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?"
"I've been dropping hints for a year, Marge. I hate nagging Dan. I want him to want to take me there. I just have to create a situation that will make him realize that taking me to Hawaii will be far less trouble and expense than losing me," allowed Nicole.
"It doesn't sound like less trouble, especially if Dan finds out about your scheme, "Lucy". He'll be fit to be tied, if I know Dan," Marge predicted.
I was both disgusted and excited at the little plot that Nicole was considering. If I was aware of everything she was going to attempt, I should be able to turn the tables on her. I wasn't sure exactly how, or to what end, but I would give it some thought.
"Didn't you say that Debbie Trainer was going to move back to the west coast now that she's divorced?" asked Nicole. "I could be mad at her forever since she's leaving town anyway! She'd be perfect, if she would only do it."
"Earth to Nicole! Getting a woman to jump into bed with Dan is not going to be the issue!" asserted Marge. "It's keeping her from taking advantage of him that will difficult. To the normal female between 17 and 70, he's a pretty acceptable morsel, if you catch my drift."
"I'll make sure she won't have the time for any funny stuff. I'll catch them within minutes of getting into bed. I'll cry and then I'll threaten her and Dan. I'll call her names and tell her how I'll never talk to her again," laughed Nicole. "I'll even give her a few hundred dollars for her time. Since she's leaving anyway, it shouldn't bother her to go along with this. Then Dan will be glad to take me to Hawaii. I'll even forgive him once we get there and screw his brains out every day! He'll be happier than ever."
"It sounds like positive reinforcement of a bad habit to me, Nicole. You catch him cheating, go to Hawaii with him, and sentence him to death by fucking? What's to stop him from trying the forbidden fruit again if it turns out so well the first time?" reasoned Marge.
"I'll make sure he knows better than to do it again. I'll threaten to take a lover if he does it again! That'll stop him for sure!" exclaimed Nicole.
"You'd sleep with another man to get even for something you started?" asked Marge in surprise.
"Marge, I'd never cheat on Dan, no matter what, but he won't know that. He sure wouldn't like the thought of me being with someone else and he'll do anything to prevent that from happening," answered Nicole confidently.
I listened a couple more minutes as the two women began to plan a party, as well as set their trap. It was an eye opener. Nicole would stoop to trickery and deceit to get me to take her to Hawaii on a vacation. On the other hand, it was reassuring to hear her say that she would never take a lover, and that she felt I would have to be tricked to even appear to be unfaithful to her. Nicole could annoy me at times, but she loved me and she knew I loved her. She was a bit spoiled but she had done a great job raising our kids and she never held back in bed.
Once I felt that I had heard enough, I left to get the replacement part so I could return and repair the dishwasher. When I came back to Marge's, the girls were making a lunch in the kitchen. Nicole seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood. It appeared that the scheme had been set in motion.
"Dan, you've been gone a long time," observed Nicole. "Did you have any trouble, or did you get sidetracked?"
"Well, I didn't laze by the pool or play eighteen holes, if that's what you mean, Sweetheart," I responded with a smile. "The moron behind the counter gave me three different wrong parts before he finally gave up and sold me the one I needed. He was receiving grief counseling when I left."
Marge and Nicole looked at me for a few seconds, then looked at each other and shrugged. Women trust the spawn of Satan that stand behind those counters and sell parts that either won't fit, or won't work. Therefore, they had no idea what I was saying.
"It's a good thing you're getting this dishwasher repaired, Darling," continued Nicole. "Marge is having a party next Saturday night and she'll need clean dishes, and lots of them."
So Marge's role was to be the hostess for the snare they were preparing? Now I knew where, when, and how the scheme would go down. All I had to do was attend.
"Great! I'll have this thing cleaning dishes so well, you'll think you're mom washed them by hand," I predicted.
"I don't think that you've seen my mom wash dishes, Dan, but you're right," admitted Marge. "She really gets them clean."
"I just know the women of that generation, Marge," I chuckled. "Everything was always clean and neat. Anything less would have been embarrassing and reason to be shunned by other like minded ladies of the community."
I dropped the new impeller in and reassembled the machine. Then I returned the racks already laden with dishes, added detergent, closed the door and pressed the "start" button. By the time I finished my sandwich and beer, Marge was singing my praises.
"Dan, you're a genius! I wish Steve was as smart as you are!" she exclaimed. "These dishes are positively sparkling!"
"Let me see, Marge. Steve is sitting at the nineteenth hole about now, looking down the cleavage of the red headed bar tender after winning a couple hundred bucks golfing. You're right! I'm so much smarter, twisting my back like a pretzel, smashing my knuckles, and spending over three hours fixing your dishwasher. I'd sure hate to be dumb like Steve," I added.
"Well, I do appreciate your efforts, Dan. If playing dumb is smart, then Steve is a genius. You helped me when I needed it and I owe you," conceded Marge as she leaned into me to give me a peck on the cheek.
I couldn't help but think how she seemed sincere, yet she was a major cog in Nicole's effort to entrap me in some inappropriate behavior. I was appreciated, but Nicole was a sister, and a co-conspirator. I couldn't help but think that Black Widow spiders have more sympathy for males than most wives.
During the following week, I considered the situation I was facing. I realized there wasn't too much that I could do ahead of time to thwart Nicole's plot. I was certain of one thing. I was not going to over indulge at the party. I needed to be able to think fast and react to whatever situation was thrust upon me.
On Friday morning, George Harmon handed me a plastic pill cylinder with a couple of very blue pills in it.
"These puppies will give her a workout, Dan," he chuckled. "It's a shame I waited until I needed them before I got my doctor to write me a prescription. If I had them when I was your age, I would've fucked all night!"
I thanked George and put the pills in my pocket. I had plans of my own and those pills were my insurance policy.
The party was well attended and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Nicole looked great in a short black dress. She still had the power to excite me when she dressed up for an occasion.