Grab the Handrail, Quick
Apparently not quick enough. Elsa Brubaker bounced her way down the steps, the tray of tarts one step ahead of her with almost as much height. Down the little cylenders went. Down Elsa went. The flaky crust tarts silent in their demise. Not so much Elsa. She let out a holler that threw Hubie Smith backwards in his overstuffed comfortable chair. Old Mrs. Granger watched it fly backwards, watched Hubie’s legs replace where his arms were just seconds before.
The tarts continued down the steps, spreading lemon and raspberry on the rose shag carpet. Just enough for Harold Bast to slip on in his attempt to rescue Elsa Brubaker, but she went bouncing past him anyway. Harold Bast did the right thing though, Jerry Crasby said later. Harold grabbed the handrail. He also said later that if Elsa Brubaker didn’t have the tray of tarts in one hand, and a pot of coffee in the other, she would have been able to grab the handrail too. We nodded in agreement.
Within seconds of the slip, Jester was off Crystal and Merlin’s lap and barked his way toward the oncoming tarts. They shared one chair because there weren’t enough to go around, and after all Crystal said, they were newlyweds and it was no problem at all to share a chair. We think Merlin should have been in on the discussion since Crystal’s ample presence on the chair made him just a little hard to see. Which was fine Abigail Autry said, cause we could never hear him anyway.
One of the tarts rolled past Crystal’s feet. We were a little surprised when she picked it up and dusted it off. I said maybe that was how she got to feeling not so well before the evening was over.
Meanwhile, Elsa Brubaker came to an abrupt halt on the bottom step, coffee pot still in hand. She’d slid on her backside all the way down. In talking about it later, nobody could figure out why she just didn’t stop herself, grab the handrail and get up.
Janet Blakely put her Bible down on the coffee table, after dusting a spot to rest it on. Then went over and helped Harold Bast pull Elsa to her feet.
“You okay?” Harold still had one hand on the rail, and one arm around Elsa’s shoulder holding her upright.
“I’m fine,” Elsa swished at her skirt pushing at lint or something that wasn’t there. Janet Blakely stepped around the crumbled tarts carefully avoiding each one and made her way back to her seat. She picked the shiny black Bible off the table and waited for the stud y to begin. We didn’t have one that night. Not a good one anyway.
Jester managed about seven of the sweeties before he began putting them back on the rug again. Janet grabbed her Bible tighter and raised her crossed legs off the floor just a tad. We later said there should have been a bet as to how long she could hold that position. Speaking of position, Hubie was now back in his chair, upright, his face a little flushed from having his head point the wrong way.
“Watch it,” we heard Elsa yell, when Buck, her husband, started down the stairs with another pot of coffee and tray of cinnamon cookies. We figured later maybe it was the sharp pitch of her voice that had Buck taking his own tumble down the stairs. Buck reached out for the handrail but missed it altogether. He said later it was because his glasses were on his head and not that he didn’t try.
Nobody knows why both Elsa and Buck Brubaker wiped out so easily that night. It was just one of those things. Like Hubie’s chair flip. And Jester’s trip to the vet’s later that evening. Turned out it wasn’t the tarts that made him sick. He’d swallowed one of Crystal’s earrings from when she dove down to retrieve a runaway tart of her own.
Now when we come for Bible study night at the Brubakers, we all grab the handrail on the way down the stairs, just in case. Except for Janet Blakely. She keeps her hands tight around her Bible. And Hubie doesn’t sit in the comfortable, tossable seat anymore. Crystal and Merlin take that chair now.
Bible study night at the Brubakers. We usually end up praying for healing for someone. Ah the joy of fellowship.
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