July 9, 2014 – Wilma was having her morning tea and reading over the local newspaper when she suddenly dropped it on the table, turned to me and announced, “We’ve got to be somewhere in five minutes – grab your colander helmet!”
“Where are we headed?” I asked as our 1955 cobalt blue Dodge pickup truck purred to life.
“I’ll tell you in a minute,” she replied.
“You’re being awfully secretive,” I responded turning onto the main road.
“You’ll know what you need to know when it’s time for you to know it,” Wilma declared anxiously looking out her window. “Take a right at the first traffic light you come to.”
I did as I was instructed.
“Now take your first left,” she ordered.
“Wait a minute – that will take us straight into the parking lot for the library. I’m not going there, Wilma. I’m not going to do it! I’m not going to deal with that whiny, fainthearted, chicken-loathing librarian, Eunice!”
Then the woman behind me in the pink Volkswagen honked her horn, and I had no choice but to pull into a parking space in front of the glass doors of our resident bibliotheca.
“Now who’s whining!” said Wilma as she hopped out of the truck. “Grab your hat and let’s go. They’re having a swap today and there’s only 10 minutes left!”
“A book swap?! I suppose I can put up with Eunice for a few minutes for a wonderful community event like a book swap,” I babbled following Wilma into the library. “Wait a minute… we don’t have anything to swap!”
That’s when I heard the crotchety old hen declare the following:
“Yah, I’m here about the swap you’re having. I’m turning in this thing with the fruit strainer on her head for a hardcover western. Which way do I go?”
Thankfully, Eunice was nowhere in sight and the lovely Lola was behind the counter. She laughed at Wilma and told her that they were only accepting gently used books in exchange for those over on the table.
“You cannot turn in Happy, as priceless as she may be, for a book.”
“But she comes with a hat!” Wilma spat. “That’s got to add value to the deal!”
“Wilma – the swap is almost over. Help yourself to whatever books are left over there. No trade required.”
I thanked Lola quite enthusiastically. She laughed some more and handed me a brilliant paperback on stamp collecting.
“We got an extra copy of this in the other day and I set it aside for you.”
Lola is so much nicer than Eunice, who, I found out from the intercom system, was re-shelving books on the second floor and on her way back to the main desk.
I thanked Lola again and waited for Wilma in the truck. She pushed through the glass doors a minute later, her wings filled with a plethora of publications.
“Hey, they were free,” she explained noticing my scowl.
“Really, Wilma? You were going to swap me for books?”
“Nah… I knew they’d say no and give me the leftovers anyway. That was my plan all along!”
Wilma sported a self-satisfied smirk on her face for the entire ride home.
“You’re incorrigible, you know that?!” I said, not sure if I was mad at her or impressed.
“That’s why you love me,” she laughed and started to read out loud the first chapter of, Murder at the Cowpoke Saloon.