Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conclusion of White Trash In The Snow - Chapters 104 and 105

 The conculsion of

a novel by Allison


Saturday morning Wrangler and Cristol woke up in his room.  They were enjoying the freedom that came with agreeing not to be Calc's public parents.  That freedom, however, would be curtailed in about eight months, and they were discussing who to tell first.  No only who, but how.   “Maybe the looks on our faces will tell them,” she suggested.

“That’s a wives’ tale,” Wrangler said.

“What is?”

“That ‘glow’ they talk about.”

“I wasn’t talking about my glow,” she said. “So, are saying I’m not glowing?” Cristol’s bottom lip protruded.

 “You are always glowing, Honey,” he said while holding back the truth. Now that you are getting that Fake and Bake tan again.   

It was the right thing to say; she brightened and gave him a hug.

Oh, man, he thought, it’s going to be another long nine months.

An hour later, the two were sitting on his bed debriefing after just telling Jerrie and Porsche that Cristol was carrying a baby.  “I’m really happy, Wrangler. That definitely went well.”  Cristol gently stroked her tummy. “Your mom is so sweet. Her and Porsche wanting to throw me a shower and all.” 

“So far, so good,” he agreed. His mom and sister had squealed and clapped and high-fived, as if he’d sent a winning shot past a goalie. He contemplated the irony, Mom’s cheering now, but she’s only thinkin’ about the baby. She ain’t thinkin’ about how  I’m probably gonna have to quit school.  She’s not gonna be a hockey mom anymore.

“Okay,” Cristol said, brightly. “On to Phase II.” 

Wrangler imagined Phase II, where the daughter of the Governor tells her parents that there will be a child born by the end of the year, forcing upon her a title she had gone to considerable trouble to avoid. Being called a grandmother would forever alter her image as a sexy. And thought Wrangler didn’t think of Ms. S as young, it was obvious from the way she dressed that she wanted to look twenty. Oh, yeah, Cristol’s mom was gonna shit.  So, um, what was so great about Phase II?  He  thought he might throw up.

Eight minutes later, they pulled into the Saplin driveway and reviewed the plan one last time. “I’ll go get mom from her room. You go to the garage and get Dad. Remember, say I want him, other wise he’ll be grouchy. If you say I want him, it will be okay ‘cause I’m his favorite.”

“Whatever.” Wrangler mumbled.

“And don’t mumble! That will just piss him off.”

“Wattt-evvvv-errrr” he exaggerated..

Cristol frowned. She wagged her finger. “Cut that out,” she scolded. “You need to behave. Show my parents that you are a man. Got it?”

He lightly slapped away the finger that was inches from his face.

“Ouch,  that hurt,” she faked. “You’re a brute. Maybe I’m making a mistake having another baby with you.”  Her attempt to look serious was comedic.

They smiled at each other and, at least for a moment,  the tension abated.  Cristol took his right hand in her left, and lovingly rubbed her other hand over his knuckles.  They sat that way for a couple of minutes, each with their own thoughts.

“Well, we should go in now,” Cristol said.

“Got to face the music, sometime I guess.  Hope I come out of there alive,” Wrangler said. It wasn’t a joke.

Cristol put her hands on either side of his face, and looked him in the eye. “It’ll be okay. I love you.”  Then she stroked his roughness and said, “I also love a three day growth. It’s sooooo manly…”  He smiled a shy smile.

“And,” she said, placing his hand on her stomach, “this growth is sooooo womanly.”

He hugged her. He knew he loved her. And she was having his baby – again.  A second chance. He should be glad, and deep down inside, that’s what he was - sort of.

In the bedroom in the back of the house, Rachael was composing another email to staff members, subject line: More Answers for Questions About Calc.  The public adored Calc. She had told the story so many times now, she was almost convinced herself that she had given birth to him last month. And her popularity was off the charts. God is good.

Cristol could go back to school in the fall, maybe she’d need some summer courses, but she shouldn’t work so hard that she misses out on being a teenager, dating, and …

Rachael stopped in mid-thought.  I didn’t have that talk with her! Oh, God. How could that slip my mind?  Sheeesh, I’ve been so busy. I must do it tomorrow

She hit “send,” and heard a light rapping on her door.

As requested, Rachael joined Tad on the living room sofa. They both assumed this was going to be about Calc. After all, Wrangler was quietly sitting there, too. It had to be about the baby, or about buying something. She had no time to waste, so she asked. “Okay, what’s up?  You guys need money for something?”

