get moving, Shirley. We don't want them to see us. That would let them off the hook too easy!"
Well, we did some major brainstorming that weekend, and came up with a plan. We swore an oath to each other that we wouldn't say nothing to our husbands about seeing them at the topless donut shop. Our goal was to get them to ‘fess up of their own accord. It was going to be a waiting game to see who cracked first: them, or us.
So, the first thing us girls decided to do was to leave Playgirl magazines around the house where the boys could find them. Just to get their attention, you know? This involved a field trip, of course. We decided not to buy the magazines in town. We figured the fewer people in on the joke, the better, so we went to Waterville. Made a whole day of it.
When I got home, I put that magazine on my nightstand with my reading glasses on top. That night Charlie and me were in the den, watching the tube. A commercial come on, and Charlie gets up to get something to eat. "Charlie, while you're up, can you get me my reading glasses? There's some recipes in the new Redbook I want to look at. I think I left them on my nightstand."
Charlie comes back a few minutes later with my reading glasses and a funny look on his face.
"Thanks, dear. Where's your snack?"
"Not hungry." he replied. Charlie never said a word about the Playgirl magazine. Though for a spell, he was a little more attentive than usual. And he picked his socks off the floor for a whole week!
So that was it until the beginning of December, when us girls got together to do our craft project for Christmas. Betty usually come up with what we're going to do. She's the artsy one. Sometimes it's wreaths, or decorated cookies, centerpieces, or something. That year we decided to make Christmas decorations out of donuts. See, none of the boys had said a word about the Playgirl magazines, so we wanted to see if they could put two and two together.
Dot had some coupons, so we bought a whole mess of Dunkin Donuts, and set to work. We had a hell of a time: decorating donuts with little red and green plaid ribbons; making angels out of crawlers. Betty made this beautiful centerpiece by gluing together donut holes to form a miniature tree, then glazing the whole thing with sparkles.
I don't think Charlie knew quite what to make of our new Christmas decorations, especially the mistletoe, with a few Dunkin Munchkins hanging down.
Which brings us to New Years Day brunch at Celeste and Bud’s. It was clear the boys were still clueless, so us girls decided to hell with subtlety! We’ll serve nothing but donuts, wearing these special aprons we ordered. (see picture)
I wish you could have seen the boys’ faces when all six of us girls walked into the living room carrying trays of donuts, wearing our new aprons. "Donuts, boys?" It's a good thing it weren't summer, or they'd have been catching flies, their mouths were hanging open so!
Then, you could practically hear it as it clicked into place: “Light dawns on Marble Head.” Finally, the boys knew that we knew about the topless donut shop. They didn't know how we knew. But we knew they knew we knew.
There was a pregnant pause while they pondered the situation. Then Charlie goes, "Mmm, mmm, those donuts sure look good! I think I'll have me a chocolate sugared one."
"Here you go, dear. Made them myself."
"I bet you did. You been working overtime, haven't you, sweetheart."
"You know me!"
"Sure do. Nice apron."
Well after that, the party went back to normal, but come Valentine’s Day, the boys got us back. At a special dinner up to Sky Lodge, they gave each of us girls tickets to see the Chippendales at Mark’s Show Place.
Happy New Year!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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