"He bought a stallion..."
Farm managers hate this sentence. Life is so simple on the ol' farm without turning the place into one of those Motel 6's down by the airport. Not that I've ever been down that way. Still, horse sex is one of those things best viewed from a distance. Ten-miles or more. That's because when expensive horses are involved, tradition dictates that humans join in on the fun and to be honest, that's a few too many bodies thrashing around under the sheets for me. By now, you've probably ascertained that our farm didn't specialize in expensive horses. This was designed to keep our insurance premiums about on par with our egos. But, we still had to keep up appearances and trust me, 'appearances' and 'ego' are not mutually inclusive. Just watch the guy with the $10,000 hand-crafted Scottish golf clubs. Yeah, they call that a 'hook.'
Then, there's the other problem. The one in Chapter 12. (No real clues here. You have to buy the book. I got a truck payment due.) See, about this point in the book, the farm manager begins stalking his future girlfriend. She's already figured out that it's more about sex than marriage, so she's taken the usual precautions: moved twice, changed her phone number three times...grew a beard. But farm managers are an optimistic sort. See, we work for people that see something positive even though they haven't won a race in nine years. Kind of like stomach flu -- extremely contagious. But sometimes cataclysm can be turned into opportunity. So you phone the girl with a different kind of proposition:
"Look, you only call this time of day when you want something."
"I called the other night." That was the three-beer buzz call. No, I don't share everything in this book.
"Right, and you wanted something else then."
"I just wanted to show you what I bought. Come on."
"Three pairs of silk boxers at a quarter to midnight?" She was working her way toward sarcasm. Disgust was just around the corner.
"Well, they were on sale. You told me I needed some new clothes."
"What'd you get me? A wet T-shirt?"
Hadn't thought about that. Maybe I should have been a little more subtle. I guess the pair with the detachable ribbon and the printing about 'Guess what's Inside?' was a little too direct. The sales woman assured me that they were the most popular. She didn't explain why they were 75% off. "Okay, okay. Bad idea. I was just thinking..."
"Don't. What do you want?"
"Well, er, might, maybe need some, well, I was wondering if..."
"God, now what?" [Another case of...well, you've got to read the whole sorry story!]
"Doc bought a stallion." That had the immediate impact of making me feel that my call had been re-routed to Pakistan. "Hello? Jesse, hello?"
"He bought a stallion?"
I never knew that sarcasm was visceral. "Yeah, that explains the boxer shorts. They were for him." Humor wasn't working.
"And let me guess, you want my help to breed his mares?" I think I felt a little toothpaste in my left ear.
"Sure. Doc says he's a cupcake. Just need somebody to hold the mare. Thought we'd see what he was like with Boo Boo tomorrow. You know Boo, she likes everything."
"We? As in you and me? And the cupcake thing? What's that about? And Boo liking everything? That's a cereal commercial, not a horse. And what the hell is that noise?!"
"Just a little remodeling, no big deal."
"Look, I don't think so. Let Doc...no...okay, maybe. I'll stop by in the morning, but no promises. Understand?"
"Sure, it'll be no big deal. Bye." Panic attacks are like hurricanes. They have that moment of calm right before your house disappears.
I had some planning to do. Elephant tranquilizer, I needed some elephant tranquilizer! Maybe I could break one of his legs, stick an ice-pick in one ear, maybe drain out five or six gallons of blood. What would James Bond do? Nah, Jesse wouldn't go for that. I snuck down to the barn to see what was going on. He'd moved from ripping plywood apart to the studs. (Okay, that's another pun -- construction based.) Doesn't he ever sleep? I went out and caught Boo and threw her into the adjoining stall. Figured the best way to appease a cannibal was to find him a meal. Instead, he just cocked a hind leg and went to sleep. Where's Freud when you need him?