“Mom, Dad, this is really hard,” Cristol began. “Um, we have, ah, Wrangler and I have,…” Wrangler squeezed her hand, she looked at him in a pleading way as if to say Help! He raised his eyebrows in panic and shook his head..

“What is this, a game of charades?” Rachael asked. “Because if it is, I don’t have time for games. What do you want?” “

Cristol reached into her hoodie pocket and pulled out a white stick. . “I think the easiest way to do this is to show you this.” 

Her mother’s brow furrowed. “A thermometer? Are you sick, Honey?”

“No Mom, it’s a pregnancy test.” 

The words didn’t seem to register with either of her parents.  Then, suddenly, Rachael began laughing. “Ha, you two had me for a minute. Fooled you, too, didn’t they Tad?”   She looked hopefully at Tad.  Between giggles, Rachael stammered, “You, you…c an’t be!.. It isn’t possible!” But something inside her knew, and her giggles were coming from nervousness.

“Rachael! Stop laughing dammit!” It was Tad. “I think they are serious.”

“We are,” said Cristol.”We are serious. Look at it, look at the test,” she held it up in front of her mother’s face. “See that X? I’m pregnant.”

Tad shook his head. He couldn’t believe this was happening again so soon. “How far along?” he asked.

“Umm, I think  only two, maybe three weeks.”

“Two weeks? It’s too early for a test. ” Rachael jumped in. “This is just your period being late again.”  She let out a huge sigh. “Whew, you had me worried.  Didn’t she have you worried, Tad?”

“No, mom, this isn’t a mistake. Tests are really good nowadays. ” Cristol was nodding her head and looking at Wrangler.  He interpreted it as a signal that he should say something.

He used his grown up voice and said, “Right, she took three tests. All of ‘em said she’s definitely knocked up.”

Hearing it put so bluntly by the boy she could barely stomach, Rachael blew up at the teens.  “After all I’ve done for you?  How could you do this to me?”

“Mom!”  Everyone turned their head. It was Maple, standing on the stairs. No one knew how long she had been there.

“ Just stop! It’s not about you.  Not this time. ” Maple walked to the center of the room, folded her arms across her chest, and looked from her mom to her sister to her dad to Wrangler. Everything said she was prepared to do battle. Addressing Tad, she said. “It’s not about you, either, Dad. Let Wrangler prove himself. It’s time to let him show what kind of dad he can be. And Cristol, she’s -” 

“Maple, this is none of your business.” Tad thought it was his duty to take control. “Go back to your room.”

“No, Dad! No! We all have to lie and cover up and…and be stupid jerks. So I should have my say, too.  I’m staying.”  With that pronouncement, she plopped down on the floor, crossed her legs, and re-crossed her arms. Defiance all the way.

Tad was furious with all of them, Rachael included.  He removed himself from the conversation and from their presence. He walked to the kitchen and stood, looking out the windows, his back to everyone.

“Now, just a darned-tootin’ minute.” Rachael didn’t like to be overshadowed by anyone, not at work, and not at home. “This is all sweet and nice and, perhaps of course, yes, it’s about Cristol and also, too, it’s about Wrangler and Calc in the vast scheme of things even the baby who is, of course, a perfect innocence ...” a flustered Rachael tripped over and skipped words. She pursed her lips, glared all the kids, and said, “But Maple is wrong. It is too about me –  about me running for Vice President and having to explain, even cover up the fact that my teenage daughter is pregnant and to convince voters that I’m able to do, again, whatever it is it seems that  a Vice President does, in spite of this mess my family is –which is not my fault but the blame will be put at my feet by the liberals.“

“Oh, nice Mom. Real nice. ” it was Maple again. “You know, I’ve been wanting to ask you something; it’s about Calc, and all that.”

Rachael gave the pull her head back, tilt her head, look surprised reaction that worked so well in public when she wanted to feign shock and dismay. . In the living room, it was not effective; it was phony and they all knew it.

Maple continued, “You say there’s no such thing as coincidence. You say God has everything under control. For a while now, you’ve been saying God wants you to be the Vice President.”

“Yup, all true. You betcha.”

“Well then?”

“Then what? What’s the question?”

“It’s this -  how God is in control, but Calc ruins your chance to run for VP. “

Rachael’s glare encouraged Maple. She pushed harder. “One little sperm from Wrangler Strauss can stop God’s plans?  Really?”

Rachael gasped.

