Potluck

 

T H I S    W E E K

Poems by Jessie Janeshek

 

The Marital Dialogues, Act I

 

Duke puts towel over face with just tightey whiteys on “How old am I now?”

Sally “About 45.”

Duke “But I’ve got a body of a twenty year old.”

Sally “I know, you keep it in the refrigerator for midnight snacks.  Sarcastic “You know I never get tired of that Jeffrey Dahmer memorial humor.”

Duke takes towel off face “How old am I now?”

Sally “About 75.”

Duke “Isn’t there a rule that you can’t estimate older than I am?”

Sally “If you don’t want to know, don’t ask.   Anyhow, how much do you think that scruffy beard ages you?  Get rid of it and you will shave years off your age.”

Duke “Funny.  But the beard goes so well with my arthritis and blood pressure.  I’ve embraced my little old man.”

 

Sally “I notice that you are now 5’5” on your driver’s license.  Didn’t you used to be 5’6”? ”

Duke “Right, well the difference is 1” shrinkage and I lied about the 1” both times.”

Sally “I understand the shrinkage as men age.”

Duke “Along the lines of shrinkage, aren’t I supposed to weigh 30 pounds more than you?”

Sally Silence

 

Duke “You’re getting your haircut again?  Are you shooting for shorter than me?”

Sally “How many times must I tell you, it’s easier to take care of and looks better on me at my age.”

Duke “If short hair is good for your age, why do all of the old women with hair your length look old?”

Sally “First, they look old because they ARE old.  Secondly, when my hair was longer, I had it up so it didn’t look long anyhow.”

Duke “Donna looks great in her very gray ponytail.”

Sally “Your girlfriend Donna is a LITTLE younger than me and she would look good shaved bald.”

Duke “She’s not my girlfriend, but she is hot in overalls.”

Sally “Forget ponytails, and if you want to make sure my hair is longer than yours, get a haircut.”

 

Duke “You got on the computer while I was gone for 5 minutes.”

Sally “I’ll just be on for five minutes.”

Fifteen minutes later.  Sally “I’m almost done.  I found some things I needed to reply to.”

Another fifteen minutes later.  Sally “I’m done now.” 

Three hours later.   Duke “I’m done.  Anything you want to check?”

 

Duke “You said that no one else would ever want me.  Just look at this personal. ‘SSBBW will take on anyone who has 8 inche$ with Molly’.“

Sally “Duke, do you know what that means?”

Duke “Like I said, she wants me and some woman named Molly for a three way.”

Sally “You are so deluded.  You are short about 3”, Molly is a form of the drug Ecstasy, and the $ sign means it will cost you.  What do you think that SSBBW means?”

Duke “Super sexy blonde bombshell wench?”

Sally “It means super super big beautiful woman, who the Bureau Of Weights And Standards has defined as 325 – 450 pounds.

Duke “OK, that isn’t as good a deal as I thought.”

Sally “Let me see the M4F personals.  Oh, they are 200 times as many as the F4M listings.  Looks like I have a clear advantage.  Here’s one with a picture.  Look how big he is compared to that coke can.”

Duke “Now it’s my turn to give YOU the bad news.  That novelty soda can is only three inches high.” 

 

Sally “Which cartoon did we resemble today, Pickles or Grand Avenue?”

Duke “I’ll go with Pickles.  I think that it was either wrinkles or memory related, I don’t know which.”

 

An hour down the road.  Duke “Did you remember the camera?”

Sally “It was in my hand before I went to the bathroom and why are you asking me now?” 

After  fifteen minutes. Duke “See how he brakes every time he comes to a curve or a slight downhill.  Can’t they shift?  Does the slightest curve or downhill mean going 10 miles per hour?”

 

After another ten minutes.  Duke “Why was he in such a hurry to turn in front of me if he wanted to go ten miles under the speed limit.”

After another twenty  minutes.  Duke “Another @#%& flagger.”

Sally “Maybe I should have driven.”

 

Sally “Did you know that Judy is a felon?”

Duke “What about a moody watermelon?”

Sally “Would you please turn down the music, look at me, put in your hearing aids and be thirty years younger.”

Duke “Was that louder or quieter on the music?”

 

Sally “Duke, be careful, don’t break your wrist.”

Duke “Whose wrist do you want me to break?”

 

Duke has been driving for a hundred miles and has not said anything.  Sally “How are you doing?”

