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“You got an invitation down at the bar the other day…”

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“Wayne.”

“Gail. How're you now?”

“Oh, not so bad. Though I think we're gonna need a seaworthy vessel now that I've laid eyes on you. Invitation to come.” Gail thrust her hips, ran her hands down her body. “Aboard. All hands on deck. The Gail force winds are starting to. Blow.”

“‘Kay…” Wayne looked down the bar. “Darry, how's the beer.”

“There's plenty of room in my life raft, sailor. Oh no, I think we've. Sprung. A. Leak.”

“Oh, I'd take a beer.” Darry said, and Wayne nodded. “Dan?”

“I'd takes a beers.”

“But I'm sure you won't have a problem plugging up this hole.”

“Katy?”

“I want you to throw me more than a life preserver, Wayne.”

“I'd have a beer.”

“Better bring one some water wings for yourself too, unless you've got. Gills, under that turtleneck.”

“Round of beers, please, Gailer.”

Gail did her best to maintain eye contact with Wayne, who was in turn doing his best not to look at her, as she seductively popped the caps off the Puppers’ and ran her tongue down the bottle opener as she slid the beers down the bar.

“Thanks Gails.”

The four friends sipped their Puppers as Gail went back to wiping down the already clean bar with long, sensuous strokes, until the bell over the door chimed

“Look at that.” Gail said, turning to stare at the new arrival. “I'm already drowning and then this tall drink of water walks in. Ohhhh, now I can't breathe. I'm going to need someone to give me mouth to... mouth.”

“Jim Dicksen.” Wayne greeted. “How're you now?

“Good, and you?”

“Oh, not so bad.” Wayne leaned back on his stool. “You thinkin’ 'bout a beer?”

“Not today Wayne, though I thank you for your hospitality. I'm off to the stockyards for the bull sale, and I never drink before an auction. Not since I witnessed the disaster of two thousand and nine where Dale Dolyniuk got one, can I get a two, two can I get a three, three, three for you and me, four, do I hear a five, five sheets to the wind and accidentally auctioned off his own pole barn.”

“Five sheets to the wind?” Daryl asked “I always thought it was three.”

“Well then you've never seen Dolly when he's been in the Bru.” Katy said

“He hardly even needs to be in the Bru. Barely even needs to dip his toes in.” Wayne shook his head. “Swimming in the deep end? Forget about it. He'd be naked in the street before he even got knee deep.”

“Dip your toes in? Knee deep? I’ll tell you Wayne, you're really slow pitching them in to me today.” Gail gyrated “Don’t take it easy on me, big boy, I can handle your hard balls.”

“There's a guy that needs to figure it out if there's even been one.”

“Dale Dolyniuks nevers could handles his dog hairs.”

“That's for sure.”

“Regardless,” Jim said “I am a professional and the possible consequences could be too, two, can I get a three, no, here we are at two, two, too terrible for me to even think about.”

Jim shook his head, solemn, and Wayne nodded. The thought that someone could accidentally auction off their own pole barn, along with the tractor and the hay rake and the baler, was the stuff of nightmares.

“Well if you aren't here to drink” Gail said “then maybe I can find something else for you to do with that mouth.”

“Thank you for the reminder Gail, after all, that's why I'm here.” Jim said

Darry nearly choked on a mouthful of Puppers, and Dan clapped him on the back as Katy said

“Wait, what?”

“To talk.” Jim turned back to the group and Wayne sat up straight on his stool, turned ninety degrees so that he could look at Jim square on.

“Jim.”

“I would like to invite you all to the Auctioneer Association's Annual Spaghetti Supper to honor the top five, can I get a ten, ten, twenty, thirty, do I hear a thirty, that's right thirty, the Top Thirty Under Thirty Auctioneers in the province. Because this year” Jim seemed to swell with pride “I am on that list.”

“Congratulations, Jim.”

Jim nodded “So can I expect you to be in attendance? We are supposed to RSVP how many guests we expect to have attend, ten, that's a ten, do I hear eleven, twelve, twelve, thirteen, can I get a - ”

“That's a Texas sized 10-4.” Wayne said. “Wouldn't miss it for the world.”

“Gots to supports your goods buddies.”

“Oooo, do you think there'll be any girls there?” Darry asked

“Well it is the Auctioneer Association's Annual Spaghetti Supper. So I'd say definitely.” Katy said “But they definitely aren't going to be there for you Daryl.”

“Aww.”

Wayne stood up. Gave Jim a firm handshake. Sat back down.

“I'll tell you what's not under thirty.” Gail said, hips moving, her eyes locked on Jim's ass as he left the bar. “The age of my last geri-care take down. He was more like thirty, plus thirty, plus thirty…”

“...Kay.”

“...plus thirty.”

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"You don't find it particularly funny when folks joke that all hicks are stupid, but sometimes you do wish that you couldn't do math."