Overheard while playing bridge …

In a tiny square room located just off the Mixed Grill, four of Henderson’s matriarchs played bridge. Evie Jackson, Henderson’s socialite commander in chief, her protégé Garland Langford, and Dottie Egan, their longtime sister-in-gossip, were into their second hour of play with Vance’s grandmother, Emelina Flores.

A smirk sat the edge of Em’s lips while she nonchalantly played cards. She was bored with all the garden-club-this and garden-club-that chatter, so she decided to light a fire just to watch it burn. Intentionally pouring on her Spanish accent, she tossed out, “Did you hear that Scarlett’s roommate, Natalie Houser hit Cal’s ball?”

“Natalie hit what?” Garland asked.

“You know, Cal Johnson?”

Evie responded while laying down a card. “That pitcher. But I thought the two of them were friendly.”

Garland leaned into the table and winked. “They are friendly. More than friendly.”

“Then why did she knee him in the balls?” Dottie asked.

“Yes, why would she hit him in the balls?” Garland raised one brow in Em’s direction. “Or did she knee him?”

Em simply sighed. “The two of them are an item.”

“You know those professional athletes,” Evie chimed in. “All of them thinking they’re God’s gift to women. You’ve told me this Natalie has a good head on her shoulders. Calvert probably went too far, so she nailed him in his nuts. I’m certain he deserved it.”

“Is that his name? Calvert? Not Calvin?” Dottie asked.

“It is.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Google it.”

While Dot pulled out her smartphone the conversation went on. So did the card playing.

“When did this happen?” Garland asked. “I can’t imagine I didn’t hear about it. Natalie stays with us when she’s in town.”

Em laid down a card. “I believe it was over Memorial Day weekend.”

“So is Calvert alright? I like that name by the way,” Dottie added as she put her phone away and picked up her cards.

“I believe his manhood took a hard hit,” Em revealed.

“Obviously,” Garland said. “But was he rolling on the ground in anguish, or was it not that bad? And where did this happen?”

“On the baseball diamond, of course,” Em said.

“What? Why would she kick him in the nuts in front of a zillion people? Was it televised?” Dottie’s voice escalated in alarm.

“No. It was over at the high school. No TV or cameras from what I’m told.”

“Well, what else were you told?”

“Only that she managed to hit one of his balls.”

“One of his balls? How can you hit only one?” Dottie’s eyes went big as her voice dropped low. “Maybe his balls are huge.”

Em held up a hand cupping it. “Aren’t they all, like, this big?”

Three pair of eyes went wide as the women reared back from the table. Garland was the first to lean forward. “Emelina,” she snapped, “just how many men have you known whose balls are that big?”

“Darling, you know how I love the game. All the balls I’ve ever seen are this big.”

“Well you’re mistaken.” Evie straightened, smoothing her ruffled blouse. “I’m sure you’re mistaken.” Blushing, she primly played a card.

“I do not think so,” Em said straight-faced, pouring on the accent. “Our darling Davis put a lid on the whole thing. He didn’t want the story getting out.”

“That Natalie nailed Cal in the balls?”

“You know Davis. He’s worried about damaging Cal’s reputation.”

“Well, of course,” Garland agreed.

“I’m still trying to picture a ball that big,” Dottie said, laying a card down. “I mean, that’s the size of a baseball.”

“Well, yes. Exactly,” Em agreed.

“But …”

“She hit his ball,” Em emphasized. “His … you know.” She curled her arm back and then flung it forward.

“His pitch?” Garland asked in disbelief. “Are you saying he pitched Natalie a baseball and she hit it? That’s the ball she hit?”

“Of course.” Emelina glanced around innocently. “What did you think I was saying?”


Catch up on the scenes that lead up to this through earlier editions of Overheard at the Mixed Grill and in the June 1 edition of Liz Kelly Presents: The Back Porch. Find previous newsletters and sign up for to have new scenes delivered to your inbox every month under Membership Application.

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