Giles Selig writes anonymously in Rhinebeck, NY. His short fiction and poetry have been published in various print and on-line literary journals, including Chronogram, Pilcrow & Dagger, Medium, Made-Up Words, Laughing Earth Lit, Henry, Edna; and will soon appear in Light and Dark, Foliate Oak, and other publications. He is a retired advertising/communications executive.
"To get to the point, Harold, I was less confused about whatever it was you were talking about at the Sanders's house the other night than why you even mentioned it in the first place. Didn't you see Lanny roll his eyes? I nearly died!"
"Whoa! Let me get my bearings, Maura. Less confused? Sounds like more to me."
"Stop it, Harold. You're the only one who's confused right now."
"Why shouldn't I be? What are you talking about, what I was talking about?"
"Surely you remember, Harold. Don't play games."
"Oh, now I see. You must mean the bit about neutering their cat."
"That was disgusting. It wasn't fit for table talk."
"Tell Lola, then. She's the one who brought it up."
"She'd only do her Scientology thing on me..."
"Not Scientology, Maura. She and Lanny were into est, a different cult. And that was more than thirty years ago."
"Maybe she's not deprogrammed yet. Whatever. For the life of me, I can't see what makes you so goddamned fond of them."
"They're our neighbors, for Christ's sake! Lola's in your mahjong club. Lanny's our insurance agent..."
"You weren't listening, Harold. This is not about the Sanderses."
"Cats. It's about that awful cat of theirs, in case you don't remember. Little Mister Boo-Boo, or whatever his name is. First he brought a dead bird in their living room, which Lanny took away from him. Then he licked his testicles in front of us while Lola served the canapés."
"Small point of correction, dear. That would have been his butt he licked -- an act of hygiene, odd as that may seem. Would you prefer they had a dog instead? Dogs will lick their balls for fun but not their butts for cleanliness."
"This isn't funny, Harold. Dogs can't pass up a sidewalk turd without putting their noses in it. And then they want to nuzzle you. How would anybody find that cute?"
"I thought this was about their cat."
"And you should have heard yourselves, the way you two were giggling about his furry little genitals."
"Lola didn't understand the cat's anatomy, so I described it for her. She was curious. She was asking questions."
"Yeah, so you were balancing fava beans on your fork, comparing them to feline testicles. You just shut yourselves off from all the other conversation going on around you."
"What other conversation?"
"See? You didn't have a clue."
"What were you and Lanny talking about?"
"I don't know what's got into you."
"Do yourself a favor, Maura. In your next life, don't marry a veterinarian."
"I have a headache now. I think I'll go to bed. You'll let the cat in, won't you, dear?"
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