Dewey Decker, our valley’s purveyor of processed hay, whistled as he dressed. He’d double showered, washed the pickup, and put on his blue tie again. Emily Stickles was at the Italian place for dinner with a crisp evening and a partial moon romantic enough to hug a cactus.
He strolled out to the pickup in a jaunty mood, and, as a last thought, removed the magnetic signs from the truck’s doors advertising his fertilizer business. Hey, if the lovely and gracious Emily wanted to think of Dewey as someone with a manure fetish, far be it from him to wreck her notions. She’s going out to dinner with him, right?
First things first.
Once inside the restaurant, and ensconced at a candlelit table with a checkered tablecloth, Dewey ordered wine and they both sipped and smiled.
“ Shall we order before the interview, Dewey?” she asked. “It’s okay that I call you Dewey?”
“Good. And I’m Emily.”
They ordered from Richard Constable, who had gone to school with Dewey. Richard’s attempt at an Italian accent was just one of those little plusses, you know?
Emily put her tape recorder on the table between them and pushed the record button.
“I hope you don’t mind if I record this, Dewey. It’s just that this situation is … well, unusual, and I want to make sure I remember everything.”
Dewey smiled and waved a hand in agreement.
“Now Dewey,” she said, “what makes you believe you’re in cow manure?”
Dewey thought a minute.
“Emily, have you ever stopped to consider how barren our lives have become? That’s why I’m so interested in bringing, well, fertility to our society and gardens.”
“But Dewey, you’re a … well, a rather attractive man, if you don’t mind my saying so, and there’s no reason to picture yourself in … cow manure.”
Dewey didn’t mind her saying so. He studied her amazing cheekbones and wondered how many more recording sessions he could arrange before she had enough to write her doctoral thesis on “Manure Man.”
Life is sometimes awfully good.
Brought to you by Slim’s new book and great stocking stuffer “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at http:// www.nmsantos.com/ Slim/ Slim.html.