"You take the wrong turn and look what it gets you. Narrow road to the ministry". Bells began to peel the misty air of York, too loud to hear conversation. "It's only the lunch bell, soon a crazed male secretary, one eye spinning faster than the other, you've seen them in their tight collars, will push and shove to get first in line for their tea and cakes".
"You think they're off to tea and cake?"
He glared at him. I just said that drowned in bells, he thought.
It was quiet after the last stinging echo.
"Speaking of wrong turns - did I ever tell you about Porky Mcdougall back in the States? Back, lets' see, yeah, nineteen twenty-three". He laughed.
"No, I don't believe so". He scratched his chin to appear smart.
"Porky just about became president".
"You don't mean it".
"Granddad recounted this twice-told tale dozens of times".
"What happened"? They stood at the end of a long slumping line to Tea.
"Ok. Harding get's a bad batch of chili and he explodes. A million miles away, in little sleepy Vermont late at night, somewhere out on a darkened farm with no electricity, Cal is curled asleep, cobwebs holding him down in bed. The local judge, perhaps the mayor and constable along for the ride, speed out into the moonlit night in a flivver. Nobody remembers the way, or they can't agree on the route. They ease over a splintered bridge and take a wrong turn. All those farmhouses look the same anyways to those tight collars, red-eyed like these clowns in front of us". The man in front of them turns and glares down his nose and quickly blinks his disgust. "So, they pretend they're high and mighty sure as they stop in front of Porky's farmhouse. Two of them are pounding on the front door around two A.M., screaming, 'Harding is dead, we're here to swear you in'! Confusion, people hollering and sweatin', dogs barking, fingers scorched whilst attempting to light candles. The constable drags fetched, sleeping-capped Porky down the narrow staircase, tie his spatula hand to the bible, oaths a poppin'. Poor terrified Porky". He shook his head, laughing. "Poor, helpless, Porky. Took him a half hour to convince them he wasn't Coolidge, and they still didn't believe him".
"You don't say". He rubbed his chin and narrowed his eyes for full effect.
"Of course Gramps mumbled a lot. Just like you". He looked around and scowled. "I hate tea".