Wednesday, April 19, 2006

cleanup reprint: the bobbing nose

note: this post furst appeared on 3/4/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

this here story wuz writ to make fun of my friend johnny mayhew, witch he wua a big sports fan and luved them cardnulls. thang is, nobidy laffed no harder than he dun whenever i red it to the group.

The Bobbing Nose

"Come in, come in, come in this apartment," Pete Thorpe said, spreading wide his arms to his fiancé, Patsy Pendleton.

"Hello, Pete," Patsy replied, patting him lightly on the back, pecking his cheek with a loud smack of her lips, and then pushing him aside. "Excuse me, Honey. I need to freshen up." Patsy threw her huge black leather purse onto the couch as she slipped by Pete, clicking her heels down the hall.

"You look fresh as a damned daisy to me," Pete said, lifting his red, St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap and running his left hand through his blond curly hair. "Fresh as a damned daisy." He replaced his cap carefully, checking its angle in the hall mirror. He noticed that a small pimple just beneath the corner of his moustache had developed a tiny white head. Listening to determine whether Patsy were about to emerge, he was reassured when he heard the water running and carefully squeezed the white pus out of the pustule and wiped the half-bloody result onto the seat of his pants. He then patted his cheek lightly to help disperse the inflamed redness from his cheek.

After wandering into the kitchen for a beer, he heard the toilet flush. I guess she's fresh now.

He returned to the hallway mirror to check out his cheek. Practically natural looking. I'll be damned if you aren't a fine specimen of manhood, Mr. Pete Thorpe, a regular Romeo. You got a lifetime job as the night manager at Dan'l's Family Restaurant (home of the Boone Burger), a 1979 mint condition Pontiac Trans-Am, the state of the art in stereo, a portable color TV that beats any console for true-to-life color, and a fresh-as-a-damned-daisy woman just waiting to tie the knot. Not to mention the fact that, other than a bit of puffy redness on your cheek, you are a lanky lady-killer in the looks department.

Pete winked at himself and laughed. Those blue eyes, Petey-O, and those long blond lashes: even makeup couldn't improve them babies. All this and the Cards getting ready to reshuffle the National League East by dealing the Phillies another losing hand. The birds'll fly high today, and I'll be right there with them. What more could a man ask for in life?

"Honey, do you have any Q-tips?" Patsy called from the bathroom.

Pete winked at himself one last time and walked to the end of the hall.

"You rang?"

"Q-tips. Where are your Q-tips?"

Pete pulled his Q-tips from the linen closet and handed them to Patsy. He then stood behind her, looking over her shoulder at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. Don't she look damned sweet with me for a background?

"Why don't you keep them in the medicine cabinet?"

"What's that?"

"The Q-tips."

"I don't know. Why don't I get you a beer?"

Pete slipped his arms around Patsy and lightly bit her on the neck. He then began humming "Strangers in the Night" into her ear.

"Pete, don't"

Pete let her go. He leaned against the door jamb and watched Patsy fall into a trance, bending her head and letting her long, straight black hair fall behind her back and over her left shoulder as she probed her right ear for ear wax. She pulled the Q-tip from her ear and carefully examined the sticky orange wax. He diamond engagement ring sparkled. Pete winked at its reflection. Then, swiping with her right arm, Patsy forced her hair over to the other side and repeated the procedure with her left ear. Just as she finished, she smiled at Pete's reflection and blew him a kiss.

"I can see I'll get no privacy with you, Sir," she said.

"How 'bout that beer?"

"Look in my purse and get that bottle of Meyer's rum. Do you have any coke?"

"Does a cat have a tail? Does a bear shit in the woods? Does Chatty Cathy have a plastic--"

"Oh, Pete, please! Be a lamb and fix me a drink."

Pete took Patsy's chin in his hands and turned her face to his. He opened his eyes wide and glared at her as if in a blind rage. She laughed. They kissed.

"Now go on, get me that drink."

"You got it," Pete said, charging down the hallway to the kitchen, miming a dribble with his empty beer can before lifting it above his head and slamming it into the garbage can. "Give him two! What?! There's a foul on the play!"

Pete pulled the beer can from the garbage, stepped deliberately to the other end of the kitchen near the sink, pretended to dribble twice, too a deep breath, and pushed it high into the air towards the brown plastic container. It bounced off of the side, but Pete was there, catching it before it hit the floor and stuffing it again. "What a play! What a game! That's a--Shit! What's this then?"

Pete went to the sink and washed the tomato sauce from his hands. Damned garbage. It never fails: you pull something out of the garbage, and it's got tomato sauce all over it. Still, a little tomato sauce on the hands, like a little sweat on the brow, is a small price to pay for four points of glory and a one point lead in the final game of the championship series, a moment of--

"Where's my drink, Baby?"