Duke pauses and seems to come alive.  Duke “WHAT?” as if just waking up.

 

After an hour of driving. Sally “I need a pit stop.”

Duke stops.

After two hours of driving.  Sally “I need a rest room.”

Duke “Which one of us has the swollen prostrate?” 

 

At dinner party.  Duke “When do we eat.”

Sally  “Another hour.”

Duke Groan.

After eating.  Duke “When do we get to leave?”

Sally “Another Hour”

Duke Groan.

Sally “OK, we can leave now.”

15 minutes later on the porch Duke is waiting for Sally to complete goodbyes

 

Duke “How about we go see ‘Naked Women Blow Up Things From Fast Moving Cars’.”

Sally “I’d prefer to see ‘Several Older English Women Talk About Things That Matter Over Tea’.”

Duke and Sally watch a ‘Bones’ rerun.

The Marital Dialogues Act 2

 

Duke singing “When the deep purple falls over sleepy”

Sally interrupts “Duke, you’ve been warned about singing.  Stop it now.”

 

Sally “Do have any idea what we should do when we can’t cut the mustard anymore?”

Duke “When it happens to me, I assume that you will still be OK, because I’m halfway around the bend now.  Take me into the woods, and if I find my way back you have to keep me.  Otherwise I’ll try to survive by mugging squirrels and eating berries.”

Sally “If it does happen to me first, put me in a comfy chair and bring me chocolates and brandy.

 

Duke “Your mother hates me.”

Sally “That is just not true.  How can you say that?”

Duke “She refers to me the drain clog.”

Sally “OK, she may not like you much.”

Duke “Why?”

Sally “I married you.  She hates in-laws and isn’t that crazy about family.”

 

Sally “Why do you take your shirt off before going to the toilet?”

Duke “Shittee on shirttail 5 cents extra.”

 

Duke repeatedly clicking Info on the remote “Hmm.  Why doesn’t this work.  Could it be that the last person to use this didn’t hit the cable button?”

Sally “I usually hit the cable button.  Why can’t you just hit the cable button?”

Duke “The person who starts the remote should just hit all three buttons.”

Sally “Can we just move on, PLEASE?”

 

Duke “How do I turn on the laundry?”

Sally “How did you ever survive as a bachelor?”

Duke “It wasn’t pretty.  I used to use plates until they were so dirty the food rolled off.  I learned how to use a coin op laundry.  I don’t think I ever washed sheets or blankets.  My mother checked in from time to time to see if I was surviving.  I can’t remember where my clothes came from.”

 

Duke “Wasn’t the deal that I would buy the car and you would plan for Backyard Certification?”

Sally “Yes.”

Duke “Didn’t we get a car over a year ago?”

Sally “I’m planning on the garden.”

 

Sally “Whose turn is it to fill up the pill containers?”

Duke “I don’t even know what I had for breakfast and that was fifteen minutes ago.”

 

Sally “What color do you want to paint the house?”

Duke “Purple with orange racing stripes.”

Sally “Sigh.  Why do I even bother?”

 

Duke “Do you remember our first date?”

Sally “I vividly remember, we went to see “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid” and then went to the ‘The Midnight Sun’ for dinner.  It was a great evening.”

Duke “Apparently your memory is no better than mine.  I invited you over to my apartment for popcorn and sex.  You are right about it being a great evening.  The movie and dinner wasn’t until later in Atlanta.”

Sally “You lie.  I have a mind like a steel trap.”

Duke “Right.  Rusty and filled with dead furry things.” 

 

Duke “How about an evening of dining and dancing.”

Sally “Great idea.  It’s been a long time since we have gone out to do anything.”

Duke “Uhh … I was thinking of bringing some MacDonald’s home and playing some Rolling Stones or Little Richard.” 

Sally “Ever the romantic.” 

 

Sally “Were you intending to leave the house wearing that?”

Duke “I was until you just asked if I was leaving the house wearing that.  Why don’t you just tell me what to wear?  Did you know that people can always tell when I foolishly dressed myself? ”

 

Sally “Mother is coming to visit for a month.”

Duke “I’ll be at the cabin.”

  

 

 

Doug Hawley is the author of thirty some short bios and an equal number of sci-fi, general fiction, crime, humor, essays and memoirs. He might still be able to turn cartwheels at his advanced age and definitely still hikes and snowshoes with editor Sharon.