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Southern Humorists Present ...

The Dixie Dispatch

February is Redneck Lovin' Month!

Hey y'all! Yer fav-o-rite redneck momma gone and missed January, but she's got some irresistible stories below.

February is Redneck Lovin' month and the Southern Humorists have all kinds of passionate, wild and stinky lovin' tales to share. Thanks for readin', y'all!

The Idiot's Guide to Romance | Country Courtin' | The Date | To the Complaint Department (With Love) | Cletus on ... Love | Stupid Cupid | 6 Smooth Ways To Decline A Date | Nicky's Love Story | It's Love 'til The Dollar Store's Closed | It's Valentine's Day: Why? | True Dove | A Valentine's Day Gift-giving Dilemma | Dating Has Come a Long Way Since the Caveman | Belles | Gertie Elaborates on Lovin' | Queen of Hearts and Diamonds |

By: by Jason Offutt © 2005 All Rights Reserved

No matter how inept you are in the world of romance, being romantic isn't a mystery.

Heck, it isn't even hard.

Romance isn't delivering flowers and candy to your loved one on days you're expected to, like St. Valentine's Day. Romance isn't letting your significant other cook for you. And romance isn't paying your partner a compliment with the words "you know, maybe you haven't gotten that fat."

Can you learn to be romantic? Yes, of course. All you have to do is this: Think of your partner's* comfort before you think of your own.

That's it.

Romance is that simple, it's that straightforward and you can do it every day because being romantic doesn't have to cost you a thing.

Romance for idiots

Open doors: What is more thoughtful than opening a door for your partner/date? Not much. It's old fashioned and it shows respect. Besides, if your date walks through a door first, you get to stare at his/her butt.

Pay attention: If your partner has changed his/her hair style, wardrobe or vehicle, you'd better notice. Paying attention shows them you're, uh, paying attention - to them.

Say something nice: How would you like someone to tell you how attractive you are every time you see them? Or that they like your hair? Or maybe they say "I love you" every once in a while for no reason other than they do?

Lover's Tip No. 75: If you say "I love you," you sure as heck better mean it. Unless, of course, you're just dating and are trying to use this to your advantage before you dump them.

Do something nice: Such as, cook your partner/date dinner, surprise him/her at work just to say "hi" and drop off their favorite snack, or take your partner on a date without making them chip in for gas. Showing your partner/date you're willing to go out of your way to see them smile is worth a thousand half-meant "I love you's."

Lover's Tip No. 241: Stopping by your date's work more than once a week, e-mailing more than twice per day, or starting any telephone conversation with "I know what you're wearing," could result in police intervention.

Tell him/her it's endearing (for first timers): If the words: "Most people think _______ is annoying," come out of your date's mouth, this is a tactical advantage - take it. Something this person does obviously gets on people's nerves and he/she's testing this annoying snort/laugh/nasally whine out on someone new. They want your approval. Give it to them, and you'll get something in return. The appropriate romantic response guaranteed to get you some sort of action is: "Annoying? I think it's cute."

This brings you no more than 30 minutes away from a lip-lock. Forty-five minutes, tops. If your date's really annoying, heck, it's not like you even have to give them your real phone number.

A few don'ts (mostly for guys):

Don't show up late - for anything.

Don't cancel a date to go bowling/golfing/fishing/cruising for chicks.

Don't ignore her for reruns of "Seinfeld."

Don't leave stacks of porn around your apartment ... unless she's into that sort of thing.

Don't expect her to eat over the sink.

And don't play Nintendo while you're having sex.

Enough said.

There you go. Just do something to show you're thinking of your partner before yourself. You're not just thinking romance, you're living it.

*Partner defined as wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, cheap floozy whose last name you'll never know and person whose status isn't legally recognized in most states.

Jason Offutt is an award-winning humor columnist. You can subscribe to Jason's (more or less) monthly newsletter and buy Jason's e-book "Didn't life Used to be Easy?" on the World Wide Web at:


Country Courtin'
By: Angela Gillaspie © All Rights Reserved

I am surprised that I ever found a husband.

