“I just can’t smi-ile without you-ooo,” Starsky warbled along with the radio. Hutch was looking at him, the backs of his fingers curved against his mouth, failing to hide a fond smile.
“Barry Manilow, Starsk?”
“Hey, Barry’s okay. He sings a good song,” Starsky said, turning towards his favourite hot-dog stand. “Tuneful.”
“Tinkly,” Hutch rejoined.
“Meaningful,” Starsky said.
“Sappy.” Hutch didn’t sound that loftily elitist, but Starsky was riled by the aspersions cast on his musical appreciation.
“How come ‘I can’t smile without you’ is more sappy than ‘all I want is black bean soup, and you to make it with me’?” Genuine offense skirted Hutch’s face and Starsky offered amends. “You sing a good song, too, I’m not denying it.”
“Very generous of you.”
“Barry’s not so bad. And it’s a true song. ‘I feel sad when you’re sad, feel glad when you’re glad.’” Starsky didn’t sing like a guy on the radio, but he didn’t make dogs howl, either. “Come on,” he cajoled, poking Hutch with his elbow. “You know you want to.”
“I don’t think so,” Hutch said. But Starsky caught him humming later and grinned victoriously before he whistled some bars, just to see Hutch glare.