Friday, February 21, 2014

Beach Story: Wine Down...

She came through my line with a glass of wine in her hand and looked at me through booze-bleary eyes.  She grunted, then tossed back the dregs of her pinot noir.  “Celebrating tonight,” she said as in way of an excuse of her poor wine-drinking etiquette.  “My husband died today.”  She looked forlornly at her empty glass.  “Truth be told, I killed him.” 
She plucked a crab cake off my proffered tray and stuffed it in her mouth while turning and heading for the bar.
                I stood frozen in indecision. In all my years as a caterer, I’ve heard all sorts of off-hand confessions, usually involving infidelity or secret lust, but never, ever, one of murder.  What should I do?  Wrestle the large, elegantly dressed older woman to the ground and hold her until the police showed up to arrest her?  Or just call 9-1-1 and keep an eye on her until the authorities cuffed her and Mirandized her? Or laugh it off as the joke it obviously was.  I mean, this was a fund raiser for a gubernatorial hopeful.  All the guests were movers and shakers and the best money-makers in the state.  Not killers.
                I was so lost in my what-should-I-do thoughts I didn’t realize the commotion near the bar.  Fearing my short-tempered (but always available in a pinch) bartender had poured a drink over a customer who had  gotten fresh with her, I elbowed my way through the crowd.  There I found, lying on the floor, the self-confessed murderer, in full anaphylaxis shock.  “Call 9-1-1” I screamed. 
Someone called, but it was too late.

                We found out later that Glenda Vanlandingham Stewart hyphen Powers was deathly allergic to shellfish.  Why she ate that crab cake, I’ll never know.  


Randi Klein said...

Love it!
You have a wild imagination!

Randi Klein said...
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