Turning sixteen, my sisters and I were finally declared, "Of Age," and had to follow guidelines on courting and hygiene. Of course, my parents each had a different set of rules. Momma taught us how to walk properly, sit lady-like, smell good, talk politely, and be coy, and Daddy educated us on useful things like how to bush hog, hoe, and giggle hysterically when a body function presented itself loudly. Also, when we become "Of Age," we were finally allowed to shave our legs.

When Cletus, my first date arrived, Daddy positioned himself on the front porch cleaning his shotgun, and Momma hid behind the curtain in the living room (to make sure Cletus was a gentleman and opened the car door for me). I answered the door dressed in shorts and color-coordinated bandages on my knees (to cover my razor burn).

I barely survived that date; next time I vowed I'd bring flash cards with Momma's etiquette rules on them so I'd know whether to eat pizza with my fingers or with a fork. However, I did remember to be a lady (like Momma said), and I even remembered to ask Cletus to pull my finger (like Daddy said).

Oddly enough, Cletus never asked me out again.

From then on, my older sister taught me to meet my dates down at the Burger King and to not listen to anything Daddy said.

When I was twenty-one, I met my future husband, Paul-Bob, and he insisted on coming to my house to meet my folks. I gave him vague directions to my house, but he ended up finding it anyway. He presented Daddy with a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and buttered up Momma by telling her how wonderful her biscuits were.

Yup, this one was a keeper.

Paul-Bob started visiting my house more often, and I allowed myself to finally become more comfortable with him being around Daddy. But little did I know that dear old Daddy had some tricks that I hadn't yet seen.

Late one night while Paul-Bob and I watched television, Daddy got out of bed to relieve himself. The parlor is next to his lavatory (which had no insulation) and all the sounds echoed loudly. From beginning to end, we heard all three states of matter.

Pretending that I couldn't hear Daddy, I talked loudly over the noises creeping from the bathroom. Finally, I gave up and said, "If you promise to never do that I'll marry you."

Paul-Bob reluctantly agreed.

On another night, Paul-Bob got a glimpse of Daddy in his worn underwear scratching his forever-itching behind after he exited the lavatory. Paul-Bob commented to me, "If you promise to never do that I'll marry you,"

I agreed, and a few months later, we were wed.

Daddy finally accepted his new son-in-law and Momma was overjoyed. She did get upset when I asked the preacher to pull my finger, though.

Click HERE to subscribe to Angela's newsletter! - It's free!


The Date
By: Edward Hurst of Southern Comedy

1980 my sophomore year.

I have a date for Saturday night. Not just any date, but THE date. The bubbly, bouncing, blue-eyed cheerleader is my date for Saturday night. I am a shy bookworm and have no clue why this goddess would even speak to me. Why would she spend hours alone with me without a gun to her head?

The "girl" is not just any girl. She is a petite blonde, with a smile that blinds, and a personality of perpetual perk. She never walks. She bounces from one in-crowd to the next. Her friends circle her like a wagon train in the morning to protect her from "ordinary people." They only release her for a few minutes a day into the world of regular people; she should not be subjected to regular.

Miraculously, in an un-circled moment she speaks to me, not about me - TO me. In my confusion at being addressed by the school star in terms other than "pass the salt" or "drop dead Bozo," I make the ultimate geek mistake; I ask her for a date. She propels me beyond astonishment into disbelief. She not only squeals a YES; she sets the date and time then writes her phone number on my arm. She gives me a light hug, turns and bounces away; I turn and walk into the wall, careful of my arm.

My mind has shut down. There is only room in my head for thoughts of true love and an eternity of bounce. Food, homework, chores, all the everyday things are somebody else's worry. Luckily, the date is for seven p.m. the following Saturday, or I would starve, possibly a day or two before flunking out of school.

