I’m Easter Yeggs, son of Lieutenant Deviled Yeggs and Dr. Trinity Naomi Tesla, that’s TNT, Yeggs, PhD and many other initials, but most people call her Glyce, pronounced “Gliss,” since it is short for Nitroglycerin. She explodes when shaken.
Mom, please let me know if Dad is reading these. He might really want to know about this report. I wanted to have a long talk, but our stay at home was short. GrandMa Maeve had the twins. Dad preached a sermon, and there just wasn’t time. After doing laundry Monday morning, we were back on the road. Then after one week with Joe Buttons, Mary joined us and I wrote about that. Then I wrote a short note to say that Mary has worked out as a good teammate, but you won’t believe this story. I will tell it like Dad does.
We had heard that Anna Tietam (pronounced “tea’-tum”) was not coming to take Mary’s place. No one was prepared to take Anna’s place, so Mary requested an extension of one week until someone else could be sent, wherever we would be next week. We had not gotten the word yet, but we were hopeful that our little team could have more time to work on teamwork, work as camera crew, director, and such for Mary’s news and weather reports from the field, part of her other major, and of course, our Bible studies.
It was Bible Study time and Mary asked to say something before we started.
“I have been doing the research,” Mary said, “and in the latest census, there are more people in our age group, 18 to 25, that are shacking up than those who are married. The 25 to 35 group is about the same, but the trends show that the next census that bracket will be more people shacking up. It’s not just seeing if you can cohabitate. It’s all the rest. Maybe you won’t like sex. Maybe something won’t, ummm, fit?”
I looked at Jemi and she looked at me. We looked at Ellie (Dr. Quinn), and Ellie looked like she was about to start laughing.
Ellie said, “Don’t worry about Easter and Jemima. The human body has a way for the, umm, parts to fit. Now if we were talking about Geoffrey, that might be different. I do not think that Easy uses drugs to enhance any particular body part. If Geoffrey asks you out on a date, do not just say ‘no,’ run away.”
Mary nodded, “I heard rumors.”
Jemi asked, “Mary, when you asked that, it seemed there was a bit of innocence in the question. Being a couple of years older, we thought you were wise to all kinds of things that Easy and I have never experienced. You have dated, haven’t you?”
Mary turned red, and shook her head, “No. My mother taught me that I did not need a man, but mostly she wanted me to focus on my schooling and excel in that. When I started getting boys asking me out, I told them I was all about studying and making straight A’s. After a half dozen calls, the calls stopped. I don’t know why. I guess they found someone prettier.”
I blurted out, “What do you mean? You’re drop dead gorgeous!”
The room got quiet. Mary was shocked! Ellie was again trying to stifle a laugh. And Jemi was angry beyond measure.
She screamed, “Drop dead gorgeous?! She’s drop dead gorgeous?! Do you know what you are saying, Easter Yeggs?”
I mumbled, “I said she was very pretty. I was not looking at her with desire, but we’ve been filming her all week. She is attractive. You kept saying that the camera loves her. She’s going to be a star someday. But that’s all. I meant nothing else. I’m sorry if I offended! Honest!”
Jemi’s eyes were burning. “No, you said drop dead gorgeous!”
Mary said, “I think I’ll go to my room and skip the Bible study. No, wait, this is my room.”
Jemi said, “Sit down, Home Wrecker. I’ll get to you next.”
Ellie said, “Home Wrecker? Stinker, please, Easter just used the wrong word. It’s not a big deal.”
Jemi, with tears in her eyes, turned to me and said, “Easy, you know that my sister, the one married to the preacher, was pregnant when the new church secretary started hitting on him. My sister was feeling like a toad, bloated, puffy, and sick. And here the church secretary, who was ‘drop dead gorgeous,’ was throwing herself at him. The church fired her and that helped save the marriage, but it got rocky. She thought her husband should have been more forceful in fighting the secretary off, but hormones fly when you are pregnant too. We will not have that between us. Drop dead gorgeous means that she is so beautiful that your heart races out of control with desire and you die due to atrial fibrillation. Do you feel that way about Mary?”
I fumbled for the words. “I want my Mommy?” Then, I firmly said “no.”
Jemi asked, “Have you ever felt that way about a girl before?”
Jemi got a lot louder. “And who would that be?” She asked accusingly.
I mumbled a bit, “Well, ummm, I was looking at clouds, as usual. It was during the lockdown. I heard some people in the river, so I sat up and I saw the new pastor of our church baptizing everyone in his family. And when his daughter emerged from the water, I thought I had never seen anything so angelic in all my life. I think my heart stopped because time stopped. I had to find out who she was.”
Jemi stepped over and threw her arms around me. “Easy, you are so stupid, just like most guys, but then you say just the right words to make me love you all the more.” We kissed, passionately.
Ellie said, “I would usually say, ‘get a room’ but you each have rooms. Can we get this Bible study started? Maybe after you apologize to Home Wrecker. Sorry, Mary, but since Jemi is Stinker, you will be Home Wrecker.”
“Sure, my nickname is Home Wrecker, just as long as Stinker doesn’t kill me, and I am still on the team. And Jemi, what were you going to confront me with?”
