ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
A funny thing happened a day or two ago. Somebody left me a box of Valentines candy. You know, one of them heart shaped boxes like you'd give your sweetheart on Valentines Day. And Valentines Day is this comin' Monday. Only I ain't got no sweetheart. Ain't got nary'un, ain't gonna have nary'un. But there it was, settin' there on that table in the front room where I'd be shore and see it. At first I thought my mule Rosebud had put it there to pull a joke on me. She ain't above somethin' like that, but I knowed it wasn't her. She ain't been outta my sight long enough to get no box of candy. Besides, if she was to do somethin' like that to pull a joke, all I'd get is the box. That ol' mule loves candy better'n anything.
Then I thought about Denver, but he wouldn't pull a joke on nobody. He ain't no joker. I don't remember Denver even so much as tellin' a joke, much less doin' somethin' like that. It just ain't his nature. I doubt he'd get it if somebody told him a joke. But if it wasn't him, who was it? So I didn't know what to make of it. A lot of times, people act different when they're faced with the same thing. Like this candy. S'pose somebody'd left it down at Denver's. Yeah, put it right on the kitchen table where he'd have to move it to sit down. And it was just like this'un, a red Valentines box without no name, no nothin'.
What would Denver do? He'd come in to get him a cup of coffee next mornin', push that box of candy out of his way and set down. He wouldn't even see it. He'd eat breakfast, finish his coffee and leave. About a week later he'd find it over there where he'd put it and he'd remember that he'd seen it somewhere before but he wouldn't remember where he'd seen it. Then he'd think about it awhile and decide he must've got it for hisself and forgot about it. Then he'd set there and eat it and never give it another thought.
Rosebud would do the exact op'sit of that. If she saw a box of candy settin' around, she'd figger it was hers and she'd eat it. If it had a tag on it, she'd eat the candy and then look at the tag to see who got it for her. If somebody else's name was on the tag, well, too bad 'cause the candy's already gone. If she'd seen that box of candy in there before I did, right now she'd be tryin' to figger out who got it for her. She'd start lookin' for clues. She'd look at the box, turn it ever which way, lookin' for clues. Then she'd start checkin' out suspects. Yeah, she'd make a whole big production out of it. Purty soon she'd be runnin' around with a magnifyin' glass and wearin' one of them Sherlock Holmes caps. She'd play detective for a week, 'til she got bored with it and went on to somethin' else.
Me, I'm kind of a cross between Denver and Rosebud. I'm like ol' Denver in that I won't pay it as much attention as Rosebud. But I won't overlook it either. I'll see it settin' there, but I won't eat it right away. It ain't got my name on it, so it might not be mine. But it ain't got nobody else's name on it either, so maybe it is mine. Maybe it was on sale and I got it 'cause it was cheap. I might've thought it was too cheap to pass up and then let it slip my mind. I don't remember forgettin' it, but that's how I think about stuff so I could have. Anyway, I ain't eat it and I ain't made no big production out of it either.
Then somethin' else flits through my mind. What if it's been poisoned? That's how you kill rats, y'know. You put out somethin' they like to eat that's got poison in it and they eat it and die. Maybe some terr'ist snuck up here and left poison candy where I'd find it. Well, I ain't eatin' it! I ain't leavin' it settin' around for Rosebud to find and poison herself either. I know what I'll do. I'll get rid of it. I'll throw it down in that ol' dry well out behind the barn where nobody can't get to it. That'll learn 'em to try and poison us!
That's what I do. I go and throw it down the well and I'm just gettin' back when I see Denver pull up in the yard in his pickup. He gets out and says, "Did you find the candy?"
"I left you and Rosebud a box of chocolate candy in there in the livin' room. Didn't you see it?"
"Ah, well, Rosebud could've seen it first," I tell him. And I know what you're thinkin'. I know it's close, but it ain't plum across the lie-line. I said she could've seen it first, not that she did. She didn't, but she could've. See the difference?
"Uh-huh," he says and spits terbacker juice on the ground.
"And you know how she is about candy," I say. Yeah, I know, but even if it is a lie it's a white one. I can't just tell him I throwed his candy down a well. I've gotta try and fix this.
"Don't say nothin' to her about it, though." I tell him. "You know how she likes playin' detective and tryin' to figger out stuff like that."
"Yeah," he says, smilin'. "I won't say nothin'."
And I smile back, standin' there hopin' I won't go to hell.
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