Tad, finding Maple’s audacity amusing, came back into the room. 

Rachael was not about to put on a show. “Thank you Maple, for letting God speak through you reminding me that He is in control, and that with God, all things are possible, and also, too, that I have a calling.” God and Rachael, together again in the same sentence.

Tad may have been disappointed with the lack of fireworks, but he was glad she didn’t blink at all about her calling.  The Down Syndrome diagnosis was proving to be an enormous advantage. Conservative rainmakers who had not been her supporters were falling down at her feet since hearing how she “chose life” for a fetus she knew had Down Syndrome. Take, for instance that Focus on Your Family guy; he’d been resisting her candidacy and preaching that moms belong at home with their kids. Family first and all that.  Now, his organization was pushing for McElwain to make Governor Saplin his VP choice. 

Tad spoke up. “Rachael, this baby can be used, too.”  (He didn’t even hear how bad that sounded.)  “This will be another example of our family walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Choosing life again.  We can’t keep covering up for these knuckleheads,  so let’s spin it into more votes. One more kid running around -  it’s no big deal.”

“No big deal? How many babies can this family absorb?” Rachael griped.

Tad had the answer for that, too. “ So, Sally will have one more kid to watch. Betty and Buck will help. If you get to Washington, there’ll be nannies. Stay focused, Rachael.” 

Rachael’s head hurt. She pressed her thumbs into her temples and closed her eyes. Sighing heavily, she channeled Scarlet.  “I can’t think about this anymore.  Tomorrow is another day.  I’ll think about this then.” 

Tad had never watched the movie, but he knew his wife was plagiarizing.  She’s perfect for Washington, he thought.

Ninety minutes after leaving the Strauss’ house, Porsche received a text from Wrangler. Tiny font, short message, big relief: “Servived it!  Cristl  wuz  awsom !! ttyl”. 

“Ttly? Darn,” Porsche said out loud. “I wanted him to call me, not talk to me later.”

She decided to fix some hot chocolate for herself and her mom to share while planning the baby shower. Milk, sugar and cocoa, she began to think of herself as an aunt, and talked out loud as if a child were in the kitchen.   "Auntie Porshe makes awesome cocoa. Grandma Jerrie calls it  “Porsha’s Decadance,” and I'll teach you how to make it, too. The secret is a pinch of cinnamon. "

A little while later, Porsche took two cozy mugs of steaming chocolate into her mother's room.  "Time to plan the shower!  I've got some great ideas for the theme...first, there'll be lots of camo..."


Keith called Wrangler the next night. “Hey, son, any truth to the rumor that your girlfriend’s mother’s gonna run with McElwain? When I heard it, I said, ‘Nah, she’s got a new baby.”  Wrangler could hear him spit. “But then I got to thinkin’ that liberal leaning old guy might need her on the bottom of the ticket.”  He chuckled, “That doesn’t sound very conservative, does it? Liberal old guy on top and hot woman on the bottom? That’s dirty, sexy politics.” he laughed again. “Hey, that would make a great title for a book. Even I might  read that one. Or, at least I'd flip through and look at the pictures." He laughed out loud.

Wrangler wondered if his dad had been drinking.

"Before any of my money goes down on this, I figured you could tell me if you seen or heard anything.”

“Don’t think so, Dad.”

 “There’s a story I heard about a boat load of hot-shots had lunch with the governor last summer at the mansion. You know anything about that?  Would’ve been a bunch of rich guys. White guys.” He laughed again , “Rich and white – duh!”

Wrangler winced. It was embarrassing when adults said “duh. ” It was especially embarrassing when it was his own dad.

“So, anyway, did Cristol say anything about that?”

“No, Dad.But, there is something you have to know.  Wrangler got right to the point, and , in spite of their talk last summer, and the warnings his father had voiced then, Keith accepted the news with a degree of enthusiasm. “We’ll teach him to hunt and fish, and camp…” Keith said.

“Sure, Dad, that’ll be great. Even if it’s a girl this time, um, I mean, even if it’s a girl.” 

“It’s got to be a boy, Wrangler. I need a grandson. I’m not good with girls. You see how Porsche and I are. Don’t know why, but she almost hates me,” he said. “Besides, Tad’s gonna want a grandson, too. Lucky that last kid of his is a boy. Even if he is retarded.”

Wrangler didn’t want to talk about Calc. “Okay, Dad,  I need to go now.”

