Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fergus meets the fish - Gloria Part 10

Gloria, as many of us, was given at times to exaggeration either of word or, more likely, of action.  The episode of the fish-smacking took on its own weight and atmosphere as the story circulated about town.  It was an early morning, Fergus just arriving with the egg delivery and a admiration for his own, as he thought of them, manly gifts that nearly swelled his head, metaphorically, to the size of a barrage balloon.  His smirking remarks were so galling that Gloria grabbed the nearest, non-fatal object and gave him a swift, startling whack across the face.  Since the bandied-about story named the fishy weapon as a small cod, that is what all have called it since.  Gloria quickly switched to another supplier of eggs and, as a bonus, dairy products but Fergus dragged his tale of mistreatment about the region like a broken limb, eliciting sympathy by the dozens from his less particular customers and loiterers.
Photo, courtesy of this site, a swelled head model indeed.
Because Gloria was not one to trouble herself about what people were saying, for the next several weeks she kept a a fresh, flailing-quality specimen nearby should anyone want to try their luck with a leering aside or bold proposition, to see if history would repeat itself. It seems all knew her well enough not to take the chance. So it was that when The Reading Man arrived in Billington's Cove, the first citizen he encountered told of how eccentric, volatile Gloria - the abridged version in which Fergus was cast as the injured party - swung a mean fish and he'd best keep his head down at the tea shop. Or risk the consequences.  And of course it was that same day that Mr. Apotienne, who intended to read quietly to himself as he enjoyed Gloria's kitchen arts, felt the phantom jabbing that caused him to begin reading aloud, catching Gloria's ear, putting an end to the fish-as-weapon era, though in the minds of townsfolk it had been more of a life-long inclination than a short-lived fit of pique.

It was said though not proven that when married, Fergus endured other dope-slaps, particularly when riding in a car driven by his wife he would take it upon himself to comment that he thought she drove on the wrong streets.  A contrarian from an unbroken, undistinguished lineage of people who seemed to grab the wrong end of the stick, Fergus had, wrong-headedly, decided that he knew all the shortest, quickest routes through nearby communities, his plan mostly involving rolling stops at stop signs, not slowing down for speed bumps, of which there were few, or potholes, of which there were many.  So when Mrs. Fergus, as he chose to call her, took sensible routes over roads with left-turn lanes and drivers who paid attention, Fergus felt called upon to point out her failure to comply with his instructions.  It was the day after he told her she parked in the wrong spot, identifiable only by him, that she left him and his chickens and gargantuan lack of self-awareness and moved a short distance inland to where a friend kept bees and had started a business of artisanal honey.  Mrs. Fergus never looked back. 


Erin in Morro Bay said...

Too bad Fergus didn't move inland and leave the joys of the sea and Gloria's tea shop to be enjoyed by his wife!
Erin in Morro Bay

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - I suspect Mrs. Fergus will find a way to be exactly where she wants. She has left me a hint or two. xo

Lisa H said...

Cod save us.
......and it usually does.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - Heh heh. xo