The Scorpion's StingbyAvalanche Man©
You would have thought that with the passing of time and even caller id to show who it was that I would have known better than to answer. But being the "nice guy" that I am, I picked it up and "Hello."
"Hi!!! How are you doing??? I haven't talked with you in a while." My ex-wife cheerfully said.
All previous calls of this nature and especially those that started this way meant but one thing. I was about to get screwed again, and no matter what I agreed to or didn't agree to, it was going to be my fault. Despite the fact that she had divorced me to marry her boyfriend (that I hadn't known about), everything from that point forward and in the past was my fault.
All the wonderful, obvious warning signs had been there over the years, but for the sake of the kids, I had ignored them. Until, at last, out of guilty conscience or whatever, she had divorced me when I had least expected it. Twenty twenty hindsight is a marvelous thing and only becomes clearer with time and distance.
When her boyfriend had up and died on her just prior to their getting married; this also had been my fault. I still not sure how I managed this, but it was my fault that he hadn't done the right thing and married her. His ex-wife and daughters had almost had her removed from the funeral by the police, and I think I was blamed for that too.
Ah, well, enough of the recriminations and muddy water under the bridge, I had learned to protect myself against this never ending problem that would haunt me forever. So, with a glance over my shoulder at the devil sitting there, I answered. "I've been doing all right. How about yourself???"
"I've been doing fairly well. But I do need to ask a favor of you." She slowly replied.
Giant alarm bells went off in my head as this was something that had always turned out BAD before, and I would incur more wrath and hated to be heaped upon me. All previous favors had never been worth the effort and especially the scorn she would treat them with later.
"Well...if I can...I'm pretty busy and don't have a lot of time free right now." I was attempting to still be the "nice guy", but yet extradite myself from the situation.
"Well, I don't know if you've known, but Wayne hasn't been doing so good lately, and had to have surgery three days ago." She kind of quietly said. "Uh, noooo, I hadn't known about any of that." I replied. Although the kids had kept me up to date on her latest boyfriends and whatever, still it was better to play dumb.
"Well, he didn't make it and I really need you to go to the funeral with me." She blurted out.
Talk about screaming and running for the woods. If ever there was a time to do just this thing, now this was the time. I somewhat knew about all this, as our kids had called and told me that they weren't going this time.
Biting my tongue to keep from laughing at the total insanity of the situation, I coughed a few times to get my composure and brain back in working order. She had buried about two other boyfriends, and I was beginning to count myself lucky that I had escaped alive.
Finally, I had to softly ask. "Are you sure that this would be appropriate??? I don't know what to say in a situation like this. I'm sorry doesn't seem to be the right response, although I don't wish anyone dead."
"LOOK." She exclaimed. "The kids and my friends have all claimed that they have other things that they just HAVE to do, so I really need this favor of you."
This was too rich. I was having trouble not rolling on the floor as the whole thing was enough to make anybody crazy for even considering it.
"I'll do anything you want, if you'll do this favor for me." She finally said, very exasperated.
All the previous things she had refused over the past twenty something years of marriage came rushing back into my mind, and I had to smile. But I did manage not to lick my lips as I thought of all the horrible things that I had dreamed up right after the divorce. Once I took a few moments to gather my ideas back together, I tried to get out of this again.
"I'm not really sure this would be something that you would want to remember. It just doesn't seem like the right way to do things." I stuttered as I was hoping to get off the hook.
"I meant what I said, and I really need you to go and support me this time. I'll wear whatever you want and do whatever you want. Within reason, of course. But I need you to go with me." She determinedly and loudly said.
"TOO MUCH. Overload. DON"T walk, RUN" my brain was screaming to me.
But, like the fool that I had always been, I told her I would think about it and call her back.
If anything, the ten years or so since the divorce had been kind to me, and I was in better physical shape than ever before. Financially, I had somewhat recovered as she had cleaned me out completely, and starting over from scratch was never any fun. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for her, as she had done years of drinking quite heavily and gain a whole bunch of weight.
Sure enough, not ten minutes later, the phone rang again with the same caller as the first time. Knowing I would regret this later, I answered and calmly said.
"Hello, I thought I was going to call you back."
"WELL, have you thought about it??? What more would you need to know other than I need for you to do this." She, quite sarcastically said.
"UH, No, don't think so. You will need to get your highest heels, shortest skirt, and sheerest blouse ready to wear, and nothing else. Then I'll come by and pick you up, so we can go." I smoothly replied.
CLICK went the phone.
Ah, well, I wouldn't need to get my suit out after all.