But Keith wasn’t ready to disconnect. This was one of those rare father/son man-to-man talks that happened so rarely. He persisted. “I hope for your sake it’s a boy. It’s tough on a father having girls. There’s extra stuff to worry about with you. You know what I mean. I only got Porsche to worry about, and her being so pretty, it’s hard, you know? But Tad Saplin, he’s got it three times worse. That Maple, she’s gonna bring some heartbreak.  That’s the one I would have guessed would get knocked up. I’d have bet money on it.”

“Dad! Would you please not talk like that? Cristol’s not alone in this.  She’s carrying my baby.”

“Oh, well…sure, but…it’s up to the girl…” Keith came to a halting stop.

“ Just don’t talk bad about her, Dad.”

“Sure, you’re  right. But, all’s I’m sayin’ is, Tad’s got his hands full.  And the pretty one, she sounds like a pisser.”

“Maple?  Yeah, she is.”  Glad to divert the conversation, Wrangler continued, “She’s totally out of control and Mr and Mrs. S don’t know the half of it.  Cristol’s mom even said she’s counting on Maple to be the one who doesn’t get knocked up.  Ha!”

Keith  laughed. “The Governor’s delusional. What else is new?”

Wrangler said, “Grandpa Heat told me my baby makes three generations…” he stopped when he remembered that was a conversation they’d had about Calc.

“What?” Keith asked. “What about three generations?”

Wrangler was experiencing the  difficulty of keeping secrets. “Oh, well, um, see …first it was Cristol’s Grandma Heat, then Mrs. S, and now Cristol.  All three pregnant before marriage.” he said.

“A tri-fecta!”  Keith said. ” That explains why the odds are so low.”

“Odds/ What odds?” Wrangler asked. But his father didn’t hear him.

Keith was enjoying the conversation. “Hey, what was that part about counting on Maple?”

“Oh, yeah, that was kind of funny,” Wrangler smiled, remembering. “When we broke the news, Maple was there, too, and Mrs. S, she wants to make Cristol feel really, really shitty, so she says something like “Maple, you’ve always been the wise one.  At least we know you won’t get pregnant before you’re married.  Can you imagine – she called Maple the wise one! There ain’t no wise anybody in that house.”

Keith Strauss spit again. “Odds right now are 5 to 1 that she will be.”

“Huh? Be what – wise?” Wrangler was proving that he was none too bright himself.

Keith explained. “The bookies are giving odds on Maple getting knocked up before she’s eighteen.  This stuff is very scientific. It’s based on research. That trifecta must be what’s behind these odds. Anyway, my bookmaker follows the Vegas guys, and in Vegas, the odds on this -”

“Dad, I gotta go.” Wrangler suddenly didn't want to hear any more. The Saplins were his family now.

“Okay, son, I understand.”  Keith was used to it. Wrangler didn’t have much time for him anymore. The kid was busy, working part time and going to school (even if it was home school). And now he was going to have to think about the kid that his girlfriend was carrying.  Keith was proud of his son.

“You take care, son. Big stuff coming your way.”

“It’s just a baby, Dad.”

“Not just any baby, a Saplin-Strauss baby!”

“Whatever. No big deal.”

Keith was involuntarily shaking his head. “Good thing you aren’t a bettin’ man.”  

A few minutes after they’d said good bye, Keith Strauss almost swallowed his chew. Shit! Wrangler gave me a hot tip after all – two of ‘em! Cristol bein’ pregnant is gonna get paid off, and the odds for Maple were worth another look…”

He pulled over and made a quick call.

“Hey! This is Keith Strauss. I want to put three thou- no, make it four…”

The person on the other end took Keith’s Cristol Saplin bet, and then a smaller bet on  Maple Saplin getting knocked up within eighteen months. 

Keith thought he was finished until the book maker enticed him with yet a third Saplin-based opportunity to triple his money. 

 “Yeah, that sounds interesting.  I might have some money to put on that one, too,” Keith said, “but, tell me, can it be any girl or does it have to be that minister’s daughter?”



Anonymous said...

I think the funniest part of the REAL story is that "wrangler" was last to know in town, besides Rachael. Cristol told all her friends starting in March she was pregnant, even before she was or could verify. Note to parents, don't hide a baby from your kids, let alone your nurturing, baby-cuddling daughter.

At least Rachael is a good parent who reacts as a good parent would. It's interesting how often she was with her family that whole summer and how little she saw her boyfriend, though his sister has never been civil with her so that wasn't a shock. Must have sucked to have your mother invite your boyfriends family, whom you disliked, to a concert. Sucks Cristol couldnt go as spending time with her "inlaws" was hell.

