Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #31
… he would rather study than dance than dance with adolescent debutants who ‘have all the sense that God gave the Dodo bird’, as he puts it…
By the grace of God, and a little luck, August 21 does arrive as scheduled. The entire day is dedicated to preparing for the Cotillion, which includes the making of Grandma Ferrell’s special punch, whose secret ingredient is rumored to be the state of Georgia’s best XXX hoochinoo. The thirty gallon stainless steel milk can mixture should go a long way to assure a good time will be had by all, should they sample even one innocent glassful.
Juicing the fresh Florida oranges, peaches and grapefruit was the hardest part of the process, but that was done two fermenting months ago. The carbonated ginger ale and phos-ferrates are added just this day, as volume fillers; so sweet and so lethal.
Primping occupies the remaining three hours, most importantly to the females. However, the annual struggle with James Ferrell to get in the proper spirit, disappoints all in the family, though shocking none. He is actually a girl magnet, which may explain his reticence, because he would rather study for the upcoming school year than dance than dance with adolescent debutants who ‘have all the sense that God gave the Dodo bird’, as he puts it.
This year, his 16th, resistance to his suit of clothes seems curiously mild, not the chest thumping bravado that may disguise changes that show signs of his coming of age.
Martha Ferrell reminds her son but once. “Miracles never cease to amaze,” she tells Agnes, who is clinching the girdle that shrinks the woman’s waist by two full inches.
“Abigail Smythwick is going to be there.” Agnes knows the reason for her brother’s sudden cooperation. She is the daughter of Jefferson Smythwick, born in his sixth decade to the silence of her mother’s dying heart.