• Brian Gallagher

Three’s a crowd

So this past Thursday I took the wife out on date night. Couple of King-cans and a bag of Cheetos sitting out front in the garage in the old lime green folding chairs. Yes, beautiful people, I know how to treat a girl right.

Truth be told I took her to the Hudson Village Theatre to catch ‘Marion Bridge’ before the show’s run was over. Now I had to see this play just because of the fact that it’s set around three sisters getting together in their mother’s kitchen chatting, reminiscing, and occasionally screeching at each other. But this play really hit home with me, dear readers, because it was like a page straight out of my past.

You see you could simply replace these characters with Betty, Millie, and Ethel who were (in order) my mother and her two sisters. And being set in Cape Breton, this also could have been my Aunt Millie’s kitchen table (although there was not one pot nor one cup of tea visible in the play).

And to boot, my Mom and her sisters were all 95 per cent deaf. So the word ‘screeching’ hardly can describe the henhouse cacophony of the three of them tucked in around that old oak table with notepads in front of them so they could communicate. Yes, you heard (read) correctly. They all had notepads with fresh Bic pens at their side. Not that these proud Capers would ever use them mind you – but the notepads made dandy teacup doilies (it’s not a coaster dear – that’s what the men use down at the tavern). No, it was much easier to holler across the 3-foot table at the top of their lungs several times so as to be sure to be heard. And all the while each of them is turning up the hearing aids in both ears until those started screeching as well (and subsequently bringing most of the village’s dogs to the side door – and don’t you know they start howling as if to get in on the conversation). Now wouldn’t you pay good money to sit down to that spectacle?

Ah yes, the tea. How do you like yours? The tea down home was always brewed up the same way every day that I can remember. Since they are all now departed from this world I don’t think they will mind me sharing the Millie Creaser (nee Tucker) special recipe for ‘Louisbourg tea’:

6 a.m. – turn the gas on and light the right hand burner on the stove

6:05 a.m. – fill up the old glass teapot with water and drop four bags of Red Rose in

7 a.m. – complain that the tea just isn’t strong enough this morning so drop more bags in

9:30 a.m. – Mary MacMullin from next door drops in. Have a cup won’t you dear?

9:31 a.m. - fill up the pot a wee bit with a bit more water and add two more bags

12 p.m. – now that you can’t see through the pot no more; pour a lunchtime cup of delicious black tar

4 p.m. – add a handful more bags of the ol’ Pekoe to get that extra pep in your step so’s you can finish the chores and supper (not dinner, supper). Sip, wince, and enjoy.

7 p.m. – relax at the end of a busy day with a cup of the old black tar and add in a shot (or two) of Lamb’s Navy dark rum. You’ve earned it. Screeching takes a lot out of you and you’re all beat out.

There you have it folks. I hope you had the opportunity to catch ‘Marion Bridge’ down at the Hudson Village Theatre. Next up on their playlist is ‘Billy Bishop Goes to War’ which should be another great reason to head out on date night with your better half.

Check out our special Arts & Entertainment section this week on pages 16 and 17 of The Journal - on stands now - and remember, if you have some music, art or other cool event you think I should be checking out, please hit me up at kickinthearts@yourlocaljournal.ca.


(Dedicated to Mary Elizabeth (Betty), Amelia (Millie) and Ethel (Ethel) Tucker.

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