How I Happen To Be Getting Married
Yep, this is me, Calley Gallagher, sitting in this wedding dress waiting for the guy of my dreams to show up at the church. Oh, don't worry! He'll be here. Daddy's got his shotgun handy and Bret Lawrence knows good and well, he'll use it to get him to the alter. You see, Daddy is very old-fashioned about some things. Actually, he's old-fashioned about most everything. This may be the end of the 1940's with lots of excitement happening all around us in this beautiful world. The war's over, the sky's the limit on life. But my Daddy thinks that sticking to the old tried and true is what keeps people happy. I don't dispute his logic, but with my butt sore as hell right now, I kinda wish he'd find his way into this century. And about my butt being sore-that's the whole point of this confession.
It's a good thing I have lots of time to tell my story, because it's a long one. There's no way I can explain why I'm getting married, or why my butt's aching like it was stung by a hundred bees without giving you a fairly complete history of my life, or at least a thorough accounting of this most recent chapter.
But then, lets backtrack, and get a few basics straightened out.
Daddy's been taking me and my brothers to the woodshed for years. Mostly for things like mouthing off-he hates bad attitudes-or sneaking out in the middle of the night, or coming home more than ten minutes late for dinner. Simple stuff like that. There was the one time he whupped the twins, Jess and George, after they set fire to Herbert McCarthy's 1932 Chevy. It was an accident, even Daddy agreed on that. But they "shouldn't have been there in the first place, they shouldn't have been out at midnight, even it if was Halloween, they shouldn't have been fooling around with matches, and most of all, they shouldn't have lied." I can still hear that exhilarating lecture ringing in my ear after all these years. Some things you don't forget, you maintain a memory of them in your head the same way that sticks like peanut butter to the roof or your mouth.
This one stuck-Daddy's lecture, the sound of his "Get to the woodshed," order, and most of all the amazing incident in the woodshed that night. It was not something anyone would forget if they lived through it. It must have been the atmosphere that cold clear night, the way the noise ripped so cleanly through the air. You never heard such howling as came out of that old shack. The Gallagher boys were getting a lickin' and everyone in three counties likely knew before it was over. The sound of Daddy's strap hitting their bare behinds-mind you, I don't know for sure if it was their bare butts he was strapping, the twins never said, but Daddy hardly ever spanked anyone without taking down their pants-anyways, that smacking noise and their yeowling could be heard for miles, so it seemed. It was a night no one would forget for some time. Had poor Jess and George trying to scoot around town unnoticed for weeks. The snickers were just plain mean-spirited. I hated seeing them suffer that way. But then, that's how it was in the Gallagher household, you pay the piper for your crimes.
Yeah, you could say our Daddy ruled his roost with an iron hand. But there was usually a great big heart thereafter. He is as generous as the day is long and laughs up a storm at a good joke-just between you and me, I think he actually thought old Herbert McCarthy's burning Chevy was one great sight to behold. The old coot had been pissing him off for years, that is, Daddy and everyone else in Perryville. But he couldn't let a prank like that go unpunished. Anyway, back to my story, Daddy isn't a bad sort at all. I love him dearly, and I know he hates to punish me because he's said so a hundred times, but you get his dander up, watch out! You'll be living with a smarting behind for some hours-or even a day or two like I'm feeling right now. He'll tell you it's all for you