June 25, 2007
Look at me—I’m blogging. Welcome to volume 1, issue 1 of The Kudzu Telegraph.
As a failed journalist, I’ve had the urge to blog for ages, but my editor wouldn’t let me until I finished my new book. Jeez, don’t you hate it when you have to eat your veggies before you can have dessert? The good news is, DEEP DISH is done—at least my part of it, anyway. Now the cover genies and marketing mavens take over. Look for DEEP DISH in February. All I have to do is start a new book.
Easy, right? I have what I think is a great title, and a great idea. The cast of characters is coming together in my head. This weekend, I was at a friend’s house, reading a cookbook, and in the author acknowledgements I found a name I love—Dempsey. They spelled it differently, but my gal spells it this way. I think I know her last name too. I’m trying to figure out where this book is set, exactly. All I know for now is that it’s in a small town in Georgia. Maybe Madison? I had lots of fun writing HISSY FIT, which is set in Madison, one of the most beautiful towns in the South. So. Maybe Madison. This is the fun part of a new book. The possibilities are wide-open, limitless choices, huge optimism. Remind me of all this—nine months from now, when I’m trying to finish the freakin’ thing—tearing my hair out in frustration and anguish, sick to death of writing, ect. But right now, everything is shiny, glittery, wonderful, thrilling.
Speaking of thrilling, my junk posse and I had a fab weekend. We lit out fairly early Friday morning, heading for an estate sale in Druid Hills, which is a lovely old neighborhood in Atlanta—the real-life setting for the movie Driving Miss Daisy. Susie and I were in my car, about a block from the estate sale, when Susie screeches “Oriental rug! Oriental rug on the curb!” Right then and there I flipped a U-turn. We whipped into the driveway of a dilapidated house under renovation, hopped out, and yes, there on the curb was an actual oriental rug. A huge rug, all wadded up and left to die right there on the curb. So we did the humane thing. The two of us hefted it up and into the back of my car, screeching and laughing like a couple of loons. We could tell it was a very old rug, and that the colors were good. Susie needs a new old rug for her dining room, and these were the very colors she needed. Still laughing like loons, we motored on to the estate sale. At one point, Susie, who is usually a genteel Southern Lady, master gardener, Eucharistic Minister and recovering Brownie leader, pumps her fists in the air and hollers “Whoo-hoo! Who needs cocaine with a rush like this!”
The sale was excellent, by the way. I scored an empire mahogany card table, some sterling silver doo-dads and some vintage linens, among other things. We found a great 1920s wrought iron patio settee for Ellen, who, unfortunately, has an actual day job and couldn’t go with us on Friday, and Jeanie and Sharon, two other posse members, also found some good stuff. We all met back at my house to unload my car, at which point we unrolled the rug in my driveway to get the first real look at it. As we suspected, it was a good rug. As in, old. Susie and I left to go to some more estate sales, still stoked about the rug. We were so stoked, in fact, that I made up a song. Sung to the tune of “Oh Happy Day”—you know, the gospel number—it goes like this: “Oh Happy Day. Oh Happy Da-ay-ay-ay. (Oh Happy Day) When Jesus Threw. When Jesus Threw-ew-eew. (Yes Jesus Threw) Yes, Jesus Threw. He Threw that Rug Away! The chorus goes something like this: He Threw That Rug! Right on the Curb! We pulled right up! And threw it in the Car.
Oh Happy Day!
Did I mention we were stone-cold sober, driving around the finer neighborhoods in Atlanta singing the rug song at the top of our lungs? After a couple more stops—including our traditional junk posse lunch spot, The Oak Grove Market, we decided to drop the rug off at Sharian’s, in Decatur, to have it cleaned. The nice men at Sharian’s were very approving of our find. Turns out the rug is Persian, an antique Mahal, 10-by-13, the exact size and colors Susie needed. The men pointed out that the rug had about an inch coating of animal hair and reeked of cat pee. No worries. Sharian’s can get anything out of any rug. We left joyously, still singing the rug song.
That afternoon, we started scratching. And scratching. It seems our curbside find was flea-infested. I spent a very uncomfortable Saturday signing books at a Kroger in Buckhead, trying to find a way to discreetly scratch the flea bites in my cleavage. Not fun. The interior of my car has now been carpet-bombed with flea-killer. Oh Happy Day!