The following excerpt comes from an exercise where we were challenged to first write a portrait of a humorous relative and capture their essence, then to write a scene where that relative is having a fight with someone. I combined the two in this post.
“Well it looks like you get the prize for having the most ex husbands present,” Lou said.
“What present?” Mama looked up.
“Paul and Carroll’s here. I said you get the prize for having the most ex husbands present at Christmas dinner.” She was shouting so loud her wig had slipped back a little and you could see her hairnet underneath.
At this point, Ma, Uncle Donne, all sixteen cousins and both aforementioned ex husbands had caught on and were doing their best to find some wrapping paper that needed cleaning up or someone’s punch glass that needed re-filling.
“You’re just jealous,” Mama said, her chin punching out, her hands on her hips, her tits stretching the polyester of her Christmas sweatshirt with the Poinsettia appliqués.
“I ain’t jealous,” Lou went on. She mumbled and waddled across the room to where she’d left her drink and picked it up. My Aunt Lurene—the legally blind, alcoholic, narcoleptic sister whom my mother thinks of as the pretty one. Lou owned a bar in Savannah called The Pink Peacock where she served cocktails wearing a pink leotard and heels with peacock feathers taped to her ass. She did have nice legs.
“Lurene’s always been jealous of my men,” Mama told me.
“Mama I do not want any part of this here conversation,” I said, and turned around just as Lou headed back, her thick glasses magnifying her eyes right up under my nose and her drink squeaking out of her hand and splashing Mama’s Poinsettias with Brandy and Egg Nogg.
“Well there’s Egg on my face,” Mama said.