By Barb (Irwin) Prystupa – Langley, B.C.
I was born in Radisson, Sask., and raised on a farm eight miles north of Borden. Radisson and Borden are situated along the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16), between North Battleford and Saskatoon.
Saturdays were our shopping days, evenings in the summer and afternoons in the winter. Our really ‘big shop’–for clothes, Christmas, etc.– was usually done in Saskatoon.
On one of these ‘big shops’, mom happened to meet up with a neighbour whom she hadn’t seen in some time. During their conversation, it was decided that after chores and supper, they’d come to our place for a few games of Kaiser that night.
On our way home, it was nearing six o’clock. Realizing the stores would be closed, mom panicked because she remembered these people were tea drinkers and we were out of tea. She decided to stop at the Kozy Korner cafe in Borden to see if they’d sell her a couple of tea bags.
Anyone who knew my mother, Grace Irwin, or Don Newbold, (the owner of the Kozy Korner) would remember there was sort of a personal vendetta between them. Mom was a bit on the sassy side, always wanting to get the last word in and Don, a well-known prankster, wanting to get the last laugh.
She went into the cafe and asked Don and his wife if they’d please sell her a couple of tea bags. Don said, “No problem Gracie,” and went into the kitchen returning with a little brown bag.
As he handed mom the bag, she paid him the few cents, and left on her merry way.
Later that evening, after a few games of cards, mom made a lunch, put the kettle on and warmed up the teapot. She opened up the brown bag, let out a bloodcurdling scream, called Don Newbold several unladylike names, and threw the bag on the counter.
Dad jumped up and asked her what the heck was wrong, thinking Don had probably put a dead mouse in the bag. He looked in and there in the bottom of the bag were two very dried up, used tea bags.
I guess he got the last laugh that time!