Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word Count: 1000
Marie, My Fondue
As they sat around the campfire, Little Joe Cartwright said “Pa, can I ask you about my mama?” Joe loved to hear his father tell him about the very dead mother he barely remembered.
Ben sighed. “Ahh, she was like a breath of spring all year long.” Ben sliced up some bread with his knife that he had originally received as a gift during his sailing days from his long lost buddy, Popeye the Sailor Man.
Joe leaned back on his haunches and stirred the black iron pot of cheese fondue. It was his mother’s recipe from New Orleans, Cajun Swiss Fondue. He pulled the fondue forks out of his saddlebag as the fragrant dish bubbled. Ben uncorked the diet Pepsi and poured both of them a good measure. “Got Twinkies for dessert son,”
” Mama was a breath of spring? Like one of them room air fresheners?” Joe asked. As manly cowboys who ate lots of beans in many forms, and stepped in various gooey substances in the barn, the Cartwrights also used loads of air fresheners.
Ben nodded. “Or a big dish of potpourri on the coffee table. The sturdy low, table you always put your feet upon, my adorable son.“
”Is that why you don’t like me to put my feet on the table Pa?”
”Yes, that and because that was the place…the SPECIAL SPOT.”
”The place? The SPECIAL SPOT ?”
“You know son… the place, THE SPECIAL SPOT. And nine months later you were born in the little room upstairs,” Ben wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. “Ahhh, Marie!” he sighed remembering their heated passion that night on the coffee table in front of the roaring fire.
Joe nodded thinking how he would have to share that bit of info with his brothers when they got home from branding the naugas. And Hoss thought he was hot stuff because he was conceived on a wagon train during a stampede and Adam thought being conceived during a Boston Pops concert was pretty good.
Joe wondered if the checkerboard was on the “SPECIAL SPOT”.
Ben stared at his handsome son in the flickering firelight. “We almost named you “King Me Cartwright.”
Joe grinned. He was absolutely right in regard to the placement of the checkerboard.
“You look a lot like your mother, Joe. Same brown curls and eyes like a dill pickle slices on a sesame seed bun. Speaking of buns.. Your mama had great buns. Some day I hope you and your brothers find a woman with buns like Marie.”
”Sesame seed buns?” Joe kept stirring the fondue.
Ben shook his head. Good thing he sent Adam to college; the other two would have to get by on their personality and muscles. Maybe Joe would find a rich girl who like WOWza. “You have her hot temper too, son. And her fast draw.”
”Mama had a fast draw? Could she draw Binky on the match book like Adam and go to college?” Joe smiled adorably.
”No my handsome and favorite son. Not draw pictures, draw a gun.”
”Mama was a quick draw with a gun? Like Moi?” Joe was amazed. “The fondue is done, Pa. Dig in and tell me about Mama and her fine shooting.”
”She shot like Dead Eye Pete or Quick Draw McGraw.” Ben sighed.
“The cartoon horse cowboy? Cochise and I watch that show on Saturday morning and eat Cheerios together. They are made from oats and horses love oats, Pa.” Joe speared a neat cube of bread and dipped it into the fondue.
“Coochie doesn’t put his/her hooves on the table, does he Joseph?”
Joe shook his head and looked more handsome than imaginable.
“Marie was a great shot. Hot tempered, and a great shot.” Ben blew on the hot gooey cheese and sipped his diet Pepsi.
”When did you find out about Ma being a great shot Pa? Did outlaws attack the Ponderosa?”
Ben shook his head.
”No” Ben took a bite of the fondue.
”Mimes? Plether thieves? Gypsies, tramps and thieves and Sonny and Cher?”
”No, son. I found out just after we married in New Orleans. We were on our way back to the Ponderosa. We were traveling that last stretch through the Sierras. Just Marie and me. Very HARD trip but romantic too.” Ben sighed. Marie was as hot as the damn fondue that had singed his tongue. He gulped down a big glug of the Pepsi and burped in a manly cattle baron way. “GREPS!” Ben belched.
Joe winked at Pa thinking of a long honeymoon from New Orleans by way of Club Med and Disneyland.
“We hadn’t gone too far when Marie’ horse stumbled. Your beautiful mother quietly said, ‘That’s once.’ We proceeded a little further and the horse stumbled once again. Once more your beautiful mother quietly said, ‘That’s twice.”
Joe nodded and wiped his chin on his sleeve. He wondered if his Pa had those burning map boxers on his honeymoon.
“We hadn’t gone a half- mile when the horse stumbled the third time. My new wife quietly removed a revolver from her pocket and shot the horse
“Dead, Pa?” Joe was amazed. “Mama shot the horse?”
“She was beautiful but very hot headed, Joseph.” Ben scrounged around in his saddlebag for his dessert. “Twinkie?” He tossed one to his son and unwrapped his own.
”I started to protest over her treatment of the horse when she looked right at me. Right at me, Joe and your mama said ‘Benjamin, that’s once.’ “
The two men stared in the flames as the campfire burned down. “She liked fondue too, son.”
“She was like a breath of spring?” Joe asked swallowing the last of his Pepsi and opening the bottle of Mountain Dew.
Ben nodded. “And a damn good shot too.”