Father was always an impatient man, with the exception of countless nearly silent evenings he spent by the flickering fire light, knitting rifles from Winston Churchill’s many tender regrets. One may be surprised upon hearing that this great leader possessed regrets, yet he did, and they were mostly of a deeply romantic nature. His primary fixation was attuned to those celluloid heroines far across the pond. In particular he reserved a substantial portion of his copious grey matter for his longing to embrace the ridged flesh and ample bones of Hedda Hopper. The piles of rifles grew with the passing seasons and were stuffed to the moldering rafters into the attic or dumped into the old stone cellar.
What’s more, Winston fell quite equally in love with the erudite Louella Parsons. If the bellicose winds of WWII were not enough to occupy his mind, his love for these two contentious news hounds swept away any possibility of a decent night’s sleep for many a lingering year. Winston tossed and turned from one side to another, only to come face to face with his love for two ladies he could never possess in the soft glow of radiant candlelight sparkling upon glasses of bubbly. Although he was victorious on the battle lines and in the trenches, he was after all a man who’s heart was unfulfilled to the limits of it’s capacity and in the end served as little more than a mechanism for moving his blue blood around his massively complex circulatory system.
Fathers knitting needles flashed and sparkled as he produced copious amounts of light infantry weaponry for a winsome Winston. It was with some great effort that Winston kept his fictional dalliances from his always adoring Clementine. Knowing what even the slightest blush of rumor would ultimately tarnish his sacrosanct bond with her, Winston held close to his heart the secrets of state and his longing for a matching pair of petulant Hollywood chatterboxes.
Mother for her part kept to the amber colored ceramic tiles of a rapidly advancing, antique kitchen. There she kept herself busy stirring multiple pots of her most emphatically synthetic secret desires. Using a well seasoned and utterly patinated boxwood spoon, dug up in the garden under her favorite cabbage plant Louise, by her overly ambitious and anthropologically curious rat terrier, Doxy. This arcane and perhaps magical implement was lovingly hand carved by a solitary troglodyte who went by the name Orto, but who’s real name was Hif-La-Voor, using hand fashioned obsidian tools, well ensconced within the vast timeline of the pre bronze age; reflecting the uncanny semblance of the passenger side window crank of a 1912 Bentley, solid gold edition. Mothers dedication and propulsive momentum was unrelenting at all hours of the day, and well into the very darkest of fog laden nights. Ironically, she and Winston shared many sleepless nights churning away at their nearly identical heartfelt longings.
Without a reservation or twenty-four hour notice, uncle Pete, my fathers least favorite brother, arrived reeking of cheap imitation Cuban cigars and pseudo Detroit bathtub rum, then proceeded to stick his outsized index digit into the entire depth of the doorbell where he lingered; exhausting excessive volts and decibels. He entered covered in coal dust, pitch and bacon grease, brusquely grabbing fathers hand and shaking robotically as if it were a cast iron pump handle. After his overly enthusiastic greeting, he plunked his outsized frame down upon mothers brilliant white chiffon sofa cover and then launched into a series of obvious fictions presented as if they were ensconced in concrete fact regarding his many lavish travels both home and abroad.
Mother retired to the solitude of her steaming kitchen where she began to prepare out of complete deference to fathers habit of providing a strong economic foundation on which to build kitchen products of a quasi-nutritious nature. She did however mask her reluctance in preparation of uncle Pete’s favorite dish with a stellar performance reserved for the likes of Veronica Lake. Sans stage makeup she toiled over billowing pots of boiled pork shank, pork chops, pork soup, bacon plate accompanied with all the trimmings to include deep fried pork rinds and a lovely platter of gelatinous pickled pig’s feet.
Uncle Pete rose from the sofa aided by the wafting aromatic leverage of mothers culinary craftwork, rendering a sooty smudge of gargantuan proportions which immediately brought to mind an outsized roar-shock test, which in the blink of an eye yielded up absolute proof that Pete was utterly insane from the root of his foot to the tip of the last looping hair upon his aging noggin. From there he ambled to the dining room table and began to consume wholesale the entire assemblage of steaming pig parts.
Mother having at last perceived the thick black smudge on her sofa, let out a gasp which nearly caused her to exhale her precious lungs entirely out onto the sideboard, but masked it with a sobering cough as she dashed into the kitchen, where she spent several hours scrubbing her lovely pots until they were quite free of pork fat. Afterwards, she dashed out back and bridled the last family pig and dragged it as best she could to the neighbors house where she handed the harness to Mrs. Tollgate, insisting she assume ownership of the pig who’s given name was Geophrey. Mother then sealed the deal by signing over the pink slip and trotting heel to toe back through her very own Bristol beets and straight up the staircase leading to her pig free kitchen.
Only moments later, there came an official ring at the bell proffered up by the local constabulary in search of dear, dear uncle Pete.
Apparently he had escaped the bounds of the local prison house with the aid of the wardens rare red rusted Renault Dauphine. Within a matter of moments the two bobbies had gathered up uncle Pete, secured his person with a pair of non-rusting British-Sterling stainless-steel hand bracelets. Within the scope of a miniture minute, uncle Pete was a historical figure only remaining within the boundaries our family photo album and was for all future days to remain a welcome guest of the British prison system.
Mother snatched up her once lovely white chiffon sofa cover and dragged it out back and doused it with the last remaining bacon drippings and kerosene, then set it ablaze and once more preformed an enthusiastic hornpipe around the flaming pork fat soaked rag.
Father fell back into his rocker and immediately resumed knitting a Louella Parsons rifle but dropped a stitch and ended up with an odd caliber pistol of nondescript character, which would only fire acorns during the fall season and then only if the local population of squirrels had not filled their cheeks with the tart seeds before the munitions plant sent out highly trained troops to collect the odd nut from below the stately white oaks in our entirely remote Hackney Wick neighborhood.
There is little doubt that Winston would have been proud of fathers efforts on his behalf and those of the war effort in general had he not been entirely ignorant of fathers existence from day one.
Mother redoubled her efforts by reissuing her pots with a fresh supply of aromatic herbs and succulents on which to carry her enchantments out of the kitchen vent and into the cooling fall sky and across the harvest moon. Little did father know of her flaming desire to run away with Winston Churchill, and she would have done so, except for her disdain of sooty cheroots and Winston’s love of expensive French cognac, which he also used as eau de cologne in copious amounts, splashed about his pale pink skin, before surreptitious dating forays deep behind enemy lines.
Winston Churchill reclined steeply within his favorite moaning chair and began to drift off where he found himself floating somewhat heavily betwixt that quasi-conscious dream state and REM sleep. There he envisioned a tacky kitchen plastered with amber colored tiles; where shimmering aluminum pots filled with Alpaca rifles boiled away into the night stirred alternatively by Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, wearing matching aprons adorned with little pink piglets energetically waving the King’s colours in tandem.
© January 14th, 2014 • D.L. Nelson & Ironworks Publishing