The Saturday arrives. No general ever prepares for battle more thoroughly than I prepare for this date.

I wash my car. I iron my best Calvin Klein jeans. The crease does not line up perfectly; they are sent back to the ironing board. I take my secret weapon from its hanger in the back of the closet. My secret is a dark red Polo shirt kept separate from my regular clothes.

It is the dangerous color of red used by bullfighters to drive bulls insane, and, of course, will perform the same function on teen-age girls, bounce or no. I take a bath in Chaps cologne because of a three-week old rumor that my date for the night thinks Chaps is GREAT. I give my white Nikes a micro-level inspection for fear that a speck of dirt, or any flaw for that matter, will send my hyper-quivering date on a downward spiral into an un-cheerful mood. I raid my bank account; all one hundred and twenty-four dollars are placed at the whim of a girl who has spoken no more than twenty words to me in ten years of school together.

After all battle plans are addressed, I wait. I stare at the clock. The clock has stopped - vile clock. I turn on the television, hoping to force time to march in thirty-minute sitcom steps. I believe the actors are speaking a foreign language - vile actors. I go to the fridge and make a sandwich-planning to eat my way to seven o'clock. I return to the couch to stare at a television that makes no sense and eat a sandwich I don't want.

I make the ultimate mistake. A drop of mustard hits the front of my dark red, drive-'em-insane Polo shirt. I am a clumsy idiot. Vile mustard. The magical red is compromised.

The phone rings. I answer. It's her.

I listen to her and stare at the mustard stain. Wait, she has said something. "I'm going to have to cancel our date; my grandmother was hit by a car and killed."

"What?" I ask.

"My grandmother and her best friend were hit by a car and killed; I'm going to have to cancel our date, I'm sorry."

I could not believe she would use such a lame excuse. Did she think I was stupid? I told her just what I thought of her lame excuse and we never spoke again. In time, you forget teenage stupidity.

I married a wonderful woman and am happy, but my wife is a reminder of that Saturday. That Saturday a car struck my wife's aunt and her aunt's best friend, Carol's grandmother.

The Carol I accused of lying.

I still owe Carol an apology.


To the Complaint Department (With Love)
By: Sheila Moss © 2005

to the complaint dept (with love)

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing in regard to your notice about the delay in shipment of my order for 14 dozen Olympic quality, ultra accurate, gold tip arrows. Perhaps you do not understand the urgency of the situation. I realize that you have no control over the suppliers of your stock; however, surely you have an existing supply in your warehouse. As a valid customer for so many years, I appeal to you to consider filling my order ahead of any others.

Since Valentine Day will fall on the 14th day of February, as traditional, it is imperative that my order be received no later than the 13th. I must be ready for my flight and travel early the next morning in order to assure that couples the world over are not disappointed. Without equipment, I am powerless and love cannot be delivered to those in need of a bit of extra incentive at this time of the year.

Poets the world over have written poems and sonnets of love. Famous couples throughout the ages have depended on me to add that extra spark to their relationship that makes it more than just mere friendship. Surely you can understand that Cupid must have arrows! Each and every year, I alone am responsible for targeting the hearts of individuals and filling them with passion for a beloved. What sort of Valentine's Day will it be if Cupid cannot complete his task? I ask you, what sort of world would it be without love?

If you do not have the specific superlite carbon arrow, perhaps you can substitute a graphite of equal quality. While I do have a strong preference from my many years of expertise in these matters of heart, this is an emergency and not a time to stand on principle. We are talking about love here. Providing the incentive to fall in love is serious business. While I do prefer carbon, ultra accuracy is not entirely essential, as my shot is so powerful that it is likely the unwary lover will be evoked into action even by a near center shot.

Reusing old arrows is not a practical option in my particular situation.

Regardless of the durability of the arrow shaft, those struck by the arrow of Cupid usually become so amorous that is almost impossible to recover the arrows. For days, weeks, or even years afterwards, they will continue to pursue the beloved - to the highest mountains, to the deepest seas, to the ends of the earth, if necessary - well, you know the clichés. This phenomenon is widely documented in song and poetry.

