I realized that I hadn’t laughed today.
The more I think about it…I’m pretty sure I didn’t laugh yesterday either. Oh, there was plenty of “Heh. Heh.” chuckles.
But there’s something definitely off-center when I can’t remember when I had a guffaw that came from the middle of my belly and erupted up my throat.
My grandma believed in comfort food to bind the family together. She grew up in the depression era, so a fat chicken with home-made noodles was rich eats for her.
Her favorite meal was a mess of quail. It was a wet, nasty April day like today when she asked my dad if he’d shoot her a quail. She said she’d been pining for one for quite a while.
“Well, sure Ma,” he said. I was at Grandma’s when he brought in her bird, all dressed and cleaned, with the legs cut off.
“You just shoot one?” she asked.
“Yeah, you eat it. We want burgers, don’t we, Sug?” he winked at me. I’d been raised on rabbit, squirrel, and venison, or whatever my Dad could shoot. To me, a burger was a welcome reprieve.
Grandma fried up her bird. “He’s kinda paltry lookin'” she said as she pushed him around in the skillet.
“Well, there’s not much for the little fella to feed on. You shoulda waited til things greened up.” Dad gave me another wink.
We sat down to eat, and Grandma started wrestling the bird with her teeth. She gnawed and tugged, trying one side of her mouth, then the other. “This is a tough ol’ booger,” she mumbled and went back to chawing on a leg. Tears streamed my father’s face as his chest jiggled. I looked back and forth between him and Grandma, trying to sort it out.
When her dentures flew across the table. It was a full minute before he could get his laughter under control and tell her, “It was a crow.”
“My dawd!” Grandma scowled. “I thought the meat looked awful dark.”
Dad was laughing so hard, his voice sounded like a little girl’s as he wheezed, “April Fools.”
I need to laugh. It lightens my heart. Maybe I’ll make some comfort food. Maybe I’ll make it with pepper-jack and call the family.