Monday, August 27, 2007

Jodie's White Knight

Jodie Diamond had an edge in her voice when she called my cell early this morning.

She said, "Margo, can you get Starr Ann and ride over to my place right away?"

I said sure I could, and was there anything wrong?

Jodie said, "Not yet, but there's going to be! And when you get here, don't turn Oatmeal and Trickster out in the paddock with Amelia. I've got two clean stalls waiting for them with some nice alfalfa in the corners to keep them happy."

Starr Ann and I love a mystery, and all the way to Jodie's we tried to sort out what could possibly be up. Jodie had planned to spend yesterday working on her ambitious project aimed at recording an objective account of this horrific first decade of the twenty-first century. What could have happened in the course of a long day at her desk that would have Jodie sounding so exercised?

When we arrived, Jodie took us to the kitchen, put coffee in front of us, and laid it all out. Yesterday afternoon, our handsome neighbor Randy Sneed had knocked on Jodie's door. Randy apologized for taking so long to come over and introduce himself, then asked if she had a few minutes to talk.

Right off, Jodie didn't care for Randy. No big surprise. Randy's one of those guys who makes very direct eye contact when he talks to a woman - his eyes, her breasts. But Jodie was willing to let that little hobby of his pass, for the sake of not riling her new neighbor.

Pretty soon, Randy warmed to his true mission and started in warning Jodie about getting friendly with Starr Ann and me. He told Jodie there was no way a decent, fine looking woman like herelf, a professor for God's sake, could be expected to pick up on the unnatural life Starr Ann and I lead.

To hear Jodie tell it, she has newfound respect for her own powers of self-control after the way she held her tongue and just let Randy talk. Then she very sweetly told him she was pushing a deadline yesterday, but would he like to stop by this morning around ten and finish their chat. Apparently, this got Randy all puffed up and strutty, and he said he'd be happy to oblige.

Starr Ann and I got there about half an hour before Randy was due. And just as Jodie was bringing us up to speed on her plan, here comes a knock at the door. Wouldn't you know old Randy would be early. Starr Ann and I ducked into Jodie's bedroom real fast, so he wouldn't see us right away.

Holy moly! Randy had on so much cologne, our eyes were watering all the way back the hall in Jodie's room. We kept the door cracked and listened as Jodie said, "Randy, I...I...I forgot all about asking you over this...perhaps we could..."

That was Starr Ann's cue! I rumpled her hair up a little and she went striding down the hall, right into the living room, and put her arms around Jodie. Randy started sputtering and Starr Ann swivelled around like she hadn't known he was there.

Starr Ann said, real nice, "Well, good morning, Randolph."

"I'm Randy."

"I'm sure your are."

Randy was about to launch into orbit. As if it were any of his business, he started preaching to Jodie about all kinds of things. He was rather disjointed and I was just catching isolated words and phrases like 'going to hell,' 'need a good man,' and 'fucking dyke trash.'

Time for my appearance.

I rumpled my own hair and padded in from the bedroom. That shut him up. Then I crossed over to Starr Ann and Jodie and wiggled in between them, kissing Starr Ann on the cheek. Thinking, what the hell, never get an opportunity like this again, I wrapped my arms around Jodie and helped myself to an extraordinary kiss.

Randy stopped yelling.

I pulled back from Jodie a bit, blinked once at Randy, and started crying. And I had to take some license for the sake of good acting, so I shoved my face into Jodie's cleavage and sobbed hard, barely getting out a few pitiful pleas, like, "Why can't the world let us be happy?" and "Oh, Jodie, Starr Ann and I just want to be understood."

Randy backed out the door, quiet as could be, and rode out the lane as fast as his horse could carry his confused, sorry self.

When he was good and gone, Starr Ann suggested that I remove myself from Jodie's thigh. Oops, guess I was kinda frozen in place by all the drama.

We opened all the windows so Randy's cologne fumes wouldn't build up anywhere and trigger an explosion (that was, of course, Starr Ann's idea) and as soon as the air was breathable we put on another pot of coffee and had the best time imagining Randy going around to all the neighbors telling his big story.

As we rode away later, Jodie called after us, "Nice kiss, by the way, Margo."

I think Starr Ann might have met her match in Professor Jodie Diamond.