Lorraine settled herself on the French slipper chair with bright chintz slipcover opposite the couch where Peter was sprawled. They were both sipping Hot Buttered Rum out of chunky vintage Buffalo China mugs. Lorraine kept the cup under her nose to mute the smell of Peter’s body odor. All those days and nights outdoors with no place to wash off had left Peter with an intolerable rank smell. Still, it was nice having company of the human kind, even if it was Peter.
“What’s new on the “survivalist” front?” asked Lorraine, failing to keep the cynicism from her voice.
Peter didn’t notice or care. “Well, aside from the bitter cold and snow, things are good. I walked down to Pepperoni’s the other night and treated myself to a pizza and some brew, and while I was there, I watched the television they have mounted on the wall. As bad as we have it here in Black Mountain, folks in the North and Midwest have it much worse. The snow has beaten all records. People in Boston, say, are buried in it. And California is in a bad drought. Seems like the end times to me.”
“So extreme weather means these are the end times?” questioned Lorraine sarcastically.
“Not just the weather!” Peter rebutted. “Nostradamus predicted that the end times would be tripped off by stuff happening in the Middle East. He said that the Antichrist would be a guy in Syria or someplace who was power-hungry. The guy would be wearing a blue turban. Seems to me that those jokers in Isis are pretty evil and power-hungry. I don’t know about blue turbans, but that dude, Jihaddi John could be the guy. Have you seem his eyes. Not only are they shifty, but they are cold, man!”
Lorraine tried to hear what Peter was saying, but she was getting loopy on the rum. Her mind tended to wander under almost any conditions, but when she drank, even a half glass of wine, she drifted into a dream-like state. All this talk of blue turbans made her think about some beautiful blue velvet she had seen at the fabric store across the tracks. Every time she went into that store, she swooned at the gorgeous and affordable fabrics. She day-dreamed about reupholstering all her furniture and totally redoing her apartment.
“Let’s see,” she thought, “If I redo this slipper chair in blue velvet, what would I do with the sofa?I wonder if I could get a removable slipcover made so I could take it off and launder it when smelly visitors or even Suki made the couch dirty. I could paint the living room a soft ochre and buy some throw pillows at Chifferobe to tie it all together. They have some really great pillows made from antique kilim rugs. The colors are amazing. Yes. Why not do it?”
“Are you all right?” asked Peter. “You seem to be elsewhere!”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “You were talking about blue velvet and it made me think about redecorating.”
Peter was puzzled by this remark. Redecorating? He was talking about the end times and the collapse of civilization as we know it, and she was thinking about redecorating. This is what’s wrong with people, he thought. So superficial. “Um…how about a little more rum? I thought I’d get myself some more of this delicious hot drink.”
‘No thank you,” sniffed Lorraine. That’s what’s wrong with people! So rude. “Just help yourself, though.”
1-1/2 ounces butter
1-1/2 ounces brown sugar
1-1/2 ounces confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoonvanilla ice cream, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- READY IN
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Blend in brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar. Remove from heat, and whisk in the ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a plastic container, seal, and freeze.
- In a coffee mug, measure 1 tablespoon Hot Buttered Rum Batter and 1 fluid ounce of rum, then fill cup with boiling water. Stir, and sprinkle top of drink with nutmeg.