Gardens and Girls… They Stink! or “Your Sister’s Aunt!”

Once again, it had been decided – I was far too pale and thus needed to lay out on the splinter-riddled side deck, in order to catch some color for my impending photo-opps – my sister had spoken.

Salvatore had recently spread a few bushels of chicken manure over the garden and by this juncture in late afternoon, the May sun had made the entire neighborhood fully aware of his doing so.

Following a brief, mid-day siesta, he returned to what remained of his tilling duties, when we could not help but overhear an exchange between he and Frances. Apparently (and understandably) she was upset and a bit embarrassed by the obscenely pungent odor radiating from our backyard. “Oh Salvatore, it stinks!”, she hollered, just as he was stepping outside. And then something happened that to this day makes my cheeks run flush with an instantaneous rosiness.

Mind you, we were tucked away – not by design, we just so happened to be soaking in the sun somewhere above and beyond his sight – when our beloved Papa, having heard just about enough, slammed the door closed with such mighty, foundation-rocking force that he surely woke Bobby Pastrami (read: our cured-meat-craving father) from his own post-work slumber. “Your sister’s aunt!”, he proclaimed (only, he didn’t say aunt).. Clearly unsettled by the proceedings, we discretely crawled inside. In our haste, I was to remain full of paste.

Life lessons learned:

-Never get in the way of a man’s meal – especially if he is the one growing it.

-When it comes to your family, always make your presence known.

-Never ask a girl to prom unless you have instituted a plan, whereby providing some sort of incentive, beyond the school-sponsored activities, for the after-party. She will surely leave with someone else (perhaps someone with a year-round, perma-tan) and when they return hours later, you will start a fight because your pride was attacked, but then settle because you get hungry and instead, end up taking her out to a breakfast of homefries and eggs with a side of italian toast.

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