Me and my buddy got to talkin’ the other day between shifts at the fertilizer plant.
Me: “I’m beginning to wonder what my wife is up to?”
My buddy scratched his head. “What’cha mean? You think she’s been cheating on you?”
“No, worse!” He leaned forward to whisper, “My wife’s been RV shopping again, I found sales brochures and. . .the salesman called the second time this week. I’m starting to get suspicious. I’m gonna’ reduce my death benefit just in case she’s thinking about knocking me off for the money.”
“You might ought to cancel your policy. Now that you mention it, the girls have been acting a mite suspicious. My wife’s picking out flowers and a suit for my funeral. Can you believe it? Me? In a suit?!! I wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit. Well, I guess if I was already dead…but you know what I meant.” He was more upset at the prospect of being laid to rest in a suit than the fact that his wife may have been scheming on collecting on his insurance money.
“So…are we overreacting?”
“Surely they wouldn’t be plotting to bump us off for the insurance money just to have a good time and travel?”
“Nah!” – chuckle.
“Not the girls!” – nervous laughs.
“The other day at the house, she asked me. What you up to now on your life insurance, honey?”
“Oh, I’m worth about $200 now,” I say.
“That’s still more than I can get for you at the stock yard,” she retorted smart-like back at me.
“Hah,” I told her! “What you gonna get for $200 dollars.”
My buddy dug his elbow into my rib cage. “You outta’ your head?!! Dresses go half-price at Wal-mart this week. Heard ’em talking about it earlier.”
It’s comments like that makes me suspicious ’bout my wife?
“I heard she’d already picking out your pall bearers?”
“That doesn’t bother me. My wife plans everything. She even plans when she gonna get sick, based no small part on the disease-of-the-week movie.”
“Men…we dont plan nothing, do we? We just show up and wing it. That’s how we roll.”
Like last week…fade to a prior conversation;
“D’joo hear? Old Burt kicked the bucket at the feed store this morning. Some pretty young thing walked by and his wore-out old ticker couldn’t keep up with his pacemaker.”
We remove our hats and pause in a moment of silence.
“Burt don’t have no burial insurance?”
“What happened to all that alimony money his ex-wife got?”
“I think she spent it all on liposuction…and that plastic surgeon she ran off with on that cruise.”
“That don’t surprise me none. Not saying she’s a floosie but her dress was as high as the price of gas.”
“We can’t just leave ol’ Burt laying out on the dock like that.”
I scratch my chin. “S’pose your right. Reckon they got an old feed sack or a cardboard box in the back they’d let us have?”
“Could be. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I got a roll of duct tape and a shovel in the truck.”
“Then it’s all settled. All that’s left to figure out is where we gonna eat afterward?”
“Dunno? I got a hankering for some catfish.”
“We ate catfish yesterday.”
“Catfish it is.”
So we were just minding our own business, ‘conversating’ in the truck going through the drive-thru: “Can you believe what them guys at the funeral home wanted to charge us for Burt’s final expenses?” The girl at the drive-thru window perked up at our conversation.
“I hear ya. Burt didn’t make that much in a month. Burying him at his favorite food plot was a way better idea, plus we get to pay our respects twice a week.” Neither one of noticed her roll her eyes as she handed us our hushpuppies and coleslaw.
“Alright! High fives.”
Her mouth dropped wide open, her eyes got huge!
Later. “Can you believe that lady in the drive thru?”
“I hear ya’. All that hollering and making a commotion wasn’t necessary.”
He whacked his buddy with his hat! “No wonder, ya idiot! She saw old Burt stretched out in the back of your pick up truck and she freaked out. I told ya’ we should have buried him before we went through the drive-thru.”
“It was on the way,” he defended himself. “She shoulda’ minded her own business instead of calling the law.”
“It coulda’ been worse. We got off lucky; talked the deputy down to a ticket for ol’ Burt not being in a seat belt.”
He guffawed and snorted. “I know! That made about as much sense as taking your mother-in-law on your honeymoon.” Bud got real quiet. Awkward pause. Things suddenly got as tense as the last chicken leg at the buffet. He glances over at Bud, looking sullen, who shoots him back an accusing look.
“Oh, sorry Bud. I wasnt makin’ fun of you.”
“Wasnt my idea,” He said testily. “My old lady made me bring her along.”
Back to the present.
“What you reckon your wife is holding against you?”
“I dunno.” Pause…
“Well, I did made her mother ride in the back of my truck once.” pause…
“What’s so bad about that?” Another awkward pause. “Tell me you didn’t…not in the dog box? You made you mother-in-law ride in the dog box?!!”
“What was I supposed to do. She was barking and howling and acting all crazy…nearly bit old man Preston on the leg.”
“That woman does go off her rocker when she forgets to take her meds.” Pause…
“What else you aint telling me?”
“The bad part was…my wife found her still there the next morning.”
“Is that’s all?!!”
Shrugged. “Who knows. Just like a woman to hold a grudge over nothing.”
“What’choo reckon they’d do if’n we both bought the big one?”
“You mean, if we both kicked the bucket…at the same time?!! Wouldn’t that be a coincidence? Ha! I figure the first thing would be they’d get some major body work done then they’d both be off on a year-long cross-country trek. Sort of like Thelma and Louise, only in an RV.”
“Body work? What for? Why don’t they just buy a brand new RV with the insurance money?”
“Not for the RV, ya dolt. I’m talking about the girls getting body work done on themselves.”
“I don’t know so much if I like the idea of them having all that fun after we’re gone?”
“Probably sell your guns after you’re gone,” he paused, “and give your old dog away, too.”
“That brazen little hussy!”
“Better get a will.”
“A will?!! What for? My old hound dog can’t read?”
“They’re up to something. I can feel it.”
“I got a nervous chill…like somebody just walked over my grave.”
“Hey Bud? Reckon we both gonna’ make it through to hunting season?”