“Set that chicken and…what do you call that other stuff down here again, I should know this.” Carol loops around the island and has her hands rested against the immaculate greyscale marble on the other side, lips pushed out while she looks up squinting at the ceiling.
“Fixin’s,” I say with a forced southern twang.
“Fixings, exactly, right there on the island if you don’t mind. I hear Bob getting his self together, he should be in here shortly and we’ll all fix a plate. Fix a plate. Hey, maybe that’s where that comes from!”
“Maybe!” I offer excitedly. “Dad always said it came from the Great Depression, when you couldn’t necessarily count on the quality of the meat, or meat altogether. He said a good set of sides could ‘fix’ that for you.” I’m ruffling the plastic and pretending like I’m doing something to prepare this piping hot food sealed in styrofoam and plastic and grease soaked cardboard lined in shiny white wax.
“Is that true Pastor, or one of your tall tales?” Carol speaks as she truly dissects the flimsy plastic bags and begins arranging the containers in a line, potatoes beside the gravy, green beans popped open and steaming, biscuit box beside the chicken bucket and the crinkly bag balled and buried in the trash inside a cabinet at her feet.
“True, that he said it, yes, but beyond that there’s no telling. Dad doesn’t really speak in plain fact. You’re always kind of trying to discern just how tall the story he’s telling is.”
“Oooo,” she exclaimed, “I’d love to meet that man sometime. Sounds like such a character.”
“Yes, and some characters are best known by their stories rather than in person. He can be a handful, so to speak.”