His Boyfriend’s Girlfriend

So, we were out at dinner and laughing about something, and I thought it would make a funny title for a story – but I had no story. Think I still don’t have a story. But anyway, I tried to make one up to fit the title I had for a story that did not exist.

I try and finish the story in under an hour. It’s sort of like a writing exercise, just doing some writing, and not really worried too much about it. Try and complete it in under an hour, which is still more time than I have to spare.

So, it’s a bit goofy – but that’s okay. And not really sure it has a point – which is okay. But it does have a start, a middle and an end – so that’s good.

His Boyfriend’s Girlfriend

It was his boyfriend’s girlfriend who was stirring up trouble in Oak Town.

The biting wind of January was still ruddying the cheeks of Oaktownians, but thoughts of warmer weather were filling the heads of many. The committee for the Annual Bull & Heifer Day, held every June, was being formed, and many Oaktownians relished the thought of sitting on it.

The Bull & Heifer Day was a mix between Mardi Gras, a clown rodeo, and the running of the bulls in Pamplona. There were no bulls, and only one heifer, but they did have pony rides for the children. It was mostly an opportunity for the Oaktownians to celebrate the beginning of summer.

People dressed up as cowboys & cowgirls, wore leather vests and chaps, carried bull whips, and adorned themselves with other paraphernalia associated with the Old West. Not that Oak Town was ever part of the Old West, it was in fact very eastern, but it was a day of fun the whole town could enjoy.

This year was shaping up to be a bit problematic, as his boyfriend’s girlfriend wanted to be on the committee. She was relatively new to Oak Town, and most residents did not think she should sit on it. He did not think she should sit on it either, but she was his boyfriend’s girlfriend – and that complicated matters.

As chairperson of Oaktownians For Oaktownians, he was allowed to appoint 3 of the 9 committee members, with 3 being appointed by the mayor, and 3 appointed by the council. Everyone was feeling the pressure to appoint a friend, a family member, business associate, and in this case, his boyfriend’s girlfriend.

It was a plump assignment because Bull & Heifer Day was always a success. The tradition had been so ingrained in the town’s collective psyche that Bull & Heifer Day would happen whether there was a committee or not; everyone knew the role they would play.

Some folks liked to eat, and they would wheel propane grills to the town center and congregate in the cooking section. These folks would be responsible for general cooking duties of hamburgers, wieners, sausage, and chicken. Other folks liked to drink, and they would congregate in the chips & dips section where cheese noodles, potato sticks, and nuts were available for the munching. Some years they had nachos, but many found it to be too much of a gooey mess.

It was deciding issues such as yes or no to nachos that consumed a lot of the Bull & Heifer committee’s time. In past years, there had been heated arguments that the nachos were too often limp, and the cheesy goo was not really cheese. This would be followed by years where residents with a fetish for nachos packed the committee and delivered a firm crisp nacho, even though the cheese was still not really cheese.

His boyfriend’s girlfriend did not have a fetish for nachos, but did know a lot about boars – she had roasted them in her own hometown. This was the basis – the credible basis – for appointing her to the Bull & Heifer committee.

There were many long time residents of Oak Town who yearned to be a part of the planning committee, and appointing his boyfriend’s girlfriend would certainly raise some eyebrows and suspicions. Still, her skill with boars and pigs was a credible basis for making the appointment.

The Oaktownians For Oaktownians were having the first meeting of the year this evening, and he would need to make a decision. Sitting in his car outside the town hall, he stroked his chin while considering all of the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages, the benefits and dangers.

He watched in the darkness as other cars pulled up, and continued to think, his breath steaming up the windows of his car in the cold winter night. One by one the other board members of Oaktownians For OakTownians arrived. Lisa Lucie, Nancy Piscipo, Warren Guadalupe, and Jack Renogaw, one by one, parked their cars and hustled through the freezing night into the glow of town hall.

He had parked in the shadows, and the occasional glance in his direction did not register any acknowledgement, so he believed they believed he was already inside waiting. Waiting an extra couple of minutes, he got out of the car, fixed his pants, tucked in his shirt, and proceeded into the meeting hall with no firm decision on whom he would be appointing.

“Where were you?” Lisa Lucie asked as he entered the town hall.
“Thinking”, he said.
“Don’t want too much of that”, replied Warren Guadalupe, “Bad for your health”.
“I have stuff to do, so can we get started”, Jack Renogaw interjected.
“What do you have to do?” Nancy Piscipo asked.
“None of your business.”

“I’ve been thinking about whom to appoint to the Bull & Heifer committee”, he said as thoughts of his boyfriend’s girlfriend ran silently through his head. “But I’d like to hear of any nominees you may have.”

“Well, if you’ve already made up you mind”, said Lisa Lucie, “What are we even doing here?”
“I haven’t made up my mind, I’ve been thinking. That’s my job, I’m the chairperson, I’m supposed to think, and that’s my responsibility.”
“I have someone to nominate”, offered Warren Guadalupe with a laugh, “Jack”.
“Bull shit”, replied Renogaw, “I’ll eat, and I’ll drink, and I might even sing, but I’m not getting involved in the Bull & Heifer committee.”
“Beatrice Carpenter has been asking for three years to be on the committee”, said Lisa, “I think she should be appointed.”
“I do also”, he said, dreading the moment when he would announce his boyfriend’s girlfriend’s appointment.
“And Jack Farfell is in the same boat”, added Warren, “He’s been nagging me all year – you already know that, we discussed that, so I’m assuming he’ll be appointed”.
“He’s on the list”
“Why don’t you just tell us who you are appointing if you have a list”, Lisa told him.
“Why don’t you mind your business and let me do this the way I want to do it.”
“Lisa’s right, let’s finish and go home”, said Nancy. “Who else is on the list?”

He knew what the reaction would be. He looked down, pensively, felt his heart race a bit, rubbed his leg to relieve the tension, and prepared for what he knew would come.

Finally, he blurted out her name. It shot out of him like a paintball and covered everyone in the room with shock except Jack Renogaw.

“No fucking way.”
“It’s my decision”
“You’re making it on behalf of the Oaktownians For Oaktownians. She’s not even an Oaktownian.”
“If you live in Oak Town, you’re an Oaktownian, and she lives in Oak Town.”
“This is not going to look good”
“I agree”, said Warren.
“Who is she?” asked Nancy.
“You don’t want to know”, Lisa replied.

“It’s my decision to make, and I’m making the decision based on what I think is best for Oak Town, the Bull & Heifer Day, and Oaktownians For Oaktownians. The girl…”
“She’s a woman”, corrected Lisa.
“She’s a woman with some interesting ideas and some special skills”.

Lisa kicked Nancy under the table and raised her eyebrows, but Nancy did not know what to make of the secret communication. “What makes her so special?” she asked him.

“Pigs and boars”, he responded, “She’s going to roast a pig.”
“I’m sure”, Lisa agreed with raised eyebrows.

“Listen, it’s your hide. That’s all I’m saying”, said Jack.
“As long as Farfell gets off my case, I really don’t care”, added Warren.
“Let’s call it a night”, Jack said, “I have stuff to do.”
“I think we should discuss it”, said Lisa.
“There’s nothing to discuss, he’s appointing his boyfriend’s girlfriend.”

Back in his car, waiting for the engine to get warm, he thought about his open secret, his lies, his love, and returning home to his wife. He wondered if she knew, she must. He knew how she would react, her cheerful denial, and he knew how he would respond.

Walking into his house, he carried the scent of a drained man. Falling limp into the living room easy chair, he exclaimed, “I just don’t know how long I can keep this up, these Oak Town meetings are killing me.”

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