Tuesday, April 08, 2008

wash me trousers & the birth of butter boots

I probably shouldn't be telling you any of this. I should keep it locked up forever in the memories of those select few who were there. To keep it safe and untouched by the outside world. To keep the pub and the field and the memory just as they were. But to lock it up would also risk losing the story forever. For, what happens to unspoken memories? They fade.

So I've decided to tell—to share this sacred memory—if only for the sole purpose of keeping the story vibrant and living.

It all began with a woman, a pub and a tub of butter. Well, not real butter—the spread kind that's made from oil. She would never rub real butter on her Ferragamo boots... lest it become rancid and spoil the fine leather...

But it really started here: at the Square & Compass, a fine English pub situated on a hillside by the sea in the Dorset village of Wash Me Trousers (not its real name). We ventured there one sunny spring day during our visit to Uncle Richard's et al in search of their infamous meat pasties (prounouced pas-tē—I'm ashamed to say we were pronouncing the word incorrectly that day) and cider. The real-deal cider.

The pasties and cider were out of this world. They quite made our heads spin. And by the end of lunch, the whole lot of us were giddy as kids. So we decided to walk it off on a public footpath by the sea.

So we started our refreshing afternoon outing. The boys walked on ahead, while we three sisters hung back. We were enthralled in a conversation about my boots and how nice they looked. (I had polished them with butter that morning, upon the suggestion from my sister Emma, when there was no wax to be found in the cottage where we were staying.) The three of us concurred: tub butter, in a pinch, makes a very nice shoe polish.

All of a sudden...

And Butter Boots, our great Super Hero, was born. And she grew. And we made up more and more stories for her. She had super powers. She had back-up dancers. She had pink rubber gloves. She would save the world from evil criminals and even hemorrhoids. But that was then.

If you're wondering where she is now, I haven't a clue. The thing is, well, she can only come to life when the three Wall sisters are reunited again. I'm not sure if she'll ever grace Vermont or California with her presence (Butter Boots and her ladies are distinctly English). But I'm sure we'll find her one day, back in Wash Me Trousers. In the field with the cow pats and sheep. In the wheel well. With a jug of cider from the Square & Compass and Cornish pasty in hand. That's where the magic is. So, we'll be back to find her one day. Ahoy, Butter Boots!


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