A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and fried eggs with bacon, we headed out to go antique hunting. Solid athletic shoes and jeans was the uniform of the day, as we anticipated doing a lot of walking.
The Patriots were playing a Sunday night game, so we wouldn't miss watching our team on its way to the playoffs, and then hopefully, the Super Bowl.
It was decided to take Ellen's Explorer for its larger size. Before Wendy could say anything, Ellen shook her head 'No' And sat in the driver's seat. I got in the back, letting Wendy sit up front.
We rode north on Route 95 getting off at exit 54, and headed for the shops in Georgetown and along Route 97.
Poking around, we found some small things that interested us, but the prices were way too high. I tried bargaining, but only found a couple of antique medicine bottles that would look great in our front window.
We had a light lunch at a cute little 'Sandwich Shoppe' on Route 133. Then headed west on 133 for Route 1A and the outdoor shops.
All thoughts of the Morales, both Tina and Vinny were gone and the three of us had the first fun together since we took in Wendy.
At a large farm that was covered with tables, we started to find some true gems. I found a small drop-leaf table that would be perfect at the front door to hold a dish with our car keys, and outgoing mail.
Wendy found a stool that the seller called a stitching pony. It had a pair of Beechwood jaws that clamped leather to be sewn. The tension was a long, hand forged carriage bolt and had a leather seat stuffed with horse hair.
She dragged me over to look at it, or should I say, she dragged my wallet over.
“Aunt Ginny, I saw this in a magazine at the doctor's office. One just like this was about 200 years old, and worth ten times what this guy wants for it!”
“What ever would we do with this? I mean where would it go?” I asked.
“The price in the magazine was $4,000. He wants $250, but we're going to offer $175, and settle for $200.”
I was amazed, where did this come from? When did Wendy become the wheeler-dealer that she sounded like? What was that old television show called, oh yeah, “Let's make a Deal”!
“Do you want to bargain or should I?”
“I'm just a kid; you handle the money, you should make the deal, not me.”
About this time, Ellen wandered over carrying an old Flexible Flyer sled.
This was a real old snow sled, it was close to the ground, and the rear of the runners weren't turned upward for safety. I never saw anything like it before.
“Look what I paid forty bucks for, isn't it neat?” Ellen asked with a smile. “Hey what the heck is that thing, are you going to buy it?”
“Well, before you interrupted, we were negotiating the price, Ellen.”
“Okay, will you take $175 for it? Look at it, I would be afraid to even sit on it, those legs are made from tree branches. Look the bark is still on them.”
Wendy and I were surprised he took our offer. This made me wonder if he didn't make this “Pony” in his back yard. I handed him the cash, while Wendy loaded it into the rear of the Explorer beside Ellen's sled.
As we drove home Ellen talked about going sledding this winter on the hills in town. The only problem was you needed snow! Cold, wet snow.
We got home in time to watch the second half of the late football game between the NY Giants, and the Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriot's game didn't start until about 8:15pm so I decided to have Hormel's chili and beans for supper. This was a very good chili, all it needed was some shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. I put out a box of Ritz crackers, and a pitcher of iced tea. Supper was eaten, the dishes done and put away with plenty of time to spare.
I hate these late night games, it wouldn't be over until almost midnight. We had to be awake in the morning by 5am, do the math; at best, five hours of sleep.
The Patriots won by three touchdowns, beating the spread, as they say. Wendy reminded us to check our betting cards. We won four out of five, losing our ten dollar bets. Oh well, if it was easy there wouldn't be all those big fancy hotels in Las Vegas.
The morning newspapers were full of a man-hunt for Vinny Morales, the death of the poor dog walker had started up the search for him again. Not a mention of drugs in either paper.
Around 11am, Ellen's cell rang, or rather sang to us the song 'Bloody Mary' from “South Pacific”. Why she picked that I have no idea, maybe she liked Ray Walston.
It was Pete. It turned out Wendy was right, Vinny was asking about a job performing at Fran's place. Now he had to check every stage act for she-male strippers, and female imposter vocalists. Barbara Streisand was a favorite to copy.
Wendy had been busy, looking for this kind of lounge in the immediate area.
“Aunt Ellen, I found two places in Peabody alone! One on Route 1 south, and the other on Route 1 north . The northbound one was called the 'Green Apple' or something like that the other one is called the 'Surf Lounge'. When can we check them out?”
“Wendy, YOU aren't even going to their parking lots, young lady! God only knows what goes on in those dark places,” I said, “I'd rather have you and Billy home unchaperoned then bring you there. Don't pout honey, Ellen and I aren't going there alone either.”
“Ellen, do you think it would take a lot of begging to have Kevin go to those places?”
Ellen laughed, saying: “Try to hold him back. I don't think you or I should go either, We'll ask if he has a friend that would like to have five dollar beers and a pocket full of one dollar bills.”
Wendy looked confused, “I get the expensive beers, but why a bunch of dollar bills?”
I snorted. “Ellen do you want to tell her, or should I?”
“Wendy dear, those are for stuffing into the dancer's g-strings, The more you stuff, the closer she'll dance to you.”
There you go! Wendy turned her famous red color again.
“Eyuu, the money is stuffed into their underwear?”
“That's why we tell you to constantly wash your hands after touching money, honey; you don't know where it's been.”
“You don't have to tell me any more Aunt Ginny, In their butt crack or their crotch, I think I'm going to be sick!”
When we got home, I called Kevin, and shot the idea past him, He hung up the phone and ran out the door, showing up outside in twenty minutes.
“You mean you want me to go to two strip joints, and stay until I saw all the dancers and drink beer? Is this a joke? If I say yes, do I fail a test? Do you hit me?”
I explained Wendy's computer search and she figured Morales may be hiding there behind a set of breast forms and makeup.
“Vinny couldn't be a dancer, he'd have to strip down to his skin, certainly not enough time has passed for breast surgery, right?”
“Kevin,” I said, “I read about a new surgery where the doctor goes in from your navel and through a hose, inflates the breasts with saline. Or even going in from the armpits. I read that after only three weeks you are good to go. Nice, perky, instant breasts. Honey, remember, I should know.”
Kevin's face reddened, “Oh Ginny, I forgot! Are you mad at me?”
I laughed and gave him a big kiss. I considered that the best complement a girl could get. Oh why not, I gave him another really big kiss. I smiled; he had forgotten my trip to Thailand.
Wendy was funny, she cleared her throat and told us to quit it, a child was present. Some child!
Ellen and I debated whether or not to tell Pete about this, but even Kevin said not to. There might be someone undercover working there anyway. So it was decided, on Tuesday, Kevin and a friend from work would go to the first lounge or caberet.
Kevin was funny, asking us what he should wear. Ellen said it was a strip joint for crying out loud, all he needed was jeans and a pocketful of money.
Now I started to worry, what if he got a lap dance, or caught something. Ellen quickly soothed my fears,saying as long as he kept his clothes on, and his zipper closed, the only thing he might catch was a cold!
Kevin went home, and we went to bed.
To be continued.
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