I really didn't know why I was there. I didn't feel like drinking, but I needed to get out and do something. Sitting around the house and whining about how life had treated me wasn't getting me anywhere. I used to enjoy open microphone night at the Landing Strip and maybe a few laughs would help.
I looked around as I came in and I saw that there were some people there that I knew. I saw Angie Springer sitting at a table with three other girls. Wally Taylor and his wife Julie were there which was a surprise. The last time I had been in the Strip on open mike night he had publicly accused Julie of being a cheating whore. Seeing them together caused me to frown. The last thing I wanted to think about on that night was cheating whores.
Up on the platform that served as a stage on mike night and a bandstand on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Bobby Denton was telling another one of his blond jokes.
"Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I told the teenaged blond behind the counter that I wanted a half dozen Chicken McNuggets and she looked at me and said
"We don't have half dozen nuggets."
"You don't?" I replied.
"We only have six, nine or twelve" the blond said.
"So I can't order a half dozen, but I can get six?"
"That's right" the young blond girl said.
"So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets."
His wife Bree was sitting in the back with some friends and fuming.
Every one knew that Bree hated blond jokes, but Bobby didn't seem to give a shit if she liked them or not. He turned the mike over to the next hopeful and went over and sat down at the bar and talked to Melody the barmaid. I wondered why Bobby never went back and sat with his wife at her table.
Shari brought me my PBR and I sat, sipped and listened and my mood lightened. There was some pretty good talent there that night. There was a time once when I'd had a few too many in me and I was dared to get up and take a shot at it. I still remembered the joke I told that night.
"A man was sick and tired of going to work everyday while his wife stayed home. He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed:
"Dear Lord, I go to work everyday and put in eight long hours while my wife stays at home. I want her to know what I go through so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day."
The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man his wish. The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches and then drove them to school. On the way home he dropped off some clothes at the cleaners and stopped by the bank to make a deposit.
He went grocery shopping and then went home and put away the groceries, sat down and paid the bills and then balanced the checkbook. He cleaned the cat's litter box and then gave the dog a bath.
By then it was 1 P.M. and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, sweep and mop the floors. Ran to school and picked up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home, set out milk and cookies for them and got them organized to do their homework.
He set up the ironing board and ironed clothes while watching some TV and at 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables, breaded the pork chops and got dinner on the stove. After dinner he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry and bathed the kids and put them to bed. At 9 P.M. he was exhausted and he went to bed where he was expected to make love which he managed to get through without complaint.
The next morning he awoke and immediately got down on his knees beside the bed.
"Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please, Oh Please let us trade back. Amen."
The Lord, in his infinite wisdom replied:
"My son, I feel that you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. But you will have to wait nine months before I can do it. You got pregnant last night."
I was booed off the stage. I never had the nerve to try it again.
I was applauding the accountant who had just finished his stand up routine when Angie Springer sat down at my table.
"Hi stranger" she said, "Buy a girl a drink?"
I looked over at the table where she had been sitting when I came in and saw that it was empty. She saw me look and said:
"They all had to get home to their husbands."
I raised an eyebrow at that and Angie noticed and read the unsaid "But you aren't in a hurry to get home to yours?" that the look implied.
"Gary is out of town and the kids are spending the week with my parents. I don't need to hurry home."
I waved Shari over and Angie asked for a Tom Collins and Shari went to the bar to get it.
"So how have you been?" Angie asked.
"So so; yourself?"
"About as well as can be expected. I've been wanting to talk to you for a while now, but have never had the chance."
"Talk to me? About what?"
"I want to know why you let Gary slide."
"Please don't play stupid with me Rob. I'm not some empty headed clueless broad. I know what happened and I want to know why you let Gary slide when you burned all those other assholes."
I looked at Angie and it all came flooding back to me.
It started with a raffle at the Fraternal Order of Eagles. I had purchased five tickets with the expectation of not winning anything. I never had and I never expected to. The prizes for the raffle were all donated and the money from the ticket sales went to various charities that the Aerie supported so I always bought a few. The night of the drawing one of my numbers was called and I became the owner of a new state of the art security system.
I really didn't want it or need it and I tried swapping it for some of the stuff the other winners won. I was trying to convince Toby Martin that he would get more out of the security system than he would get out of a two week cruise when he told me that I wasn't looking at it in the right way.
"You know how much you like watching the porn tapes at our poker games. Use the system to make your own."
"What do you mean?"
"Put the system in and don't tell Beth about it. After you've made love a couple of times tell her that you are having sex with a porn star. She will probably come unglued on you and then you can laugh at her and show her the tapes of the two of you going at it. Also there is the monetary part."
"Call your insurance man and tell him you have installed a security system. Most insurance companies will give you a reduced rate if you have one."
The idea appealed to me and I decided to keep the system. I made an appointment to get the system installed and then took a day off work so I could be there and watch the installation and get trained on its use.
The system came with two outside cameras and five inside cameras along with motion detectors and some other bells and whistles and the first six months of service were free, the second six were half off and then I would have to sign a yearly contract. The technician installed the outside cameras – one to cover the front of the house and one to cover the back – and then he asked me where I wanted the inside ones.
He suggested the living room because anyone who broke in would go for where the TV, DVD player and other expensive items were and that was usually the living room. Also the intruder would have to pass through the living room to get to the stairway that led upstairs. He also suggested that one be put in the basement in case the intruder gained access by breaking out a basement window.
All good ideas and I took them, but I wanted one in the bedroom and I didn't want him to know the real reason why so I told him I had a safe in the bedroom closet and I wanted a camera in the master bedroom. We had two more bedrooms and I had turned one of them into a sort of home office/den and we put the fourth one in there. The last camera went into the kitchen for no other reason than I couldn't think of where else to put it.
I had him put the keypad in the front vestibule closet and then he showed me how to operate the system. There was a recorder in one of my workshop cabinets in the basement that captured the cameras output and most important, to me anyway, was that the camera's output didn't go to the security company. No one from the company would ever see what was on the recorder unless there was a break in and then they along with the police would want to see what the cameras captured.
That night I gave the system a trial run. After dinner and an hour or so of TV I started making out with Beth on the living room couch and that led to us heading for the bedroom where we made mad passionate love. The next day while Beth was making dinner I went down into the basement and checked the recorder. It had captured our session perfectly.
Over the next two weeks I made love to Beth eight times and then one Saturday while she was out grocery shopping I pulled the DVD out of the recorder and put it in a safe place and inserted a fresh DVD into the machine. I began making plans for the night I was going to let Beth see herself as a porn star.
.... There is more of this story ...