"My drink?"

"Oh. I couldn't find your purse."

"It's right there on the couch, Petey."

Pete watched Patsy's legs as she bent over the couch to pull a pint bottle of rum from the giant purse. She was still dressed for work -- she worked at Miller's department store on Henley Street and dressed, as Pete put it, "to the max," everyday -- and her black dress rose to about the mid-point of her nylon covered thighs. Her shoes had four-inch heels and caused her calf muscles to stand out in a way that made Pete weak with desire.

He licked his lips. You've got to be the luckiest guy in the whole damned world, Petey-O. She can be naughty, she can be nice, she can make money, she can even cook, and she comes equipped with a VW Superbeetle, the best pair of legs in town, and a couple of deep, dark brown eyes that'll put a little cool night in a dog's hot day.

Pete took the rum into the kitchen and filled a tumbler with three cubes of ice and a shot or a shot and a half or maybe two shots of rum -- he measured the first shot, then added a little more, pouring freehand just to be sure. Over this he poured coke, which bubbled up quickly and nearly overflowed, causing him to duck quickly and slurp off a mouthful of sticky brown foam. After wiping his moustache on his T-shirt sleeve, he stirred the drink with his finger and handed it to Patsy.

"Thanks, Baby. Whew! What a day I've had, Pete. You wouldn't believe it."

Patsy sat down on the couch, placed her drink carefully on a coaster, and lit a cigarette. Pete sat in the middle of the couch and put his hand on Patsy's knee, rubbing it lightly, hiking the hem of her dress just enough to see the dark band at its top. She lightly slapped his hand, but he grabbed her hand and pulled it to his mouth so he could kiss her palm.

"Tell me all about it," he said as he tried to kiss his way up her arm. She jerked it from his hand.

"Well, the manager was late to begin with, and we had to open without any change. Can you imagine? Serving customers is bad enough, but when you can't make change, well! And that weird woman with the harelip, the one who just won't leave you alone -- well, she came in with an armload of clothes that she said just wouldn't work out after all. Oh, and Regina, the girl who works the jewelry counter? Well, she and her husband -- he's the doctor who spent all those years in Switzerland learning how to abort babies... "

Pete watched the silent tube as he again lightly stroked Patsy's knee. She's a crazy woman in some ways, Petey-O, that much you got to admit. She begs for a drink, practically a hand and knee job, and when you finally fix it for her, she sets it on the coffee table and ignores it.

"Don't you think so, Honey?"

"Well, it's tough all over," Pete said. I wonder what the hell we're talking about? I guess it's her day at work. At least she'd beginning to give her drink a little attention.

"Whew!" Patsy exclaimed, coughing and pounding her sternum. "You mixed it strong enough to kill me, didn't you?"

"The better to eat you with, my dear," Pete said, laughing wickedly.

"Oh, you old wolf. Listen, I got some good news today."

Pete ran his hand up under Patsy's dress. She shrieked and slapped his arm."

"Panty hose, huh?"

"A lady can't be too careful these days. There are plenty of wolves about."

"Well, I can see why the chastity belt's obsolete."

"I'm gonna chastise you if you don't cut that out!"

"I wish you would!"

"You Devil!"

They kissed.

"So what's the good news, Pats? Make it quick, now, the game starts in five minutes."

"Oh, you and that game. Don't you ever get sick of football?"

"Football? Pats, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are living in the past. Baseball season is finally upon us. The race for the pennant, the crack of the bat, the taste of Crackerjacks, the national pastime, seventh inning stretch, take me out to the ball game! All that jazz."

"It's so complex, all these games."

"Not if you'd pay attention. Now let's hear that good news."

"Well, look at me."


"I said to look at me, Pete. This is important."

Pete sat up, pulled his hat from his head and placed it over his heart, staring straight at Patsy.

"I talked to Mr. Googe today."

"Mr. Googe?"

"That's right. He's the big wheel in Knoxville for Miller's. He came right over to my counter, and he said, 'Pasty Pendleton?' So I said, 'Yes, may I help you, Sir?' You know, it never hurts to say 'Yes, Sir' and 'No, Sir' these days. Anyway, he wanted to know if I was happy at Millers. And Petey, he knew exactly how long I'd been with the company, and he even knew my salary! Well, I just... "

How that girl can go on!

Pete glanced at the tube. Last commercial before the Cards shut Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton down. Steve Carlton, the traitor. Refused to shave his moustache, forcing a change, leaving the Cardinals in exchange for Rick Wise -- Rick Wise! Who ever heard of him? It had to be one of the world's dumbest baseball trades in the history of the sport. Time for revenge!

