Nicole had been friends with Marge Petersen since college. They had even been each other's maids of honor at their weddings. They were godmothers of the other's first born child. I knew when I asked Nicole to marry me, that Marge would be an integral part of our relationship.
Steve Petersen figured the deal out pretty quickly when he started dating Marge. We spent our free time together and often went on vacations together. Our kids had been best friends while growing up. They had to be, since they spent so much time with each other. Our two girls were now 23 and 21, and were both married. Marge's two daughters were 22 and 20, and both in college.
Steve Petersen was a stock broker. He was smart and had a great sense of humor. I always enjoyed his company, but there was one thing that he was not. He just wasn't handy. I owned my own insurance company, but I had grown up on the farm. There I had learned how to fix just about everything that could break.
The most important thing I had learned was that if I could manage to get something apart, I could usually figure how it was meant to work, why it didn't work, and how to repair it. My dad and I had torn more than a few things as far down as was humanly possible, discussed the theory behind the mechanics, and then fixed the thing and reassembled it. There were a few times when we had to tear something back down a second or third time to get it right, but those difficult repairs were out greatest victories.
One time, we had a twelve acre field of hay ready to be baled when the baler quit tying knots in the twine that wrapped around the bales. We tore those knotters apart and studied them for half an hour and then put them back in the baler, using some parts off another baler we had sitting around. It still didn't work, so we did it again. It took four tries, but we finally got it right. Dad went out and baled 1500 bales without a single one breaking! He and I replayed that day for years afterward. How Cyrus McCormick managed to incorporate knotters into his reaper over a hundred years ago was another topic of discussion. You'd have to see them work to appreciate how complicated, and yet how very simple, they really are.
That's how I gained the reputation with family and friends that I could fix just about anything. It made me proud to have people think about me like that. It also placed me in some hot, dirty, uncomfortable situations, as I struggled to help one of Nicole's relatives or friends out of a jam. I was occasionally loaned out by Nicole like a wrench, or a beast of burden.
One time I volunteered to bring a homemade apple pie to a card game I had been invited to join at Nicole's cousin's house. When I explained to Nicole what I had done, she hit the roof. How could I volunteer her time and effort without asking her first? How inconsiderate could I possibly be?
Luckily, I remembered that the local Ladies Auxiliary was having a bake sale that Saturday at the fire hall and I picked up a pie there. It was delicious and everyone assumed that Nicole had made it. After that, she was asked to supply apple pies to every family event we attended. That was when I realized that sometimes things have a way of balancing out.
That was how I came to be in Marge's kitchen with my head buried in her dishwasher. It had simply stopped cleaning the dishes although it kept taking in water and pumping it out. When Marge heard how much the loneliest repair man in town was going to charge her to drive out to look at her two year-old machine, and then how long it would be before he could schedule her repairs, she called Nicole.
That's right. She didn't call me. She went right to the top on this one. Her dishes were piling up and she was going to be compelled to wash them by hand if help didn't arrive soon. Nicole was horrified at the thought of her best friend being forced into demeaning, manual labor. I was dispatched bright and early on a Saturday morning to remedy Marge's unbearable burden.
It didn't take me too long to determine that the nylon impeller was stripped and wasn't throwing water against the dishes as it should. Nicole had stopped in while I was buried in the dishwasher and she and Marge were sitting by the pool, catching some rays and relaxing from the ever present pressures to which they were subjected. Steve was out playing golf with some clients. As I smashed my knuckles when a screw driver slipped, I wondered just how, and when, this situation would even out. It seemed like it would have to be something pretty dramatic to make me feel like the scales had been balanced.
I told the ladies that I had to make a run to the Home Depot for the needed replacement parts and I'd be back in an hour or so. Then I hopped into my car and headed down the road. I hadn't made it a block when I realized I didn't have the faulty part with me. I never go for parts without taking the one I was replacing. Whenever I did neglect to take it, the jackass working for whatever place I found myself, would invariably sell me the wrong part.
