Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marlene and Earl

Category: Issue 18

    “Well, Earl?” Marlene said, unbuttoning her coat. “Wasn’t that the best night out we ever had? I told you it’d be better than the Monster Truck show.”

    “Ha! Nothin’s better than watching the ‘Tank of Torture’ rolling over them sittin’ ducks.” Earl collided with the wall and ricocheted into the coat rack. “Whyja give that hypnotist guy – Mr. Mental – all that money just t’ put me in his show? I coulda used that money fer beer.”

    “You bought yourself plenty of beer. You remember what he told you after the show?”

    “Big waste o’ money,” Earl grumbled. “I don’t ‘member nothin’.”

    Marlene’s eyes sparkled, and she hid a triumphant smile. Everything was going according to plan. She hurried up to the bedroom, lighted candles, and smooshed herself into a nightgown that hadn’t seen use since – well, she couldn’t remember when. Tonight there’s gonna be fireworks for sure. Finally. As Earl staggered in, she gave him her best come-hither look.

    Earl hung his pants and jacket on the floor, as usual, and said, “Whatcha wearin’ that thingy fer? Ya cain’t stuff 50-pounds o’ mud in a 40-pound sack!” Earl guffawed and burped at the same time. Quite a trick. 

    “Well, I’m on a diet.” Marlene’s shoulders slumped, and other things shifted south. “I’m exercising and losing weight.”

    “All the exercise you get is shovelin’ food into yer face. Ya think I don’t know ya eat everything in the kitchen after I go t’ sleep?” Ignoring his wife, Earl crawled into the bed and fell fast asleep.

    Defeated, Marlene blew out the candles and crawled in after him.

    In the middle of the night, strange noises from the kitchen woke her. Turning to Earl, she whispered, “I think there’s someone—“ She broke off when she realized Earl wasn’t there. Oh! I bet he snuck downstairs for a midnight snack. He’s the one who sneaks food – not me! She determined to catch him in the act. 

    Marlene tiptoed down the stairs, whisked into the kitchen, then stopped short at the gory sight before her. Earl had been snacking all right, but not on food from the cabinets.

    “Dang-it-all!” Marlene spat. “Not only did I waste all that money on the darned hypnotist, but now I have to get Mrs. McGillicutty a new cat!”


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