Shortly after taps last night the Colonel lapsed into a post-Christmas chow coma rivalled only by that in which Washington's troops found the Hessians at Trenton.
Had Carlos the Terrorist decided to assault the Colonel's defense-in-depth overnight he would have easily breached all but the last line of defense -- the heavily-armed and steely-eyed Miss Brenda. Luckily for Carlos, he passed on the chance to test the Colonel's defenses.
Christmas at the Colonel's is all about the chow.
No sissified sauteed samples and drizzled plate garnishes allowed -- just heaps of ham, potatoes, bacon-covered green beans, sweet potato pie, and fruit salad; washed down with sweet tea.
Christmas dinner at the Colonel's is a raucous affair replete with loud retelling of family stories, the truthful kernels of truth at the core of which have shrunk to insignificance and been replaced with inflated lore more beloved for the fun of telling than for any attempt at historical accuracy.
And, once the story-telling subsides, desserts are served.
No tradition is observed with dessert -- just huge slices of sugar and carb-loaded cake or pie, or both.
As the last of family and guests departed, and darkness fell over the pine-studded and kudzu-clad clay hills here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, the Colonel and his Lady smiled to each other in recognition of another holiday gathering with no familial bloodshed and breathed deeply in the sudden silence. The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda turned to the Colonel and sweetly admonished him,
"Don't you do it."
"You know what!"
But, it was too late. The Colonel's conscious systems were in full safety shutdown mode.
The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda was going to have to finish kitchen clean-up without the Colonel's supervision.
Sometimes a leader must trust his subordinates.
Okay ladies, the Colonel hears you grinding your teeth. In the Colonel's defense, his last words to the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda were permission to leave some of the clean-up for this morning.
So, if you will excuse the Colonel, he must beg your leave to head to the kitchen.
He hears the clattering of dishes and needs to assume his supervisory duties.