The following story and the characters therein are pure fiction. However, it is based on an actual conversation I had with a couple of young ladies while I was in college.
Almost heaven? I was about as close as a mere mortal could get. I was sitting on the patio beside my pool in the company of two beautiful ladies. My home is a stick-built log home (actually, two full-sized log homes joined together in an "L" shape) sitting in the middle of some absolutely beautiful acreage nestled deep in the hills of West Virginia.
If you stand just to the left of the house in just the right place, you can see just a little sliver of interstate way off in the distance. Which interstate? I'm not telling! Let's just say it's within a few hours drive time from Washington, DC, if you start driving at the right time of day.
The driveway up to the house meets the paved road on the other side of the hill. There's nothing about it or the dilapidated mailbox on the rusty pole beside it to distinguish it from any of the other farm driveways on the rural highway. What was the joke the "redneck" comedian told about directions to your home containing the phrase, "when you turn off of the paved road?" But the rickety gate is more sturdy than it looks and is unlocked by a hidden keypad on the bottom of the rusty mailbox. The driveway is crushed red-dog only until it goes out of sight into the tree line. After that, it's smooth, wide asphalt for the next two miles. No one knows what's back here except my close friends. My very close friends.
You see, a couple of years ago, I won the lottery. Not one of the monster ones that has everyone in a frenzy, but still enough to give me more than a million a year for twenty years. After taxes, that is. That brought the leeches out of the woodwork. I was hounded day and night by every huckster with a gimmick and every charity in the book until I cancelled my phone number and moved in with a friend.
Don't get me wrong! Plenty of my money goes to charitable causes. It's just that I like to pick the charity, not have the charity pick me. Some of those people got downright nasty and threatening when I informed them that they weren't my "charity of choice." I finally had enough when some bozo told me he was going to call me three times a day, every day, until I coughed up the dough. That day, I cancelled my phone line and called a realtor I knew to list my house. I pity the poor schmuck that got my old number when they reassigned it.
I changed my mailing address to a Post Office box and I go in to pick it up about once a week. Ninety-nine percent of it goes in the trash right there at the post office. I keep the letters from friends and the occasional magazine offer to read over later. Bills? I don't get any! A chunk out of that first million took care of those, and my utilities get deducted automatically from my bank account. Now I pay cash for everything. It's nice not to have to look at a price tag any more.
Enough about my finances! I'm sure you're not really interested in what I do with my money or how I ensure my privacy. Let me get back to my little slice of heaven here in the West Virginia hills. It all started a couple of months ago when a few friends came for the weekend to escape the Washington heat and craziness.
I told you that only my very close friends know where I live now. Bill, Donna, and Janet made up the majority of those close friends. I had grown really close to these people over the years, and our friendship didn't change a bit after I hit the big one. Bill is an expert at stocks and investments. He doesn't work for an investment company. He just invests his own money. Several of the large investment firms are after him to work for them, but he enjoys his freedom. He keeps saying that in a few more years, he's going to buy the mountaintop next to mine.
Donna is a stunning, statuesque blonde that goes against all of the stereotypes. She works for one of those top-secret intelligence agencies just outside the Washington Beltway. You know the line; if she told you what she did, she'd have to kill you. She will work every puzzle in every newspaper in the house, in ink. That includes the crosswords, the jumbles, and the cryptograms. The agency she works for pays very well for her services, but she doesn't do it for the money.
Janet is a tall, slender brunette, and also Donna's roommate. Janet is an artist and is an absolute free spirit. She has no concept of money or how to make a living. If Donna didn't take her under her wing, she would be starving out on the street. Janet lives to paint, and after a painting is completed, she has no more interest in it. She would give her paintings away if Donna didn't look out for her. She has no idea how much her paintings have earned her, thanks to Donna. Nor does she know, or care, how much money any of us have.
The four of us were sitting around my pool, enjoying the summer sun and the cool mountain breezes. Donna had brought along some big steaks and Bill brought a couple of bottles of good wine. Janet brought a blank canvas. She kept a full stock of art supplies here and one of the rooms had been outfitted as a studio. After lunch, we were enjoying the wine, and Bill and I were definitely enjoying the view. Donna was working on her tan and kept fussing with the little strings of her tiny bikini. Janet, similarly clad, was working on a landscape painting.
