The following events took place last February. The names have not been changed as no one I know is innocent.
The house seems cooler than usual. Then again, it is a rather smallish house shrouded in a rather large-ish winter.
Within minutes, the temperature in the living room has plummeted. We have put our coats on and are now trying to get the dog to sit nearer, purely for warmth.
T-Bone, Black Lab of Great Sincerity, is only happy to oblige.
“What’s going on here?” Mary stands up and wanders over to the thermostat, which she eyes suspiciously. She taps its cover with an index finger.
“Good job there, Fuzzy,” Jon says. "That oughta help."
“Shaddap,” she says, good-naturedly. “Is it me or is it cold in here?”
Mary sits down next to me on the couch, tries to pull the dog closer. “Get yer own dog,” I mock-hiss.
“Pfffft,” she says. She pulls her coat tighter. “But seriously, Jon. It’s cold in here and getting colder.” She stands up, stares out the window at the snow drifts that have covered their sidewalk, their mail box. A thought occurs to her, one in which she indulges fully.
“Holy Hannah,” she shouts, turning around, “Do you think our furnace has gone out? We can’t afford that! What’s going on here? Where are we? What year is it? WHO’S GOT THE SIGNAL FLARES?!” Mary, cracking herself up, collapses on the dog, laughing. “We’re prolly gonna freeze to death, T-Bone,” she mutters into his ear.
Jon looks at me, winks. “The furnace didn’t go out, you hysterical female you.”
“Jon,” I say, “If we’re all gonna die anyway, what do you say we kill Mary and eat her for dinner? Would that be wrong?”
Jon stares a hole through me, possibly giving it real thought. You can never tell with him. He just may be weighing whether or not I’m serious.
Mary looks me straight in the eye, a mysterious smile playing on her lips. “There’s onions in the fridge, but we’re out of taties.”
“Out of taties!” I shout, scandalized. I pause, consider our menu options. “Any corn starch?”
“Flour,” she says. “Oh, and I haven’t exercised in months, so I’m thinking you’ll want to avoid the rump.”
There is a WHUMP sound as the furnace kicks on.
Mary, Jon, and I exchange looks as T-Bone’s tail thumps.
Standing up and shaking his head, Jon heads toward the basement.
“And that’s enough of that,” he says.