Chapter VII, Episode 4:
Wanda Lou Wynette had decided to invite the gang to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. After Brenda Sue’s defeat in the Miss County Commissioner election, she felt it was the least she could do. It was bad enough that Brenda Sue was ticketed for disturbing the peace in Rotonda (for blaring her campaign promises through a megaphone at dawn), but to receive only three votes in her write-in campaign was disappointing. Wanda Lou knew a home cooked meal would cheer her right up. She had picked up fresh produce at the Dearborn Street Farmer’s Market. The turkey was in the oven. Al was making his famous biscuits, and Ricky Bob Burrows was bringing mashed potatoes and gravy. The feast was all coming together when Wanda Lou heard a shy knock at the door.
“Now who can that be when I am up to my neck in cranberry sauce?”
Wanda Lou peaked out the window. “Oh, no!” it is my evil auto parts mechanic of an ex-husband, Ray Chung. What is he doing here?”
Ray dusted off his mechanic’s overalls as he waited sheepishly for Wanda Lou to answer the screen door. He thought he smelled nice enough. Of course, that might not be everybody’s opinion.
“Ray Chung, what are you doing here? I am busy as a bee trying to prepare a nice dinner for my friends and family. I have no time to shoot the breeze with the likes of you.”
“Ray say: Nice to see you, too, Wanda Lou.” There was a short pause then Ray said a truly remarkable thing. “ Ray family.”
That stopped Wanda Lou right in her tracks. Not since their D-I-V-O-R-C-E had she thought of Ray Chung as family. On the other hand, he was the father of her little baby daughter, Ray Lee Dawn Chung, even though she hadn’t seen a child support check since Governor Scott took office. Now, here he was giving her his “puppy dog” eyes on Thanksgiving Day. Oh, brother!
“Well, I guess you have a point. C’mon in, Ray. I’ll put another plate on the table, but I am going to put you to work. Go get little Ray Lee Dawn Chung out of her play pen. Take off her “flap in the back pajamas” and put her in a dress so she will look nice when company arrives.”
“Ray say: O.K.!” And before you could say “second helping,” Ray was gone to get his baby daughter.
Al and Ricky Bob arrived together with enough food to feed all three of the local Rotaries. Brenda Sue pulled up in a cab, dressed in black from head to toe, with a thick veil over her wide hat. Everyone rushed outside to help the grieving former candidate into the house.
“What is that you are clutching in your hand, Brenda Sue?” asked a naive Ricky Bob. She did have something clinched in her black-gloved fist.
Wanda Lou gently pried open her fingers.
“It’s a “thank you” note from Bill Truex!??!!”
“Apparently, he is grateful to me because I swung a lot of voters his way.” Brenda Sue burst into tears.
Al, always the sage, said: “I think we all are, Brenda Sue. I am sure you will cheer up just as soon as we throw some turkey and vodka into a blender. And look who is here: your former campaign manager, Ray Chung!” Brenda Sue began to cry even louder.
“Now, hold it right there, Brenda Sue Wynette. This is a day to be grateful and everybody here has somethin’ to be thankful for, even if it is only this hot, tasty dinner I have slaved over for 14 hours. So everybody just take a seat at the table, take the tin foil off the dishes and dig in. Al, give Brenda Sue the bird.”
“I think you just did, Wanda Lou.”
And as the blender whirled, Brenda Sue dried her tears. Eventually, the laughter rang throughout the rooms of the tin home on wheels. It was a perfect Thanksgiving in.... Englewood.
Many thanks to all who
came to see my play based on the soap: CRACKERVILLE! It will be coming to Englewood after the first of the year.
Watch for it posted in the ENGLEWOOD REVIEW. Happy Thanksgiving!
Elizabeth first wrote about these Englewood characters in
a play. She has rewritten her script specifically for The Englewood REVIEW. See our next issue for the next exciting installment of ENGLEWOOD: THE SOAP! Don’t miss it, you might be in it! If you have missed any of our previous episodes you can catch up at www.englewoodreview.com