It was one of those axioms, or conundrums, or guarantees that you learn in life. Maybe it was just Murphy's Law. I don't really know why it is. I just know that it works like this; if you trust a parts guy to give you the right part, you'll be fucked. Take the old part whenever possible and compare it with the one the guy's trying to push on you. With careful study, you'll see that he's giving you the wrong part. When you tell him it's not right, he'll say something like, "Oh! You said XKY not PT14ST 78 deluxe? Just a minute and I'll get it."
His day has been ruined. You won't be forced to waste two hours, and 20 dollars in gas to discover the prick has fucked you over, again. His peers behind the counter will call him a wuss and a wimp. His pay will be docked and his chances for advancement to management will be greatly diminished. He'll work twice as hard to fuck over the next unsuspecting customer, especially if some dumb schmuck sends his wife for the part. She'll return home with a goddamn new appliance, along with a ten year warranty for just an extra two hundred bucks. The parts guy will receive a raise that will be immediate and substantial.
I turned my car around and went back in the house to the kitchen table to get the faulty component. That was when I picked up on the conversation between Marge and Nicole. The window was open and I easily heard every word they were saying.
"If I could catch Dan with another woman, I could threaten to make his life hell until he had to take me to Hawaii. He'd do anything to appease me and save our marriage," predicted Nicole with confidence.
"There are a couple problems with that train of thought," replied Marge. "Dan doesn't chase skirts, for starters. Secondly, you'd be devastated if you did catch him with another woman. We both know how much you love him."
"I was thinking more along the lines of tricking him into thinking he had slept with someone and pretending to be angry with him," revealed my loving wife.
"I guess Dan is so damn dumb he thinks he's fucking a woman when he's watching football or something? You'll just pretend to catch him and he'll accept that?" asked Marge incredulously.
"Marge, think outside the box, literally," laughed Nicole. "If Dan drank way too much and woke up next to a naked woman, he'd have to believe he had sex with her, wouldn't he? He'd especially have to believe it if I caught him in the bed with her and read the riot act to him while they were both naked on the bed!"
Dan doesn't usually drink that much, Nicole," reminded Marge. "Are you going to slip some sleeping pills into his beer or something?"
"Marge, going to Hawaii is not worth killing Dan or making him ill!" exclaimed Nicole. "I would never try to give Dan drugs that he didn't have prescribed. We'll just have to make sure that he drinks a lot of beer, or we'll call the whole thing off."
"As your best friend, Nicole, I think it wise that I be the woman subjected to the ordeal of lying naked with Dan," volunteered Marge. "You find us in the morning with my pussy a mess and big grin on my face and you call me every name in the book. I'll finally slide off Dan's cock and apologize to you. How's that scenario?"
"I don't like it very well, Marge. I know better than to put you naked in bed with Dan. I won't have to pretend to be angry. I can see how you look at him when you think I'm not watching," admitted Nicole. "I've already ruled you out. Besides, I need someone I can't ever forgive. Otherwise, Dan will be suspicious. If I'm your best friend again when we return from Hawaii, Dan will know something's wrong. The woman that seduces Dan has to remain my enemy forever."
"I can live with that, Nicole. I'm the kind of friend that will sacrifice her virtue and friendship for her sister in need," boasted Marge.
"You're forgetting about Steve, aren't you, Marge?" asked Nicole. "He'd take that sort of thing pretty hard, don't you think?"
"The jealous bastard! You're right. If I cuckold Steve, my ass will be bouncing down the street in a heartbeat," agreed Marge. "Even if Steve were out of town, Dan would get all guilty and tell Steve everything first chance he had. Those two guys know what best friends are, so I guess I'd better not be the one to make the supreme sacrifice."
"Damn it, Marge! There isn't going to be a supreme sacrifice. I only want to create the illusion of wrong doing. I don't want Dan to actually get laid. He's my husband and no one gets his best but me," stated Nicole.
"Well, what you're suggesting is a dangerous game for a woman that wants to both keep her husband, and go to Hawaii," observed Marge. "Why don't you just tell Dan that you'd like to take a vacation to Maui?"
.... There is more of this story ...