Saturday, January 1, 2011

Peg Leary: Caterer of the Damned


I know you can hear me. I wanted to take a moment before Judy gets here with some cake samples and let you know something. Okay? Ready? I'm going to say this once:

I'm not going anywhere.

You think you're going to scare me away, don't you? The first day I moved into this place, those cold spots started showing up all over, and I couldn't figure out why. Then the hissing sound from the back stairs. I almost had plumbers taking apart the hot water heater, before I saw the woman in the bustle dress with her eyes stabbed out by knitting needles. I assume that was you. I'm sorry about what happened in 1895. Yes, I did my research. It was tragic about your husband and the hairdresser, and that awful accident in the parlor. I mean that. But you're in for another nasty shock if you think some voices and a little bit of blood seeping out of my pipes is going to get me to close this place up and file Chapter 7.

This is not your portal to hell, honey. This is a full-service catering hall and wedding planning company. I have a client who deserves a magical day, and if you get in my way you're going to wish you'd stayed in that cistern where the laundress found you.

You don't worry me. I opened this place three weeks ago, and I have one client and a massive mortgage, and half of the business is owned by my ex-husband. I have a groom who hasn't been seen in three days, and I've already ordered 120 tenderloins from Omaha, so there is no going back. My dove wrangler let his flock get some kind of virus that might just take them all out, and my cake baker is a raging alcoholic, but she's good and she's cheap, and right now she's all I got. You want to take a piece out of me with your moaning and that smell of death in the attic? Get. In. Line.

Think it unnerves me when I go into my chapel hall and see a cross hanging upside down and mysterious scorch marks? Bitch, please. I am an ex-Catholic. My last priest got taken out of the church by two US Marshals and a guy from Interpol. Seriously. They don't even know his real name. I'm a 45 year-old woman, and I don't know how I'm going to pay for my son to go to college, and his dad seems more interested in working through his midlife crisis with a stupid car and a grad student who's studying Holistic Communications. I don't believe in anything but good shoes and the power of a couple of extra safety pins. And hell doesn't scare me. Because I've been there, and I brought lawyers.

Okay, that's Judy at the door. I've got to put some coffee on to get her lucid enough to take notes, so I really don't have time for you. I don't think you're just going to blow away with a warning. But I am letting you know that you've got a fight on your wispy little hands. You will lose. I will win. The wedding is going to be magnificent. And at the end, when the guests leave I'll be taking off my pinchy shoes, nibbling a petit four with a nice Scotch, and I will be laughing at your poor whiny ass.

And by the way. The blood-stained eye sockets distract people from noticing, but someone with your hips really shouldn't wear that dress.

We're done here.

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