He returned his gaze to Patsy's face and noticed for the very first time -- and it couldn't be ignored once he noticed it -- that Patsy's nose bobbed up and down with each word she spoke. Of course, it's a fine nose, long, slender, regal even, if a little on the large side, but I've heard that big noses mean big appetites, big sexual appetites. Still it is kinda funny the way it bobs and bobs as she spoke.

Pete had a strong urge to laugh, so he gave a hard tug to his moustache to help keep his face straight.

"Bobbody bob bob bob. And bobbedy bobbedy bobble bob, bobbedy bob?"

The room became silent.

"Pete?" said Patsy with a polite bob of her nose.

"I was just thinking, Patsy."

"Well, anyway... " and off bobbed Patsy's nose into new realms of good news.

How could I have missed something like this for over a year and a half? Surely her has been bobbing from the beginning, hasn't it? Hell, it probably started bobbing when she was just a kid. Damned distracting. It makes her look so... so... so... like someone's mother or something. No, she looks like a damned moron with that nose bobbling like a damned bobber in the lake when a fish nibbles.

Was her nose bobbing the night I met her? That magical September evening when I was checking out the salesladies at Miller's and she came over to ask did I want to pick something out for my wife -- was it bobbing then? Of course, I was probably too shy to look right at her nose anyway. And then, she caught me off guard with that bit about a wife, and the next thing you know, we're at a Pizza Inn sharing a large pepperoni pizza and a pitcher of beer. Was her nose bobbing even then? Oh, surely not!

But it's bobbing now. How can it move so fast?

"... bobbedy bob bob bobble bobbedy bob bobbedy, bob bob?"

And the room became silent.


Pete looked away. I can't hear a word she says with that nose bobbing.

"Well, aren't you excited?"

I wonder what the hell she's talking about.

"I don't know, Patsy. I wouldn't want to jump off the deep end."

That oughta be safe. Pete looked at the ceiling.

"The deep end? I thought it was just what we wanted, just what we were waiting for."

"What?" Pete asked, looking again at Patsy.

"Why bobbedy bobbedy?"

Pete coughed politely.

"What?" he asked.

"Don't you think we ought to go ahead now?" Patsy asked as Pete stared at Steve Carlton throwing his warm-up pitches. Damned traitor. I don't know why St. Louis had to trade him. Or why couldn't he have just shaved the damned moustache! After all, it was the first thing he did once he got to the Phillies.

"You mean, don't I think we ought to turn up the sound, Patsy? I guess the game is-- "

"Is that all you care about? A stupid game?"

"No, but what are we here for anyway?"

"We're not here to watch some stupid basketball--"

"Baseball, Patsy. The St. Louis Cardinals."

"Fuck the Cardinals. I've just about had it with you. Now do you want to go ahead and get married or don't you?"


"Yes, married. What have I been talking about these past ten minutes anyway?"


"Where the hell have you been?"

Pete looked at Patsy and shrugged his shoulders. I've been patiently sitting right here on the couch stroking your lovely leg, watching your nose bob up and down like a damned yo-yo and wondering why I never noticed it before, actually, but ... what can I say now?

"You never pay any attention to me!" Patsy said, sinking her fingernails into the wrist of his hand and thereby removing it from her leg.

"But, I... "

"And keep your paws to yourself, Mister. I think this whole marriage is a mistake, anyway."

"A mistake? But I thought we both agreed that as soon as we're just a little more secure and get some bills-- "

"What the hell do you think I've been talking about?"

So that's what she's been bobbing her nose about. She's probably got a raise, maybe even a promotion. I wonder how much she's taking home now?

Patsy blew a long stream of smoke at the ceiling and began shaking her head.

Well, she's mad now.

"Listen, Patsy... "

"Oh, shut up. Why don't you turn up the sound on your precious little game?"

"Patsy, I... "

Patsy slammed her cigarette into the ash tray, pulled another out and began tapping it against her left thumbnail.

"Look, Patsy, I'm sorry if I let my mind wander, but I-- "

"Shit, Pete, how can you let your mind wander when I'm talking about our damned future? What about when we have children?"


"Yes, damn it, children!"

"What have children got to do with-- "

"How can you be so dense?"

"Well, I... I don't know, really. I never thought I-- "

"You never thought, that's all."

"That's not true, Patsy. I think about you all the time."

"But you never pay any attention to me. If you ask me, we need to take a second look at the whole idea."

"What idea?"

"Marriage, you idiot. Are you deaf?"

