Lou-Ellen’s soup night was the talk of the town again. It’s getting to the point where I can’t very well keep up the facade that I’m not curious, but it’s essential that I don’t let on. I mean, I don’t want anyone thinking I’m desperate for an invite because I’m really not. Still, from what I’ve heard, there’s a secret ingredient in the mix that’s absolutely to die for. God knows we all need a good mystery now that we’ve learned the truth behind Belinda-Mae’s crunchy fritters, which came to light after Jesselyn caught her powdering toad skulls in the barn last month.
I can only speculate as to Lou-Ellen’s soup recipe, but I’m willing to bet she’s pulling out all the stops. I’ve heard through the grapevine that her great-grandmother was partial to pickled toenail clippings – a rapidly dying tradition, that, and one that’s probably best left for dead. It’s the sort of thing people generally prefer not to know about – unless, that is, they’ve been denied a soup night invite, and thus have an imperative to undermine the ongoing success of the proceedings.
This is worth following up. I may not be a foot specialist, but that doesn’t mean I’m not an amateur sleuth worth my salt. It’s not simply a matter of catty revenge, either (although admittedly, that’s a significant component). After all, there’s a reason the tradition was discontinued back in my grandmother’s day, and I’m sure people wouldn’t find it too pretty. When it comes to fungal toenail infections, Melbourne has a relatively low incidence rate these days, but let us not forget the great onychomycosis plague of 1932. I think we can all do without revisiting that little debacle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Lou-Ellen’s own great-grandmother kicked that one off, to be honest. Yes, there’s an element of vindictive speculation to that, but I’m just looking out for the good of the village. At least, people would be hard-pressed to accuse me of doing otherwise.