23 February 2011

Page 4

“Good morning Mr. Zarbad. How are you today?”

“So far, so good. Off to the barn to feed Betsy and Jude.”

“Hey-that rhymes.”

“And tastes better when chewed.”

*editor’s note. Maurice’s neighbor, a one Mr. William ‘Wild Bill” Zarbad, does not appear anymore in this book under the guise of an aging Irish-American who raises sheep and dairy cattle in Goshen, Virginia. Instead, he appears as an un-named entity who…well, you can find out for yourself if he appears later.

Now it is a curious fact of nature that for the majority of history, mankind has more often than not, slept outside. The reasons are varied; a keen love of the stars, a voyage at sea, overcrowded tents, camping, an argument with the wife, perhaps even a miscalculation on the final date of one’s apartment lease and the start date of another. But in the Twenty-first century, it is a widely held notion that slumber should be carried indoors in a bed with four pillows, two blankets, 2 sheets, a comforter, beside an oak dresser holding a glass of water chilled to 45 Fahrenheit atop a hand-carved wooden coaster, a novel written by a British author deceased for a minimum of 30 years (unless it’s a cheap paperback), a box of kleenex, resting under a lamp, and quite possibly near a hand-carved cedar box from Lebanon containing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Furthermore, to be discovered outdoors covered in frost in one’s lawn chair at dawn is considered most unusual behavior…even when alcohol is involved.

Maurice, though, had never drunk alcohol in his life.

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