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Words of the Week
Mom & Pop Prop. Mgt.

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Bud Grossmann’s
Words of the Week
for the Week of
July 16, 2017
Previously unpublished fiction.
© 2017 by Bud Grossmann.
All Rights Reserved.

Beetle (2017)
  Beetle (2017)
© 2017 by Bud Grossmann

B, B, B, U, Z

A well-liked man with a large family died here in Fjord, Wisconsin, on a Thursday in July, and the funeral visitation was at Meadows Funeral Home the following Tuesday, beginning at 4 p.m. David Fischer and his wife Celeste Teale, figuring that the line of friends and relatives would be long, tried to get there as close to four o’clock as possible but arrived a few minutes after. The parking lot was nearly full. The afternoon was hot, breezy, and bright.

When Fischer thinks to do it, he goes through a basic checklist before he leaves his home to go out in public, and the checklist is B, B, B, U, Z, C, C, F, W. For a drive two blocks to the funeral parlor the list is only B, B, B, U, Z, which represents boogers, belt loops, billfold, used the bathroom, zipper. On this particular occasion he forgot to recite the checklist in the mud room of his home, but when he helped Celeste step out of their car at the back of the funeral parlor parking lot, with no one close by, Fischer faced his wife and tilted his head for her inspection and began saying, in a measured cadence, “B. B. B....,” but just at that very moment, a Japanese beetle happened to fly through Celeste’s mostly dark bangs and alight just above her left eyebrow, and what she thought she heard her husband saying, of course, was “Bee! Bee! Bee!”

Celeste was holding a sympathy card in her right hand, but she immediately tried with her left hand to brush the bee away. Her fingers got entangled in her blowing hair, rendering that one swift swipe ineffective, and Dave grabbed her by both her wrists and ordered her, not particularly calmly, “Stay still! Stay still! Please stay still!” while he searched his mind for the words “Japanese beetle.” He eventually found those words and managed to persuade his wife to relax long enough for him to pluck the beetle from her brow and toss it into the wind.

Dave and Celeste shared a chuckle (Dave’s chuckle is what they shared) before putting on appropriately solemn faces and going forward with their mission without further confirming that they had dotted all their i’s or crossed all their t’s.

Click for a list of other Words of the Week

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This page was updated Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 3:06AM CDT.

© 2017 by Bud Grossmann