Roundhouse sat in his favorite low back chair while Mildred, his wife of 30 odd years, rubbed his tired aching muscles that began at his neck and cascaded down from there. He sipped on his locally brewed craft beer. This brew was bringing craft beer drinkers to Cut-N-Shoot, Texas, from all over the Southwest. Between the neck massage and the wonderful creamy craft beer, the difficulties of the last five days on the railroad began to ebb away.
As Mildred expertly worked Roundhouse’s tired muscles, she also began working him for what had happened. She asked, “Hon, why did they try and strand you there in Wyoming?” Then she teasingly added, “You weren’t trying to cross-train one of those young fillies who always is trying to move up to full train engineer rank, were you?”
Without choking too much on his beer, he sarcastically responded, “How well you know me. You know a man can only resist so long those five foot tall, two hundred pound beauties in their grimy overalls and coal dust caked hair, as they spit out part of the chaw that has been carefully stored in their sagging jowls. I mean, what a turn on to see her impish toothless smile beaming out from a face that has been carefully made up with coal based mascara so that no skin shows through. You’re lucky I came back, honnnney!”
Mildred made a gagging gesture to confirm her feelings about the all too vivid mental picture Roundhouse had described. After a slight smirk and grin, she persisted, “Okay, what I want to know is, what is going on with the price of coal? I don’t understand why they have cut back on your hauling runs. Heck, even with those cutbacks there is still an oversupply. I’ve been talking with the other engineers’ wives and sweethearts, and their story is just like ours. Less work because of the oversupply, but who the heck is oversupplying? I even reached out on my Facebook home page to see if it was the company’s competitors running ninety to nothing. But nope, they’ve started to flame me and your company about hauling out too much!”
Roundhouse, trying to stay in the numb zone, appeased, “Now, Mildred, we have some savings, so we aren’t going to starve. Besides, if things get really bad we can always job you back out to being a high demand massage therapist again, just like when I met you.”
Mildred made a sour face and then retorted, “Funny how when we talk about making ends meet I always get volunteered to going back as a massage therapist. What if I wanted to be a high class call girl pulling down a six figure income? I mean, think about it. You can make a fair bit of money just having your clients naked. But if I up the ante and get naked too we could really bring in some money!”
Roundhouse sat blinking and was unable to respond to his wife’s outrageous comment. True, she was still a looker and had kept herself in shape. Why, at the last dinner dance event in town, all the guys were clapping him on the shoulder and offering their praises for his having such a fine woman. Realizing Mildred was overwrought, he decided to soothe the situation and smoothly speculated, “A six figure income? Boy, I could pay off that new bass boat in no time. Would we have to set up our own brothel? I don’t know much about running high class call girls, but I’m willing to learn. But before we get started in our new joint adventure….get it joint adventure…perhaps you best show me some of the inventory you’re going to be renting out, hmmm?”
Mildred’s annoyed mood softened greatly as her rose-shaped mouth gentled into a grin. She ran her fingers through his hair and quietly whispered, “We don’t have grandkid duty tonight. If that offer is real and still good, then let’s skip supper and go right for the dessert. What do you say, handsome?”
Roundhouse smiled longingly at Mildred, and with more grace than expected from someone of his large size, he swooped her up into his arms and promptly marched them back to the bedroom.
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