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The Betty Situation

Updated on August 17, 2012


I was in a foul mood.7:00 A.M.--in my office--on a Sunday. Normally that would not bother me…this time it was a problem because I had to be here too.

A few hubs back I had played light, loose, and fancy with the conventions of commas and the Grammar-man had slapped me down.

My lawyer is good…he worked out a deal (as they do) and I walked out with a suspended sentence and a fine which promptly converted into community service.

The paperwork indicated that I was to complete three “community service” hubs which were to be turned in to the Comma Court clerk’s office with hub scores in the 80s.

This is the first hub towards my legal redemption. (I wait as the reader conjures up that stirring image of Tim Robinson breaking out of the sewer system…)


New Digs…

On the plus side…I had discovered some available office space in a dark and forbidding Hubsville hall and I snagged it. I moved in the other day. Pretty good size…about 25’ X 15’…internet access, plenty of outlets, and a small window that didn’t look out on anything particularly interesting.

The office had been empty for awhile; its previous occupant having been (long since) banned for un-hubs-man-like activity. A glimmer of that activity emerged as I cleaned out his old effects.

An autographed copy of Mein Kamp, “Nuremberg was Nothing” bumper stickers, old posters of Charles Coughlin, and several completed books (In Pen!) of the “Who’s Who” of Fascism crossword puzzles series. The K.K.K. outfit hanging in the closet rounds out the results of my search.

I had dropped off the autographed Hitler volume at the Hubsville Museum while tossing out the bumper stickers, puzzles, and posters. Being a huge “Blazing Saddles” fan…I kept the K.K.K. garb…you never know…

On the negative side…the office smelled. It seemed as if the former occupant’s culinary taste mirrored that of his political cook book…”Basting with Bormann?” Cabbage? Liverwurst? Some form of blood sausage…? Not sure.

Also…a profusion of little fruit flies floated above the room like clusters of tiny Stuka dive-bombers. They would peal out of a grey-slate sky at the first appearance of any food. My half eaten bagel was experiencing emotional connections to the poor British soldiers of Dunkirk. Nothing could stop the aerial onslaught.

After the failed clean-up…and persistent smell…I was coming to the conclusion that this part of Hubsville was built over the remnants of a Native American burial ground…I jotted down this notion and dropped it in my idea bucket…a 7-11 Thirsty-two Ounce-er…



I was pretty hung over. Truth was…I had forgotten about this particular responsibility before departing on an evening of drunken debauchery the night before.

I was only sneaking in to sleep on my office couch when I was reminded by a good friend of my legal obligation. Faced with this reality I resolved to merely phone in my responsibilities with an eye towards hitting the couch as soon as I’d completed my good citizen thing.

The night had started at my favorite watering hole—The Hub Pub--with my favorite bartender--Betty...Our relationship had begun as a literary construct…She was to be a minor character in a transition paragraph designed to move the narrative along…you know…writer’s stuff.

She quickly emerged as more than that…human, even. Needless to say…as writers…we all know…we have to follow the muse. As such, this was to be working session. Develop some back story…define some characteristics…yeah…just work…

OK…actually…I am seeing a “mental health” hub counselor about this “attraction” and I believe we are making progress. The counselor believes we should increase my visits. He’s probably just after more co-pay…Regardless…I didn’t tell him about tonight’s visit…


The Betty Situation…

I normally like to ease into a social situation with Betty. What I mean is that I will typically try and spot her before going up to talk to her. This affords me an opportunity to come up with an appropriate internal CD player song (you know…set the mood) whilst developing the best possible line of twaddle to begin our conversation.

No…nothing stalker like…but I like for my eyes to have an opportunity to take in small sips of her before actually downing the glass…a chance to savor…a chance to avoid brain freeze…

As my eyes swept the room…my internal CD player clicked on…I approved…Black Street’s…”No Diggity…”I was into the melody…my body swaying rhythmically. [Truth in advertisement requires me to say –anyone watching would have thought I was swaying to an entirely different song…so there you go Federal Trade Commission (back off with the mean lawyer letters)]

I was having less luck on my search for witty banter…The curse of a life-long study of history had deposited two competing ideas and left them in my short-term memory before driving off laughing…

For my opening lines (designed) to “wow” Betty I had…1) “These are the times that Try men’s souls,” by Thomas Paine and, 2) FDR’s, “We have nothing to fear…but fear itself …thing.”

Now…on the former, I’m not sure of Tom’s track record with the ladies…? But I was thinking of something a little bit more upbeat? On the latter…I was certainly grabbing on to Franklin’s message…but in terms of opening conversation…I was looking for something more…er…less economic calamity-like?

A recent self-help article (you know…trying to up my sex game) suggested that “fear” shouldn’t be a primary talking-point anyway…

Within my head…Churchill’s voice booms out …”I Have Nothing to Offer You but Blood, Sweat, and Tears!!”