Duncan said...

Thanks Allison...

Anonymous said...

You should have ended it with Wrangler having his second kid, daughter, born to another young teen girl he moved in with literally right after they met. Every fictional story needs a little bit of truth. ;)

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks "Rachael" is a great parent has some serious emotional problems.

Anonymous said...

Kind of disappointed. Didn't expect it to end here. Where's the campaign, the book tour, her quitting her job? Guess in real life/when you were writing, this was the end. Enjoyed it, but feel like I walked out of the movie before the film was over.
Think Krusty is glad you stopped. :-)

Anonymous said...

Count me as another faithful fan who would like to see this series continue on. You are a talented writer who made Friday morning's a whole lot of fun for many of us out here.

Thanks for sharing your talent with us, Allison. You came very close to nailing this story where the truth is indeed even stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great read. I'll be checking to see what is going on. Best wishes to you. You have real talent.
johnmartin mull

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other comment-- keep writing! I mean, if you like it and enjoy it and all..... you've got a NICE serial going here......... and plenty more material to get up to the present day. Pretty please??

At any rate, thanks for the fun Friday reads!


Rattletrap said...

The ¨glow¨ being a ¨myth¨ is genius.

Mostly, this ending made me laugh.

Laughing literally dilates capillaries and lowers blood pressure.

You have the gift.

mary b said...

Allison~ You have done a fantastic job with this Book!!

I realize you may be burnt out from Palin Fatigue, but I am really, really going to miss my favorite read come next Friday!!

Thank-You for a Job very well done!

I hope to see some sporadic Chapters in the future. You DO have a great talent~ and all the knowledge and facts needed!!

Anonymous said...

say it aint so!!!! i dont want it to end. there is soooooooooooooo much more. and the way you told it, its like you were there yourself! please please please keep at it. this is like when six feet under, rome, china beach, lost, battlestar galactica, deadwood, and fringe ended. come back!

Ginger said...

"Oh, man, he thought, it's going to be another long nine months?"

So, is Wrangler trying to tell us Cristol carried Calc for nine months? And they were in for "another" long nine months?

I thought Cristol had a preemie in Jan./Feb. 2008.

@Anon March 7, 2013 @ 6:54PM

"Cristol told all her friends starting in March she was pregnant."

Strange, Michael Carey, at the ADN newsroom, didn't hear any of those rumors. He told the CBC no one knew Cristol was pregnant a second time.

And, yes, you are right about Cristol spending most of the 2008 summer with her family and did see little of Wrangler. She was busy nursing and taking care of Calc.

"Must have sucked to have your mother invite your boyfriend's family, whom you dislike, to a concert."

Well, Anon, not really. Rachael was playing nice to Wrangler's family because she needed him to play Cristol's fiancee at the RNC.

Get it?

Anonymous said...

You people are sad. Get jobs now. Don't look back. Not agreeing with someone's political point of view is one matter, but fantasizing about their downfall through a series of unlikely events is just not healthy.

Anonymous said...

Every single thing written in this tale is more plausible and likely than anything that comes out of Sarah Palin's mouth.

I have a job. How about you?

Duncan said...

I don't need a job either, been retired since 2002.
I have six computers all set to monitor SP.

Anonymous said...


Like your many other loyal readers, I'm sad to see the story end. You are a gifted writer and I look forward to reading more of your work.

Given your fascinating plot line, I thought you may find these tidbits interesting.

Via FB, Bristol's happy birthday wish to Piper (excerpt) 3/19/13: "Thank you for always helping with the boys!!"

Bristol FB post 3/24/13: "Love these boys so much!" with a photo of Tripp and Trig.

Most recent Bristol post on Patheos, describing her own trepidation upon discovering Sarah was pregnant with a child with Down syndrome:

Sarah's 2008 interview with People Mag in which she indicates none of the kids knew about Trig's condition before he was born:,,20223201,00.html

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It was a GOOD READ! Thank you for sharing your work, Allison. Your fiction allowed me to suspend disbelief. In contrast, what is supposed to be the truth gets muddled in the many "translations."

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I wasted all that time reading this load of crap. Not only is it mean spirited--and believe me, I am no SP fan--but the grammar and spelling is atrocious, and the "style"? Pitiful. Take a creative writing class. Get over your hate. Use your time more wisely (as will I...).