Tuesday Night and Wednesday Morning
Jack and Terri, good friends of ours, have recently relocated back to Edmonton after some four years down south in Houston, TX. There were the usual hassles involved with a cross-border move. There were snags closing the deal on their old place in Sugarland. Their new home up here wasn’t ready for occupancy so they were forced to stay with a friend of Terri’s. Samson, Jack’s beloved Doberman puppy who is deaf in one ear and suffers from some brain impairment beyond most dogs’, was mysteriously re-routed through Denver, CO and subsequently half a day late landing on Canadian soil. Their furniture shipment was a week behind schedule – which actually worked out in their favour as there was nowhere to put it for a time anyway.
Suffice to say, Jack needed a beer. Most Tuesday evenings me and Stats Guy, who is also a good friend of Jack’s, get together in a pub to watch some hockey or baseball, eat meat and drink beer. We were pleased to have our number rounded up to three. So earlier this week with Jack in tow, we chose the Atlantic Trap and Gill, notable for its fish and chips and Halifax donairs. We ate. We each drank a couple of pints. We got caught up. Terri was back in Houston tying up some loose ends. Ann was glad I was out of the house. Stats Guy, an increasingly cranky bachelor, always needs more social interaction. Everybody was home before dark. Or so I thought.
Wednesday morning I received an e-mail from Jack who tends to type in caps: I GUESS WHEN YOU’RE VERY VERY DRUNK YOU’LL LET ANYONE OR MORE TO THE POINT ANYTHING SLEEP WITH YOU! I AM SCREWED.
I, who tends not to type in caps, replied: WHAT!?
How’s that old joke go? A friend will help you move; a good friend will help you move a body. I dropped the project I’d been working on and cracked open a beer. I paced the house. Damage control. Strategy. Plausible deniability. Is the other woman stable or psycho? Was it the husband? When did this whole thing start? Maybe they can sort it out? Accidents happen. Maybe they can just exchange bittersweet glances from time to time? Jack had two beers for Christ’s sake! Okay, one here too before we went out but it’s impossible to get hammered on three beers unless you’re in grade seven! Jack’s over 60! When is Terri due back in town? Hadn’t Jack and Terri already taken possession of their new place? Maybe Jack can move into our guest room? Wait. Ann may have an issue with that. May? She’ll side with Terri so she’ll have a serious issue with a big fucking capital I which’ll mean I’m screwed too. This is bad. Jesus, this is very fucking bad. I mean, I like Terri. Fuck! Saints preserve us, what’s to be done?
SAMSON NOW THINKS THAT THE PLACE WHERE TERRI WILL BE SLEEPING NOW BELONGS TO SAMSON.
BASTARD! YOU HAD ME GOING. I get out of e-mail and switch to the landline. ‘You fucking fuck. What’s the problem?’
‘Terri will know Samson slept in our bed. She’ll see the hair.’
‘Wash the sheets.’
‘I can’t. Nothing’s hooked up yet.’
‘Then get a fucking lint roller.’
‘It won’t matter. She’ll know. The dog will tip her off. I’m screwed.’
‘Oh for Christ’s sake. Anyway, you up for next Tuesday?’