…Whoa…Winston… shh, shh, shh...yes…some fluids…some sweat…all good…sure. Too fast…too soon though...and what’s with the blood? I was busy calming down the overly excited dead Ex-Prime Minister… when I saw her.

First Contact between Iroquois Indians and Europeans
First Contact between Iroquois Indians and Europeans | Source

First Contact…

The crowd had parted and there she stood with her arms held open for a hug. She had seen me first…Her impish round face and cupid-bow lips hinted at pleasures beyond the stars. Dark lustrous hair fell below her shoulders with a few strands cascading gracefully across her forehead.

I resist the urge to push them back into place because my only motivation would have been the desire to feel them between my fingers. Her hair looked softer then a bag of baby ducks…She was a mere wisp of a girl, a waif, a wispy waif of wonderfulness…

She was wearing a form fitted black top and a short (zebra-patterned) skirt. Emerging from the bottom of the skirt were two gorgeous alabaster-white legs, which, drew my attentions downward. This trip was rewarded by a pair of adorable feet encased in sensible shoes.

The before mentioned brain freeze. I was completely caught off guard. “No Diggity” …skitters to a bouncing stop …As I look into her dark brown eyes… (Internal CD player… click, swirl…click, click) …”Van Morrison.” Her image sears into my consciousness and disrupts higher math functions…I believe long division was specifically targeted.

We embrace for a hug. I discreetly mash my cheek into her bag of ducks. Mmmm…

“Hi Thoughts! How are you?” She says brightly into my ear…

“Oh...I am just to the left of dippsy-doodle and within a hopscotch of happiness,” (What the fuck, over?) My mind recoils in horror at my blathering. Unfortunately, that censure didn’t serve to stop the nonsensical verbal parade, “I am ducky…just ducky…yep…ducky…And you? Are your ducks in a row…? Do you need a drink? I have a calendar in my car…would…you…like it…? It’s got ducks on it…These are the times that try men’s souls, as they say…”

Laughing, she takes my hand and leads me to a table.

“Yes sweetie…I don’t think very many people say that anymore…”She’s so cool I eventually settle down…a bit…as much as I ever do…We were drinking white wine…

Wonderful Betty Feet...
Wonderful Betty Feet...

Pitching Woo…and Last Call…

In my mind…the parameters of the drinking establishment had shrunk to the size of a table for two. I took the time to mentally sketch each of her features while keeping up my end of the conversation. Every now and then she would do a little dance to a song in her head. I was enchanted…not only did I like watching her body move…but…her movements seemed to match the tunes in her head…

The hours passed.

We were well into a spirited discussion that (oh…I don’t know…If it were a Hub article), would have been entitled, “Foot Fetish vs. Shoe Fetish: Do we have the Sole to walk on Common ground” … (or something to that effect). Betty loves a good shoe. I love Betty’s feet. I was attempting to make a point but was hindered by fantasies of holding Betty’s left foot in my mouth…


We gathered our things. I offered to walk her to her car.

“You are such a gentleman, Thoughts.” She accepts demurely. She obviously couldn’t see the mental smorgasbord I was making of her toes…

“Well you know,” I replied gallantly,“ Chivalry is not dead…the armor is just so heavy that I move kind of slow.” Yeah…lame…complete and utter nonsense…

We move slowly towards her car. Walking close…every few steps our shoulders would brush together…in all my time on earth (and some other places)…I had never been more fully aware of that particular shoulder.

Her car was red and washed. Fancy. Betty clicked the lock-opener and I took the opportunity to reach down and open the door for her. She seemed impressed. I gave her an ‘Old school’ shrug.


Nutting Up…

The hug that followed was memorable in my mind for the feeling of her fingers pressed into the back of my neck and the awareness that she was about to drive off like baby ducks flying away…I “nutted” up…as she slipped into the driver’s seat…

“So…you know TheManWithNoPants…he just published his 100th hub out in Tucson…he’s having an after hours party…?” I began, “I have a “Flight of Fancy” waiting at the airport…it’s a private plane…so no intrusive TSA searches…unless you want one…would you like to…you know…come with me?”

Her eyes and her face were in agreement it seemed…her tongue had missed the conference call…

“I would love to…really…but I have to pick-up my boyfriend from his work.” She said while starting the car.

I’m a pro. Plus, I was very surprised. I extended my arm its full length with the index finger pointing at her steering column…”Your car starts the first time you turn the key?!?”

“Uh, yes…doesn’t yours?”

“Oh sure…yes of course. I just read that these…um…uh…Subaru things…you know…uh…didn’t always know…just start every time.” I kicked the back tire manfully to reinforce the deception.

“Uh…no…it’s pretty good. Maybe in cold weather…?” Trailed off a confused Betty as she put the car in gear. “So I will see you when you get back to town?”