You may have felt the sting of my arrow at one time yourself. Sooner or later practically everyone in the world is struck. You see, therefore, just how essential it is that my order be filled in a timely manner. Please ship the 14 dozen arrows or an appropriate substitute at your earliest convenience. Otherwise I may be forced to refer the millions of irate lovers who will be asking why there was no Valentine's Day this year to your complaint department.

Thank you for your kind attention, and I shall be waiting for your express package with my bow and quiver ready. The future of procreation is depending on you. I'm sure I can count on your cooperation.


(c) Sheila Moss

Sheila Moss is a humor columnist who writes a weekly column at She has articles published in newspapers, anthologies, and online but is always looking for new markets. This article was first published in 2001 and is still a favorite with her readers.


Cletus on Love
By: © 2005 All Rights Reserved

cletus on lovin


Stupid Cupid
By: Melissa Baumann © 2005 All Rights Reserved

I despise Valentine's Day. I detest every manipulative, controlling minute of it. I have a problem with any alleged holiday that makes people, mostly men, quantify their affection against the diamond scale. Men tend to resent this kind of coercion and I'm here to stand in solidarity with them.

For a full month leading up to Valentine's Day, the catalogs that arrive in our mailboxes look like they've been dipped in pink diarrhea medicine. Shop windows contain more red lace than a Hollywood madam's lingerie drawer and I could get a cavity from the sugary messages dripping out the radio and TV.

Every six minutes it's another arm-twisting sales pitch implying that if you don't go into debt buying a diamond necklace, a cell phone or a big fuzzy bear that says "I Wuv You," you're a heartless lout. You don't deserve the sweet girl who is, at this very moment, baking heart-shaped cookies for you and your mom.

It does not matter that your chic girlfriend has never shown any interest in magnetized stuffed animals. Get out there, man, and make your purchases because you don't want to be stuck with only remaining card at the drug store - the plastic-coated sappy one that will expose your poor planning skills.

Guys know their girl won't accept any lame-o excuses about loving her just as much on Valentine's Day as he did on Feb. 13. Or how he just forgot the day. Better hit the jewelry store. Preferably one where he can spend $199 on a necklace that's worth $20.

Women play their part in this drama, too. We get sucked into a vortex of unreasonable expectation. Suddenly, it's not about the guy who brought us soup and girlie movies when we had the flu, or painted our toes when we were big-as-a-house pregnant.

It's all about the flower trucks stopping out front, delivering overblown arrangements to the pop-tart receptionist three floors up. Someone sure loves her and you can bet she never cleaned up dog barf at 3 a.m. because Mr. Bigshot had an important meeting the next day.

We spend the whole day getting nervously overexcited, so we can't help but be let down by a hastily purchased gift.

"How much does he adore me? A quarter-carat total weight? That's not much. I think the level of my disappointment is going to be directly proportionate to when he'll be seeing me naked again."

I suspect this is why not that many babies are born in October. It's the you-cheesed-me-on-a-diamond backlash.

It's clear to me that this is a mob mentality. Mass hysteria foisted upon us by merchandisers who didn't make bank over the holiday shopping season. And I don't want to deal with the guilt from getting an overpriced gift we couldn't afford in the first place.

"Kids, we're going to be eating macaroni for the next month but doesn't mommy look pretty in her diamond chip heart pendant? It came with chocolates... we can share those for dessert!"

I cashed in my ticket to this guilt trip about a decade ago. In 1992 we were a sea-duty family, financially strapped and stretched thin over three boys, all under the age of seven.

I stood there on Valentine's Day, holding a yowling baby in one hand and a cranky toddler in the other, feeling jealous self-pity as I watched each of my neighbors accept spiky arrangements of roses.

That feeling, gave way to one of frustrated disappointment - but not in my husband, in myself. What kind of a person forces someone they love to jump through these superficial hoops?

