I'm sitting in Bob's home in Nebraska, having breakfast with him. I've liked this dude since we first met, in a bar just last night. The reasons are his warmth, his relish in laughing at himself, and a willingness to speak his mind. And he has shown all that in abundance, while chatting this morning.
Now he gets a call. "Hey Ed, how are ya?" he bellows into the phone, clearly delighted to hear from Ed. They talk for several minutes while I finish my slices of delicious home-made banana bread. And then Bob says, "Ed, before you hang up I gotta tell you a couple stories."
The first goes like this:
"This couple, see, they get into a major-league argument. The man gets so angry, he calls her a two-bit whore. She's so mad at that, she beats him to death with a bag full of quarters."
Ed laughs enough for me to hear him through the phone and across the table. Bob in his chair, he's rocking the table he's laughing so hard.
When he stops laughing and wipes tears from his eyes, the second story goes like this.
"This other couple, they lose a lot of money, they're in pretty poor shape financially. So the wife decides to sell herself to make a little cash. She goes out one night, and comes back in the morning with a bag full of cash.
"They count it, and there's seventeen dollars and ten cents.
The husband goes, who's the cheap bastard who gave you just ten cents?
The wife says, all of 'em did.
She was busy that night, the wife."
Ed's laughing through the phone again. I'm done with my banana bread.