Frank and Jake discuss how to get the situation back under control.
I had been trying to get the linkage right on an old transmission for 2 days. It was an overdrive model that was being converted from a column to a floor shift. Part of the problem was that unconsciously I kept cycling through some of the other issues that were disrupting my life. The bulls eye was my new girlfriend, Beth Ebertowski.
Throwing down a wrench in disgust I told Jake….”See what you can do with this damn thing!”
He took my seat on a plastic, five gallon tub of hydraulic fluid and began examining the fabricated bracket that held the mountings in the stand. I went over to the refrigerator and got out a cold beer. I never drink alcohol during the day and he looked up remarking.
“Something more than this old iron must be getting to you.”
“It’s Beth…, her moving in and that scene we witnessed the other night at the Condo…nothing in itself but my life feels like the flicker of an old movie reel, one cog off the drive spindle.”
“I’ve been wondering about the same sorts of things. I should be happy. Clarisse has really fixed things up but I can’t get over that girl with the collar on, and Beth and Clarisse standing around acting like it was the most normal thing in the world. Maybe letting them move in wasn’t the best of ideas…It’s not like we don’t already have enough to deal with.”
“That part should sort itself out," I answered, "but I agree with you about the Rabbit Girl. It didn’t make any sense…neither did Mr. Big guy and his Chauffeur…”
“Yeah! ‘Hard-On‘ and the Mr. Clean fellow were quite a pair.”
“Lets call it quits….I hate drinking alone.…maybe we need to beat this dead horse a little more.”
“Two heads are better than one.”
He took out a “Dancing Cow.” It’s a local Wisconsin brew with a soft mellow taste.
“I don’t think Beth is too enthused about the trailer park.”
“What makes you say that?”
“She drove the utility truck home last night, said it got better gas mileage.”
“That’s pretty funny…Beth pinching pennies.”
"How’s Clarisse doing?”
"She's happy as a lark…a real busy bee, buzzing around and getting the place fixed up. Today she has the heating and air guy putting in a new furnace…the damn thing is huge…I swear it could run the power plant down on river.”
“She’s mild, compared to Beth. There’s been a steady stream of contractors coming through...,new washer, dryer and refrigerator. How are we going to afford all this?”
“The girls are loaded…they have more money than they know what to do with…The economy might be slow but it hasn’t hurt sales at the Agency. Clarisse told me they each turned three contracts last week and the other agents aren’t exactly sitting on their thumbs.”
“When is all this going to slow down?”
“What I’m dreading are some semi’s showing up with two new mobile homes.”
“That’s not going to happen! We have to get this situation under control. On the one hand Beth is ashamed to live in my subdivision and on the other is turning my trailer into the Taj Mahal.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Something that will bring things to a head…a humbling experience that will make her face up to the situation…to either accept matters for what they are or run home to the Condo.”
“When I asked Beth why all the improvements, she said it was to create a good impression on our visitors. That’s a joke…like we do a whole lot of entertaining, however, maybe that's the answer.”
Jake grinned….“What, throwing a party?”
"Beth is having a birthday next week. We could surprise her with a house warming for the 'Love Nest.' Invite some of her co-workers and the biker crowd to the south side of the tracks. Put up a tent and have us a Rock-a-Billy barbaque.”
“We can use our DJ Truck…I’ll MC. She's going to pee all over herself.”
“It’ll do her some good…the more I think about this the better it sounds. Make sure if Clarisse gets wind , she keeps her mouth shut.”