Lonnie and Tiny first appeared in “Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell,” the title story in my self-published short story collection about animals, LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL. They also appear in “Lonnie, Me and the Battle of St. Crispin’s Day” in the Southern Indiana Writers’ anthology, HOLIDAY BIZARRE.
Lonnie, Me and the Resurrection Eggs
by Marian Allen
“Come on over, Tiny,” Lonnie yelled across the street.
I beeped my car shut, made that call me sign with my other hand, and went on in the house. I just got off a long shift at the plant and I wanted a beer and a shower, not a long jaw with my best friend – and the world’s biggest fool.
The phone rang before I kicked my shoes off. I went on and answered it; not even Lonnie would believe I wasn’t home, when he’d just seen me walk in.
“Come on over, Tiny,” he said again. “I been waitin’ supper.”
I’ve known Lonnie most of my life, and there was something in his voice that told me he had a surprise up his sleeve. That’s hardly ever a good thing.
“Lemme take a quick shower and change into my home clothes. Fifteen minutes.”
“Okay. Did Mary Lee leave you any more of that potato salad?”
“I’ll bring it.”
“And the You-Know-What.”
Lonnie’s wife, Leona, had dragged my Mary Lee off on a church Meditation Retreat. I hoped Mary Lee wasn’t going to come home a hardshell Baptist like Leona, who was a fine person but sometimes a little too particular about what was okay and what wasn’t. How she got to be married to Lonnie was something I’d always been a little afraid to ask.
Anyway, Lonnie and me had been batching it for the three days they were gone, pitching in the food our wives had left us and watching action movies on Lonnie’s big screen TV. I’d been careful to only take over a third of Mary Lee’s potato salad every night because Lonnie loved it as much as everybody did, and I knew anything I left in his refrigerator would be gone the next time anybody else wanted any.
After I cleaned up and got into my jeans and baggy shirt, I grabbed the night’s share of potato salad and the You-Know-What – beer – and went on over to Lonnie’s, around to the kitchen door.
“Finally! Rip me off one of them cold ones, would you, buddy?” He opened the refrigerator, hip-bumped it wide open, and pulled out a heavy glass plate. “Ta-daaaaa!”
The plate was one of those cut-glass dealies the ladies use for parties and pitch-ins, with oval indentations pressed into it to hold a dozen or so hard-boiled egg halves. It was full.
“I made Resurrection Eggs! Leona always makes them for picnics, and they’re so good with ham and potato salad, and she didn’t make any and I got a taste for them. How about that?”
I was impressed. I’d never known Lonnie to make anything in the kitchen except a mess, but these looked like the real deal.
One of the real deals. Every woman made them a little bit different. Mary Lee took out the yellows, mashed them up with mayonnaise and onion powder and mustard and salt and pepper and paprika, and refilled the hollows the yellows came out of. She called hers Stuffed Eggs. Leona mashed her yellows up with sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip and called hers Resurrection Eggs. Lonnie’s had so much pickle relish in them you could hardly see the yellows.
“I will not eat green eggs and ham,” I said and laughed.
Lonnie planked the plate on the table. “I wouldn’t kill you to try them.”
Served me right for quoting literature to Lonnie.
I picked one up and bit into it. It tasted like nothing on Earth, and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Lonnie popped one in his mouth, managed to chew it up and swallow it, and looked at me with an air of betrayal, as if I had made the damn things.
I apologized to my stomach and swallowed my bite whole.
“Lonnie,” I said, “what have you done?”
“Well…. Leona’s are good, and Mary Lee’s are good, so I figured if I put in everything they both use mine would be better.”
“I can’t honestly say they are, buddy.”
“But we gotta eat ’em. I made a whole dozen.”
“Why, Lonnie? We watching Cool Hand Luke tonight?”
I didn’t even answer that. I’d just show him the movie, and he’d see.
“We gotta eat ’em,” Lonnie repeated. “I can’t waste all them eggs. Maybe I the girls would like them?”
He actually had a point. Our wives ate a lot of stuff Lonnie and I wouldn’t touch unless they were watching. But I couldn’t stand by and watch while a couple of loving, trusting women touched these things to their tastebuds.
“Tell you what,” I said. “I’ll buy ’em from you and give ’em to Homer.” Homer was my dog, also known as The Living Garbage Disposal.
“I don’t know. Giving good food to a dog….”
Good food wasn’t in question, but I could see Lonnie getting that cross-eyed contrary look, and I had to think fast.
I leaned across the table, like I was telling a secret and somebody might hear. “Lonnie, do you know what you made here?” I tapped the plate. “These here are what the recipe books call Deviled Eggs.”
His jaw dropped. “I made Deviled Eggs? In Leona’s kitchen?”
“I’m sorry, buddy, but yeah, you did.”
“Homer would eat ’em. He’d like ’em.”
Homer would like a dead skunk, but never mind.
“Let’s just leave these be for right now,” I said, “and eat the ham and potato salad. Then I’ll put these in the empty potato salad bowl and take ’em home. You buy some more eggs tomorrow and Leona never has to know.”
Lonnie reached out a hand and we shook on it.
“Tiny, you’re the best friend I got in the world.”
“And you’re my best friend, Lonnie.” Kinda sad, but it was true.
~ * ~
MY PROMPT FOR TODAY: Recipe variations
p.s. In case you’re wondering, here’s a scientific study on Cool Hand Luke’s egg eating. You’re welcome.