Donna had just adjusted her skimpy top for about the fifteenth time in as many minutes, which prompted to ask, "What's wrong, Donna? Got ants in your top or something?"
Donna shielded her eyes to look over at me. "No, nothing's itching. I just keep moving the strings, so I don't get any tan lines on my shoulders."
"Why don't you just take the damned thing off and be done with it," remarked Janet, never taking her eyes from her work. "You are here among friends, you know."
"Yeah, sure," exclaimed Donna. "Like I'm really going to expose myself to these two lechers."
Bill didn't say a word, but he quietly ratcheted his recliner up a couple of notches so he didn't miss anything.
"Donna, I'm hurt! I'm shocked!" I replied in a pained voice. "Have I ever been anything but a gentleman around you, no matter how much or how little you may have been wearing or exposing?" I sat up on the end of my recliner and took another sip of wine. "Besides, there is no logical reason for you NOT to take your top off."
Now it was Donna's turn to sit up on her recliner. Saying "logic" to Donna was like saying "sic'em" to a junkyard dog. She immediately took the bait. "Explain your position!" she snapped.
"It's simple," I replied. "There is no logical reason why men can go around topless and women can't. They both have breasts. Face it, Donna, the only real reason you could have for not taking your top off and getting the suntan you really want is because years ago, mommy told you that nice girls didn't show their boobies to boys."
Donna got that look on her face. She lived for arguments based on logic. (Sometimes, we called her Spock, though usually not to her face.) She took a deep breath as she marshaled her thoughts and began to enumerate. That deep breath did marvelous things to her tanned cleavage. "First of all, men's breasts are non-functional; they don't produce milk," she started to tick them off on her fingers, but I interrupted.
"Neither do yours, right now. And besides, when a woman is breastfeeding, it is the one time she can expose a bare breast in public without getting in trouble."
"Well, it's just natural to cover those... those... parts of the body that... have the ability to discharge bodily fluids," Donna stuttered, having trouble coming up with the exact term she wanted to use.
"We also discharge bodily fluids from our eyes, nose, and mouth, but we usually only cover those as the "fluid discharge" takes place," I replied, making double finger quote marks to emphasize the words. "And tears from the eyes are a perfectly acceptable fluid discharge, even in mixed company."
Donna was silent for a few seconds, as she digested this fact, then she proceeded to her next point. "Women's breasts are bigger than men's and they need to be supported for health reasons."
"Not always!" I shot back. "We can use the exception to disprove that point. Janet, would you come over here for a minute?"
Janet laid down her brush and glared at me. "No way, buster!" she snapped. "I am not going to strip so you can play Mr. Wizard with my tits!"
I held up my hands to placate her. "No, no, I don't want you to strip. I promise your modesty will not be compromised."
"Well... OK," she said reluctantly as she came over to where I was sitting. Janet's bikini top was for modesty's sake only. There really wasn't anything for her top to support.
"All I want you to do is slide your hand inside your top and get an idea of the size of your breast," I continued.
Janet laughed. "That's easy! A big zero. There's nothing there to feel!"
"That's not true, Janet," I said in a serious tone of voice. "You don't have as much as Donna, but you do have some, and your breasts compliment your figure nicely."
"Thanks, Jerry," she said with a little grin as she slid her hand inside her suit. "The laughter is a defense mechanism against the snide remarks I get from some people. I've never got any of that from you and I shouldn't have snapped at you." She pulled her hand out of her top. Now what?"
I took her hand and gently cupped it over my own chest. The good life had caught up with me and I had put on a few pounds. "No offense intended, Janet, I said gently. "This is purely an observation. Whose breast is bigger?"
She gave my chest a little squeeze. "Damn! Yours is!" She patted my cheek and grinned to let me know I hadn't hurt her feelings. "I have a couple of training bras you can borrow if you want."
We all laughed and the wine bottle went around again. Janet sat cross-legged on the patio beside me, her painting forgotten for the moment.
"That takes care of point number two," I continued to Donna. "There is no way Janet would flunk the pencil test."
Janet looked puzzled. "What's the pencil test?" she asked.