I was out the other day when I heard someone call my name. I turned and saw a pretty lady standin’ with her husband, both of whom I know.
The lady came up and gave me a hug. I was instantly taken back about 45 years to when I had asked her for a date. Her name is Gail. I’m not goin’ to tell you her last name, but anyone who knows Gail, after me describin’ her here, will know who she is.
Gail was a couple of grades under me and when I first met her I knew I wanted to take her out on a date. She was one of those free spirits. You know the kind; bubbly personality, smilin’ all the time, and oh yeah, really good lookin’. She had this cute little laugh that always ended in a snort, although hers sounded like a little honk; kind of like a goose makes.
Anywho, I finally built up the courage to ask her out and to my surprise, she said yes. So, Saturday night I showed up at the address she had given me. Talk about bein’ surprised … she lived in a log house.
Now I’m not talkin’ about a log cabin, oh no. This was a huge beautiful log home. Gail let me in and introduced me to her parents who turned out to be really sweet people. After askin’ what time they wanted me to have her home (we used to do that in the old days), we left on our date.
Now I can’t remember where we went exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was to a movie and then pizza afterwards, because that’s how most of my dates went. I do remember havin’ a good time and laughin’ a lot.
Anywho, I got her home before I was supposed to and as I walked her to her door, I crossed my fingers behind my back, hopin’ for a goodnight kiss. When we reached her door she asked if I’d like to come inside and watch some TV. Man, this was gettin’ better and better.
“You bet!” I said, tryin’ to not sound too excited.
She led me into the den and then she went into the kitchen to get us some cold drinks. I plopped down on the couch and checked myself for bad breath and body odor.
I stood when she walked back in as my mom had taught me.
“Sit down, silly,” she said and she walked over and turned on the TV. This was back before remote controls had been invented. She ran through the channels and found something to watch and came back and sat down beside me. Better and better.
We watched for a while and it was then that I decided to make my move. I reached up with my right hand and tugged on my earlobe, like it was itchin’ or somethin’.
Then I let go of it and stretched my arm out and put it around her shoulders, but I kept my hand on the top of the couch. I kept my head forward, but I shifted my eyes over toward her to see the reaction on her face. If it was a grimace, I would slowly remove my arm. If there was no reaction, I’d start sweatin’.
What I saw was a little smile form on her lips. Better and better.
I was just fixin’ to turn and speak to her when all of a sudden, a searin’ pain went through my right hand. I looked and there was a raccoon where my hand had been and my hand was buried wrist deep in his mouth. It was then I heard a girl scream. At first I thought it was Gail, but it turned out to be me.
“AAAAAHHHHHH!!!” I hollered. I tried to jump up to try to shake him loose as he gnawed his way up to my shoulder. That sucker must have weighed 25 pounds. I made it up to a standin’ postition, but the coon stayed right where he was.
“Let go of him, Rascal!” Gail yelled.
“I can’t!” I cried.
“I was talking to the raccoon,” she said.
“You know him?!!!”
“He’s my pet.”
“You have a pet raccoon?!!!”
“Let go, Rascal!”
Well, the varmint finally let go. He looked at me, smiled, licked his lips, and lumbered off. I think I was in a state of shock.
“Rusty!” Gail said. “Rusty!” she said again. Then she grabbed me by both sides of my face and pulled them around to where I was facin’ her. “Rusty!” she said again, louder this time.
My eyes focused on her face.
“Huh?” I managed to squeak out.
“Are you OK?”
I blinked a couple of times and swallowed hard. “I think I wet myself.”
She laughed and snorted.
“Don’t be silly. Let me see your hand.”
She grabbed my hand and turned it over. “It’s just a scratch, see,” and she showed me my hand. It was covered with raccoon slobber.
“Come on. I’ll wash it off.”
After she washed it, she walked me to the door. I was still a little incoherent.
“I had a really nice time,” she said.
“Huh? Oh! Oh….me, too….I think……”
She laughed and snorted. And then she reached up and kissed me.
When I walked to my car I was in a daze. I don’t know whether it was from the kiss, or comin’ off of the adrenaline rush from the raccoon attack. I don’t even remember drivin’ home.
As instantly as I was taken back in time, I returned to the present. Gail was still huggin’ me. I pulled her closer and placed my head on her shoulder and looked over her back.
Just makin’ sure that blasted raccoon wasn’t back there.