"No, I am not deaf," Pete said, standing up and throwing his cap at the TV. "If you want to know the damned truth, I may have lost track of what you were saying, but I was still thinking about you, nothing but you."

"I'll just be you were. Was it my fanny or my chest or my legs or my ... my ... vagina that you were thinking so hard about?"

"Why you little-- it was your nose, if you must know."

"My nose?"

"Yes, your nose."

Pete sat back down on the couch, lifted his beer can to his lips, found it empty, crushed it and threw it into the kitchen. He picked up the remote control and turned up the sound.

"That's the fourth strike out for Steve Carlton, Tony," baseball commentator Joe Garagiola was saying.

"That guy don't get older, he gets better," Tony Kubek replied.

"Turn that thing off!" Patsy yelled, covering her ears with her hands.


Patsy grabbed for the remote control. Pete pulled her into his lap and turned the sound down.

"Oh, Pete, why are we fighting?"

"That's what I'd like to know. Here, give me a kiss."

They kissed.

"Why don't I fix you another drink?"

"In a minute, maybe."

"Well, should I turn up the sound? Looks like that asshole Carlton's hot."

"Not yet."

Patsy pulled herself away from Pete and picked up the cigarette she'd dropped on the floor. She relit it and drew deeply, then blew the smoke out hard. She extended the fingers of her left hand and inspected the bright red nails and the twinkling diamond.

"What about my nose?"

"Oh, it's nothing really. Just something I never noticed before."

Patsy pulled her compact from her purse and inspected her nose.

"I don't see anything."

"Look, Babe, it's nothing. Really."

"Well, if it's nothing, why can't you tell me what it is?"

"It's not worth talking about."

"Not worth talking about? I tell you the best thing that's ever happened to me in my whole life and you can't hear a word for thinking about my nose and you say it's not worth talking about?"


"Well? I want to know what keeps you from hearing me when I tell you that after waiting a year and a fucking half we can finally get married, that's what I want to know."

"All right, Patsy, all right. You asked for it. I noticed that, when you talk... that is, when you really get going... or maybe always for all I know, well... "

"Well, what? What's wrong with my nose? I have a right to know."

"OK. Your nose bobs up and down when you talk."

"What?" Patsy said, her mouth dropping open in shock, her right hand flying to inspect her nose.

"It's nothing, really, Patsy. I just never noticed before. It probably happens to everyone."

Patsy held on to her nose, gripping it more tightly than ever.

"Your nose doesn't bob," she said.

"Well, different people are different."

Patsy got up slowly. She walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, stared t its contents, and slammed it. She went to the sink, drew a glass of water, and drank it.

"Patsy! Come in here and watch the game with me. I'm sorry I ever even noticed your nose."

"Yes, I'll bet you are."

"Well, come on."

"No, Pete. I don't want to watch a stupid game."

"It's not stupid. It's our national pastime, after all."

"I don't care. I don't want to watch any games with you."

"Why not?"

"I need to... I need to think about... Look, I better go."

"Go?!? But it's only the third inning!"

"Fuck your stupid third inning! I've got a bobbing nose and you want to watch a stupid game."

"It's not that big a deal."

"Hand me my purse, will you?"


"Just hand it to me."

Pete handed Patsy the purse. She tightly capped the remainder of her pint of rum and dropped it into her purse. Then, very slowly, she closed it and clasped it underneath her arm. She removed her engagement ring.


"What? Patsy!"

"I better go."

Pete jumped from the couch and practically ran into the kitchen.

"Patsy, what is the big fucking deal? So your nose bobs. It doesn't bother me. I even think it's kinda cute. Look, Baby, it's not that obvious. I didn't even notice it in all this time, not until this very afternoon."

"I know, Pete. That's just it."


"You never even noticed I have a bobbing nose."


"No buts about it. You never noticed."


But Patsy had already slammed the door on her way out.


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Anonymous said...

Yep, serves the guy right. He obviously is more concerned about himself than her. Sometimes us guys tend to be like that. We're so concerned about our own lives, and just expect our girls to get on board and do whatever it is we're doing. To be excited about what we're excited about. Why can't we just be excited FOR them and WITH them, like we expect them to be for us?
This story really encapsulates one of the things that can go wrong in a relationship.
And bobbing noses are quite funny!

Anonymous said...

Huh! Good for him! Speaking from the girl’s point of view, hopefully guys can learn how to be fair sometimes. Although it’s OK to think about ourselves sometimes but overdoing it is really bad. Chivalry is one thing that really attracts a lot of girls. It may come after flattery but not the other way around.

Amerika Havayolları said...

This story really encapsulates one of the things that can go wrong in a relationship.