When Duck's not kayaking, he does landscaping. Actually, landscaping is weekday business, kayaking is Sunday church.
He's accomplished at both. Yard work has broadened his horizons, and he's acquired new skills. He now curses in fluent Spanish. Half the time, I haven't the foggiest what his problem is.
This morning, it had something to do with the shampoo. I don't know why. It's Avon. It ought to be good.
Earline has dibs on the Sandtrap and Mercer County Avon market. As they say in Cosa Nostra notions, "sewed up." Competition tried to heel in, but that hapless carpetbagger was found bludgeoned by her Avon Beauty Bag, impaled upon her stilettos, case never solved.
Earline, a peppy strawberry Pop Tart of a toadstool, puts the muffin in muffin top. She drops by the home place unannounced, dismounts her filly, disturbs whatever I'm doing, and hawks her latest while the horse mutilates Duck's ginger blossoms.
She doesn't consider "writer" or "house-husband" as legitimate endeavors exempt from interruption.
At the last sales meeting in Kansas City, Earline and the associates were informed men are THE untapped cosmetic and grooming market. Good luck in Mercer County.
But Earline figured she'd start with the funny boys in her own backyard.
I actually look forward to the facials and don't begrudge her the time. She's pushing beard conditioner for Duck, but the concept she fails to grasp is, his beard is as soft as I want it.
The high-def manscaping video on her laptop made ME blush. She asked if there was any part I didn't understand or wanted to watch over. I hung my head, "No."
I admit, my cuticles have never been better. Before Earline, I wasn't sure what they were and had no idea I should obsess over them. And Earline wouldn't believe what Duck & I accomplished with her sample of setting gel.
Earline's obsession, and what she keeps turning the conversation 'round to is, what is it two men do in bed? Which I find peculiar. Other night at the ice cream social, I gawked at Earline and Aubrey slopping their cones, frozen custard dripping down chins, and I realized, no. I had no earthly curiosity as to what they did in theirs.
But in answer to Earline's question: Sleep, mostly.
Somewhere Earline got the weird impression men-sex involved fruits and vegetables. I can't help it if the squash and cucumbers are making like crazy, and I always insist she pack some in her saddlebags.
I think Earline's primary concern regarding two men's non-sleep bed antics is, might it be something Aubrey would sneak off to enjoy?
Worry, she need not. Aubrey has the physique of a Peterbuilt, the manners of a backhoe and hasn't changed his tee-shirt since the first 9/11. That the man is married to Earline, who works her pudgy fingers to the bone shilling Avon out the backdoor of their double-wide, is a disgrace.
Trust me. There is nowhere for Aubrey to sneak off to. No truck stop. No rest area by the Interstate. The world's entire sordid underbelly is an Aubrey-Free Zone.
Even hookers don't earn that kind of money.
Furthermore, Aubrey is a politically conservative Jesus-nutcase. He's a born-again Teabagger who will argue with a fencepost that America was built upon Judo-Crustacean values.
I should cut Aubrey slack. He and Duck are buds. Aubrey towed me out of the ditch after I singlehandedly imbibed four liters of rotgut and stupidly assumed the truck would fly home. Not that I encourage that sort of behavior, but sometimes stupid happens.
And, bless his heart, Aubrey is a veteran, served in the first Gulf War, came back shell-shocked. He means well, but he's serious PTSS crazy. Claims visions because he was born with a veil.
Folks correct him that it was "a caul."
Aubrey adjusts his tinfoil-lined ball cap and argues, "No. This wudn't no 'call.' This thing was a veil. The afterbirth wrapped clear 'round my head! Like to died!"
"Yeah? Well, Aubrey, around here that's called a 'caul.' Change your tee-shirt. Those are so 'last year's' stains. And that hat of yours is making my fillings ring."
And why in Sandtrap is there more than one "Earline," but not the first "Eyeline," "Lipline" or "Hairline"?
Those other names seem a lot more practical and remain up for grabs.
So, I was on the kitchen stool, splayed back across the counter, head way over the sink, cold cucumber slices on my eyes, and Earline broaches, "But, Bud, you & Duck. What is it two men do?"
I said, "Earline, Darlin', I'll tell you anything. Just don't make me endure that 'manscaping' video again. And work on the back of my neck. The muscles are tauter than a fresh-picked zucchini."
She twittered and got flustered. I, on the other hand, felt guilty and dug out the debit card.
Up next in the Heart of Jawja:
“For Goodness Snakes,” it’s been a bad season for serpents in Sandtrap. (Go!)
© Phil Comer
Disclaimer: Although loosely based on reality, characters and events are none you or I know.
Text is copyright material of the author. Photo by Phil Comer, models anonymous. Unless stated otherwise, links are for information and not the property of the author.