“Armies of crazed chipmunks couldn’t keep me away!” I assured her dutifully. “You drive careful.”

“You have fun out in Tucson!”She said,

I watched her drive away.

Sigmund Freud, approx. 1920
Sigmund Freud, approx. 1920 | Source

Mental Recriminations and Flights of Fancy…

The walk back to my car was conducted in silence. No music. No internal dialogue. Upon arriving I piled in, threw the 1985 Duck calendar behind the seat, and on the 9th attempt…the engine turned over. Well…not really a turn…more like a flip…as if from a fish on a pier. We were on the road to the airport before Creative Voice chimed in…

“So…life in the real world isn’t hard enough? You had to cock-block yourself in your own short story? Why did you type that…’I have a boyfriend’…what the hell…?”

“I dunno,” I replied morosely. "I panicked…”

“Why not have her say…”I have low-blood sugar so I will need to get a candy bar before I can properly ravage your body during a night of carnal passion that you may not survive?”

“Ooooh…that’s good…”

“But no…you complicate the whole narrative thread with a boyfriend! (Creative Voice grumbled) Perhaps we can work on the boyfriend…you know…horribly disfiguring accident…And what's with the ducks, dude? Why didn’t you use any of the Winston Churchill material I sent down…?”

I tuned him out. We arrived at the airport and Creative Voice volunteered for two intrusive TSA searches…(whatever…he thinks it makes him more edgy). We board the plane. During the trip I fall asleep and am bedeviled by images of Betty and myself cavorting on that “little long division” bed thing…I’m not sure what it’s called. Normally, I don’t much like math dreams…this one was nice.

I woke up when the plane touched down. Creative Voice remained asleep…I didn’t wake him. He was being a dick.

Jim knows how to throw a party...
Jim knows how to throw a party... | Source

The After Party…

Much of this is a blur. But it was awesome. I think. Little snippets of memory are all that hint at what may, or may not have occurred…an amorous cactus, a jeep from M.A.S.H., good people...

Hummer?? Oh yeah…Hummer……

I have a distinct recollection of being sworn in as a third-degree Mason by a guy wearing a George Washington outfit and drinking yak blood from the skull of a sheep...

That may have been the peyote...

Oh,,,yeah...Getting a tattoo of a duck on my ass….

I recall potato salad…but I’m not sure of the context?

Indeed…a blur…

Spinach is the key ingredient for this smoothies appearance. Don't be fooled by the look though, this drink is mighty tasty! Source: Barbergirl28
Spinach is the key ingredient for this smoothies appearance. Don't be fooled by the look though, this drink is mighty tasty! Source: Barbergirl28

Sunday…7:45 A.M…

I was still in a foul mood.7:45 A.M.--in my office--on a Sunday.

On the way in, an hour earlier, I had run into barbergirl28 outside my office door and she, in classic mom fashion, bluntly diagnosed the problem.

“You look like shit, Thought Sandwiches.”

“Glurb.” I responded defensively.

“Are you here to conduct your “Community Service” hub? Like that?”

“Community--?…Oh shit…”

Barbergirl28 immediately reaches into her oversized bag and comes out with; eight aspirin, a bottle of Flintstones vitamins, a Kleenex, two Band-Aids, a bagel, a quart of water, and (inexplicably) A Shrek Smoothie…all neatly poured and ready to go. I looked at her through slatted eyes…

“I’m a mom.” She said by way of explanation. She skips off down the hallway whistling some Disney shit. Small birds flutter after her…chased by butterflies…puppies and bunnies romp along in her wake…

I smiled. I like barbergirl28.

I immediately opened the water and drained half of it while flushing the aspirin down my throat. I daubed at the more serious cactus puncture wounds, applied Band-aids, and stuffed half the bagel in my mouth as I moved into my office.

I brought the Shrek Smoothie in and eyed it suspiciously. It may have been my imagination but I believed it returned the favor. In my hung-over state…it didn’t look like much but after a tentative taste…nice…bananas…I wolfed it down before the fruit flies had their way with it. That had been an hour ago.

I was at my desk…the bottle of Flintstones vitamins spread across my blotter. The Betty’s were neatly aligned on the right. I was munching on the Fred’s and Wilma’s. The Barney’s had been tossed out the small office window that didn't look out on anything particularly interesting.

“Hello, sir?” Inquired a timid voice from my office door.


“Um…We are supposed to have a class about Hub Metrics here?” The only thing keeping her from backing away from--I’m sure was not a very pretty sight--were the three bodies crowded behind her.

“Hub Metrics? Oh hell no…read the stuff above this…apply it to your everyday writing…Prosper. OH…and sign the attendance form!"

They looked confused…but complied.

After they left…I staggered to the couch. The last thing I remember seeing was the fruit flies carrying the other half of my bagel out the window…


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