Buying cards, candy or jewelry because a greedy salesperson insists we should isn't love; it's shame, and I didn't want any part of it.

My husband is more than welcome to bring home the romance 364 days a year if he chooses, but Valentine's Day is off the table.

We've exchanged trees on Arbor Day, had candlelight dinners on Millard Fillmore's birthday and started building a deck on Memorial Day.

This President's Day, he's going to fix the water pressure in my shower. Now that's love.


6 Smooth Ways To Decline A Date
By: Phillip Jones © 2005 All Rights Reserved

Following another lead from one of my Southern Humorists buds, I see that MSN, the experts in relationships, recently put out a piece called "6 smooth ways to decline a date". The author suggests that if you're asked out on a date by someone you wouldn't wish Mary Kay Letourneau on, you shouldn't be "curt or mean". Rather, you should make it clear that you would only date this person if the event they took you to was your funeral, and that you should do so by lying convincingly. The six suggestions that follow are more pathetic than a poodle being swallowed backwards by a boa constrictor with a broken jaw.

If you're going to lie, then lie boldly. Be creative. Use tons and tons and tons of hyperbole. By the way, authors should rarely use hyperbole. Not one author in ten hundred million bazillion gagillion does it right. With this in mind, and little else in mind due to storage capacity limits, I came up with my own collection of "6 smooth ways to decline a date". And let's be realistic about this. It mostly women who have to fend off guys that make them shudder hard enough that if they actually climbed off their barstools to date these men they would immediately collapse into a quivering pile of jellied human flesh. Therefore, these suggestions were developed for the fairer, more put upon sex.

Better think of an excuse quick, because he just spotted you.

The "Al Qaeda" excuse

"Oh my gosh! I am sooo sorry! If we had met just two days ago, I'd be giving you such a different answer! Yesterday, I converted to Islam and was immediately recruited into Al Qaeda. I leave tomorrow for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. Listen though, I'll be back in a few weeks. Give me your number, and I'll call you. Say, you wouldn't happen to work in the airline industry or in a large financial institution, would you? If you did, that would simply be wonderful. My Al Qaeda handler has suggested I make contacts in those two areas."

This excuse should be delivered with breathless excitement and the fervor of a new convert. Be aware that you'll need to leave the area where you use this excuse and avoid it for the next few months lest you find yourself going out on a date with John Ashcroft.

The "Serial Killer" excuse

"I'm sorry. It just isn't possible for me to take you home. I'm running out of space in my backyard. I tried jack hammering the concrete in my basement, but it would have been easier to freeze the guy's body and feed him through a tree mulcher. I just can't afford to rent the equipment... unless you have a lot of cash on you? No? Well, there you go. Listen though, my filthy neighbor just bought a nosy dog, and it's been digging around my yard. Give me your number, and if I have to move away suddenly, I may call you. If I get a lot of coverage on Fox News, it may be awhile. Is that okay? I'm really not into head games, believe me. I'd like to get a place in the county so that I don't have to turn down sweet guys like you."

This excuse should be delivered with vexation mixed with frustration of strange, unfulfilled needs. Don't worry if he calls the police; it will be bonus entertainment while the police hassle this guy after digging up your backyard. Just remember to deny everything.

The "Stalker" excuse

"Oh, I'd love to go out with you! But, like, there's a problem. The judge who, like, issued the last restraining order against me said he'd seen me in his court, like, once too often. He said I posed, like, an imminent threat to all males, and so he handed down, like, a universal restraining order that says I can't get within 500 feet of any human male. I, like, followed the judge around for a couple of years hoping he'd change his mind, but he, like, didn't seem to like phone calls in the middle of the night, you know, or finding his family's pets boiling in their kitchen. Like I'm so thankful he never found it out it was me, because I think he would have, like, sent me to jail, you know? Listen though, if you don't, like, care about restraining orders and all, I'll, like, go out with you. Like give me your number, or better yet, give me the make and license number of your car, your home address, and, like, any security codes you use for both. Like it'll save us soooo much time."

