The morning conference began innocently enough, with Steve and Doc arguing over which of the little packaged jellies went better on sourdough toast, and no one caring which one was right.
Dud and Bert and I sat silently, sucking down the morning elixir until it spread life to our outermost reaches as the Mule Barn truck stop's world dilemma think tank crept to life. Bert was unusually quiet this morning and we asked why. He hemmed and hawed a little, then said, "Doc, you know about these things. What exactly is female trouble?"
Oh shoot. Pretty heavy stuff for just two cups of coffee, so the rest of us hurried down a third as Doc puffed up a bit and got ready.
"Sure, Bert," Doc said kindly. Then Doc gave us the best his nine years of college and 50 years of medical practice had blessed him with. He waxed eloquent on hormonal elements, the ebb and flow of female fertility, things that could go wrong with tubular parts, and the effect all of these things could have on the attitudinal proclivities of the dear ladies we all love and admire. He took a break while Mavis returned with more coffee and with strange looks at our faces while we tried not to stare at her.
Then she was gone, and Doc began again. Finally, when we had been pretty well checked out on the mysterious workings of the gentle gender, Doc said, "Bert, if your wife is having some problems, have her give me a call."
"Oh, it ain't her, Doc," Bert said. "It's Dud."
We all looked at Dud. He grinned sheepishly. No one wanted to say anything. Finally, Steve said, "I'm not going to be the one to ask."
"That's what you said, Dud, right?" Bert asked. "That's why Saturday's plans are shot."
"Female trouble?" Doc said, looking at his old friend.
Dud nodded. "Anita won't let me go fishing this weekend."
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