Jemi snickered, “Not a confrontation at all. I apologize for being oversensitive. My sister had a rough patch during that pregnancy. And if Easy uses that wanting his Mommy line again, I will sock him, but the point is that he and I work out all differences, usually calmly. For now, the kissing is all we do, but my sisters tell me that make-up sex is sometimes the best. But you have not dated?! You are, umm, gorgeous!”
Mary turned even redder, “I have not even kissed a guy. When I got to the university, my routine was the girl’s dorm, the classroom, the television station, and the library. If a guy asked me out, it would be the library and they don’t let you talk. I usually found a quiet room to study, alone.”
I asked, “You have been alone for three years?” She nodded.
Jemi then asked, “And your asking all these questions was not testing our faith in God, you were…”
Mary nodded and interrupted, “Yeah, living vicariously through you two. It is so unusual, but just now, Stinker got angry. Easy apologized and complimented her, showing her that she was all he ever needed. And you overcame a disagreement. I never knew my father, and at times, I wonder if my mother ever knew my father. She never talks about him. The people who helped my mother raise me all fought with their spouses, always angry, many divorced. But this wasn’t the first time that I saw you disagree, and it always ends the same way. Okay without the ‘I want my Mommy’ line.
I shrugged, “Hey, she came on a little stronger than usual over something that I thought was trivial, until she reminded me of what happened with her sister.”
Mary held up her hand to speak. “Wait! Stinker, if your sister had the baby, does that make you Aunt Jemima?”
Jemi shouted, “Yes, but Stinker is bad enough. I don’t need two code names!”
Ellie suggested, “Can we just hold off our Bible study until tomorrow? I think a good round of Elvira is in order.”
I asked, “I thought you hated the song?”
“When I suggest it, it is a fun song, kind of my theme song. When someone teases me with it, I am done with them.”
We sang Elvira and I tried to do the bass part in the chorus. The three ladies laughed.
Jemi said, “But we need a theme song for Mary.”
I sang, “Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?’
Mary said, “No, I didn’t know that at all. I only became a Christian yesterday!”
I stopped singing. Jemi said, “That’s nothing to joke about.”
Mary said, “I’m not joking. When you bought me my Bible, you tossed a few tracts in there. I guess as bookmarks. I have been reading the Bible and those tracts ever since. Last night after our Bible study session, I got on my knees next to the bed and asked Jesus to take over my life. I might have a great career ahead of me, but I felt empty. I have no one to share my success with, whether I am even successful or not. And I look at you two and I want some of that. Call me a Home Wrecker if you want, but I want my own Easy. Until then, I have Jesus.”
Ellie shouted, “Group hug!!!”
While in the group hug we each shared things that we were thankful for. Just before we finished the group hug and prayer session, Ellie’s phone chimed. She had gotten a text.
While Jemi and I were putting our Bibles and things into our bag, we heard Dr. Quinn gasp. Dr. Quinn was Ellie for our Bible study sessions and maybe Elvira for the rare singalong, but now she started to cry and she slumped into her chair.
I asked, “What’s wrong, Ellie?”
As she fought back the tears, “I got a text from Dr. Kildare. Mary is approved to stay for two more weeks. Anna Tietam was not sick. She was poisoned. They could not save her. She passed away this afternoon.” She looked at each of us. “I think you have all had classes with Anna.” Then she turned to me, “Now it’s a job for your Dad.”
We had another group hug, and more prayers were lifted for my Dad and the investigation and for Anna Tietam’s family.
Dad, if you read this, I want you to know we prayed for you, but even more important, the Turtle, at least for the next two weeks, has a full crew of Christians. The Holy Spirit is at work. Maybe your sermon started it!
Joe Buttons, only named in this story, is a tribute to The Button Song. We sang it, chanted it since I did not know the tune, all the time as a Cub Scout leader. I even led a few hundred Cub Scouts in a singalong session at a council event – the Boy Scouts got lost on a hike in Fort Gordon, GA, outside Augusta, GA. We had to kill time while we waited for them to be found.
The Button Song goes: Hey, my name is Joe and I work in a button factory. I have a wife and a dog and a family. One day the boss came up to me and said, ‘Hey, Joe, are you busy?’ I said ‘no’ So, turn this button with your right hand. With that hand twisting back and forth, the next verse, the boss adds left hand, right foot, left foot, tushie (derriere, whatever), and finally Joe’s tongue is turning a button. But then on the next verse, unable to understand what anyone is saying with their tongue sticking out, when asked if he was busy, Joe says “YESH” Or whatever yes sounds like with your tongue stuck out. Six to ten year old boys love it!
There is a National Battlefield Site in Sharpsburg, Maryland, just south of Hagerstown, Maryland. It is the Antietam Battlefield, the bloodiest of the war in the USA during the 1860s. I was at church a few weeks ago and someone was saying that they had gone to a concert in Hagerstown, and it was fantastic. The other person must have questioned where Hagerstown is, so the concert goer added, ‘That’s where that famous battlefield is located. You know! Anna Tietam!’ Sorry, when someone says something like that, I bite my tongue to keep from laughing, but I just have to use the name!
For videos about the song, Elvira, or a clip featuring Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, here is a link to a previous Easter and Jemima Adventure. Click HERE.
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