Just act slightly manic and crazy when you deliver this excuse. If the guy doesn't, like, start backing away after the thing about the pets, I'll owe you $5.

The "Trekkie" excuse

"Gee! I've never been asked out before... well, except for that guy dressed up as Capt. Kirk at last year's convention, but he was sooo fat, I'm not kidding you because Vulcans never lie and I'm always in my T'Pring Vulcan character, lots fatter than William Shatner, and I just couldn't see us together though I'm sure we had lots in common. He had, and I'm not kidding you because I'm deep into the plak tow of T'Pring right now and she would never lie, the MOST RADICAL Kira Nerys action figure collection! I swear, I almost went out with him because he's got an original 1st issue Major Kira Nerys 1993 Playmates' number 6206 of the 6200 series! STILL IN THE BOX! I almost went for it just to get to hold it! If he had had an Ensign Wesley Crusher from the 6070 series still in the box with near mint card, I would have married him! Please tell me you have one!? No... oh, well, you are cute and not so fat... I guess I'll go out with you. Oh, listen, I just remembered! This is sooo perfect! This is so like that time Leonard Nimoy made the Vulcan sign to me and said "Live long and prosper" while I was paying him for his autograph! My mom, dad, and me... did I mention I still live at home... it just sooo expensive buying $4,000 worth of Trek stuff every month!... we're starting our third viewing of the complete second season of V-Trek again tonight (hee hee, we call Star Trek: Voyager "V-Trek")! You can come, and even though you missed the first two times we watched season 2, which is kind of bad because you probably won't be able to recite the dialog with us, it will still be near perfect for you to see it starting from episode # 120, "The 37's"! Do you have a Voyager costume from season 2? No... oh, well, you might be able to wear my dad's season 1 Tuvok costume... there are some slight differences between season 1 and season 2 costumes, and I WOULD HOPE you know what they are if you're going to date me!"

Gush when you deliver this excuse. Drooling a little might help too.

The "Trekkie" excuse might not work on guys like this. Be prepared to improvise.

The "Barfing" excuse

"Go out with you? I'd love too! Have you ever heard of anyone with a vomit fetish? No? Well, it helps to have a lot of plastic in your wardrobe. If you don't have much, it's cool because you're about the same size as the last guy I dated. He broke up with me after he went into the hospital with severe anemia. Don't worry! I'm not one of those sickos... you know, the ones that don't stop after they see blood? There's this Chinese buffet down the street, and they get the most horrendous health code violations! If you want, we can have dinner there and see a double feature. After that, the REAL fun will start."

Make giggling, gagging sounds while you deliver this excuse.

The "Polyamorous" excuse

"I am so, so, so sorry... if I hadn't just married my 35th and 36th husbands, I'd go out with you, but I am sooo tired... you just wouldn't believe it. I'm polyamorous, and Ted, Frank, and I JUST got married this last weekend in the MOST beautiful Goddess ceremony in this unbelievable cornfield! I wore my favorite wedding gown, even though it needs a little mending, and my new husbands wore these adorable plaid skirts. All my husbands were there, and it was so beautiful. Rev. Sally said it was one of my best weddings she'd ever performed. Or am I getting confused with the ceremony for husbands 21, 22, and 23? Oh well, it doesn't matter... they were all beautiful. Listen, let me get you number, because I'm thinking about throwing out my hideous little jerk of a husband # 6. He's been making some noise about wanting to marry another woman, and I just don't think I could stand for any of my husbands to that. You're not the jealous type, are you? And do you like Robert Heinlein? I couldn't marry a man who didn't think Robert Heinlein took over heaven when he died..."

Act very tired when you deliver this excuse. The guy while either believe you and think you're insane, or he'll just think you're insane.

Print this picture of an actual poly wedding and keep it handy. It shows "you" marrying two strapping bull specimens of men.

