Fiction by SLIM RANDLES
To The Desert Independent
December 22, 2020
When it comes to romantic flops, it’s hard to beat ol’ Dud. He and Anita have been married for about five years now, but sometimes we question why she puts up with him. He has all the courtship skills of a flea collar.
“Dud Campbell,” Anita said the other night, “what are you getting me for Christmas?”
“Now Honey, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, would it?”
“That means you haven’t bought it yet, doesn’t it?”
“Well, I won’t say I have and I won’t say I haven’t, but, uh, don’t get in that cupboard out in the garage now…”
“I won’t, Dud,” she said, purring.
Ten minutes later, Dud was flipping his coffee cup upright and sliding into his place in the line of scrimmage at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop.
“I’m dead meat, guys,” he said.
We inquired as to why this emotional putrefaction should be setting in, and he said, “I don’t have anything for Anita for Christmas and I have no idea what to get her.”
“Let’s look at this scientifically for a moment,” said Steve. “What kinda stuff does she like?”
“Uh … well … “
“You don’t know, do you?” said Doc.
“Not a clue.”
“Does she read? You can pick up a couple of books.”
“I don’t really know. I never really paid attention.”
“Does she knit?”
“I got it,” said Herb Collins. “You can get her a gift certificate to a store and let her pick out her own gift.”
“She said if I ever did anything so insensitive, she’d brain me with a skillet.”
So Dud headed home, only to find the garage door open and Anita standing there holding his brand-new Homelite XL chainsaw. He only had time enough to mumble “Our father…” when Anita set it down gently and flung herself in his arms.
“Oh Honey, how did you know I wanted a Homelite XL with automatic oiler and a 16-inch bar? I couldn’t help myself. I looked in the cupboard and found it. It’s just what I’ve always wanted.”
“Well, Darlin’,” Dud said in his most debonaire voice, “I do try to be sensitive to your needs.”