If you use any of these excuses, just remember that I'm not responsible for the consequences.

Phil Jones is a humor writer on the Web. You can find him at"


Nicky's Love Story
By: Nicky © 2001-2005 All Rights Reserved

Once upon a time, there was Madison. She is in my class and she is pretty. She has blonde hair, green and black eyes and she is half and five years old. I love her.

She tells the teacher, "Nicky said something!"

One time she stepped on my foot (that had a shoe on it) and she said, "I'm sorry." That's why I love her.

She doesn't sit by me in class, but I swing next to her on the red swing. Whenever she swings, I always swing next to her.

I'm in love with Madison. She has a pretty smile.

I want to give her a special Valentine. It will be a big red one that says, "I am in love with Madison!"

We will get married and live with Mommy and Daddy. When I grow up I will be the Purple Ninja Turtle. Madison said that she wants to be the Blue Ninja Turtle when she grows up. We will beat people up - fighting for good guys, not bad guys.

The End.

Nicky is four years old, can ride his bike without training wheels, and enjoys Vienna Sausages with ketchup. He lives with his mommy, daddy, sister, and brothers in the Deep South.

**Mom's ... uh ... Editor's note: Nicky is now eight years old and while he still likes Vienna Sausages with ketchup, he thinks ALL girls (yes, even Madison), are yucky.


It's Love 'til The Dollar Store's Closed
By: Tisha Sharp © 2005 All Rights Reserved

Bobby Joe had a plan. First, pick up his paycheck, drop a payment for his Polaris ATV, and then swing by the Dollar Store for Charlene's Valentine's Day card. Maybe a present, too, but he'd have to choose better than last year. Charlene didn't cotton to his romantic idea of that "Make your own porn" kit he ordered through the mail. He wasted a good three bucks on the card, too, and it had all that lovey dovey horse crap he thought she wanted. Sure it had an old ugly guy on the front but Charlene obviously didn't like it. The next morning he found the card in her garbage can.

This year, he was bound to do better. Her best friend Sheryl said whatever he did, was to make sure he got her the gold necklace with the ruby heart . . . or was it silver necklace with the gold heart? Hell, he'd buy her two iff'n the Dollar Store was runnin' a special.

At the Dollar Store, Bobby walked up to the card display, and stepped between Pedro, a guy from work, and Nate, a four wheeling buddy.

"You waitin' pretty dang late, Bobby," Nate grinned.

love in the dollar store

"Don't matter," Bobby snapped back.

Pedro snatched the last pink card from the empty card case.

"Dammit, Pedro, I need that card!"

"No habla ingles, señor Bobby," Pedro said as he strutted off to the cashier, picking up silk roses and a box of chocolate covered cherries along the way.

"Dammit dammit dammit!" Bobby stomped his foot. Taking a deep breath he asked Nate, "You taking Darcy anywhere for dinner?"

"We're getting Red Lobster to go." Nate winked, "Got plans for tonight and don't need an audience."

Bobby fiddled with the large red velvet card with "To my darling wife" swirled in gold calligraphy.

Nate looked over at the card in Bobby's hand, "You gonna pop the question, Bobby?"

"Hell no."

The intercom blared, "We will be closing the store in five minutes. Thank you for shopping with the Dollar Store."

"See ya next weekend," Nate shuffled off to the cashier with his 12-pack and bag of pork rinds.

Bobby stared at the scant card display and the lone "To my darling wife" card stared back at him.

"We're closing, sir," the dwarfish cashier called from her perch.

"Aw, the hell with it," Bobby tore the velvet card from its slot.

"Oh, your wife will love this card," the cashier gushed as she rang up his merchandise.

"Y'all got any gold rings?"

And that's how Bobby Joe Mackey finally married Charlene.

: Nicky is now eight years old and while he still likes Vienna Sausages with ketchup, he thinks ALL girls (yes, even Madison), are yucky.



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