Monday, March 19, 2007
 

Wilbur Takes the Challenge


Hey, all, it's Carla. Radling. Yes, the realtor. I know Ive been quiet for some time. Figured it's time I checked in.

First, I do not have a new dog. Jake can keep his Duke, and Angie can keep her ... what the heck's the name of that pooch, Cosmos or something? Why in the world would you name a dog Cosmos? And Bev can keep her yakky bird, Talkatoo. I live without pets, nicely and quietly. When I get home to my beloved little house, everything's just the way I left it.

So why had I been quiet? I've been busy with real estate. The market's gone through such changes. A couple of years ago houses in this area just skyrocketed. Now they've leveled off. Apparently northern Idaho is being "discovered"--especially by folks in California who want a second home, rental property or a place in which to retire. I swear you drive down to Coeur d'Alene, you'll find more Californians than in California. Might as well name the state Caldiho. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. New people means house sales.

Yesterday I was at Java Joint in the morning as usual. And, of course, there sat Jake and Wilbur at the counter. Bev and Angie at their table. And S-Man, still typing away on his manuscript. Anyway, Wilbur and I got into it. Actually he got into it. Wilbur growls and carries on; I just "discuss." So he starts in on this harangue about how the towns getting too big, and this new hotel might go in, yada, yada. I said, "Wilbur, what's the big deal? We're not talking about that much growth. And a few extra tourists will mean more people you can jabber at in here every morning."

He sniffed. "All the more people gonna want to sit on my stool."

"Sit on your stool? Are you kidding me? All this discussion for the town, and all you can think of is your stool at this counter?"

"Well, I got a right. I been here longer 'n' anybody."

"So what would happen if you sat somewhere else? You think the world would cave in?"

"Prob'ly."

"You're such a tough guy, why don't you find out? Go sit over there with Bev and Angie."

Wilbur reared back. "You outta your mind? Bev and me at the same table? Might as well put a cat and dog in a cage."

"Fine, then, go sit at one of the empty tables."

"Nope." He sucked on his coffee.

"Come on, Wilbur. For two minutes. You go around showing everybody your heart surgery scar, what a tough guy you are--you can handle this. One minute." I pointed to am empty table. "In that chair."

"Cain't do it."

"Chicken."

"I ain't no chicken, you pipsqueak! I done fought in a war with bullets whizzin' round my head. How about you?"

"Then you can handle this, Wilbur." I folded my arms.

Well, by this time everybody in Java Joint was listening. S-Man had even stopped typing. Wilbur looked around at everybody, his jaw working. Mumbling under his breath. Finally he huffed to his feet. "Fine then. After this you owe me some coffee. And a pastry. For the next week."

"Just do it, Wilbur."

And so he did. Shuffled over and plunked himself down at that table, fire in his eyes. Sat back. Tried to settle in. A pained expression crossed his face. He shifted. Shifted again. Laced his fingers and thumped his thumbs together. "How much time, Carla?"

I checked my watch. "Twenty seconds. You got forty to go."

He pulled in a long breath. Gazed around. "World don't look right from here."

"It's a new perspective, Wilbur. Once in awhile you need that in life."

"I like my old perspective just fine, thank you very much." He twiddled his thumbs. "How much time?"

"Twenty more seconds."

Somehow they passed. Somehow ol; Wilbur Hucks managed. At the end of the minute he pushd to his feet. Everyone broke out in applause. He pulled his head back, the corners of his mouth down and glared at us all. Even Bailey. "What’s the big deal, all's I did was sit in a chair. You want to see a real ordeal, look at this."

And he pulled up his shirt. Not until he made sure everybody saw that scar above his hairy belly did he pull it back down. Bev near had a fit. Then Wilbur headed back to his stool, head high.

Yeah, that Wilbur. He's a tough old bird, all right.


Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Comments:
Old habits die hard.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 3:06 PM
 
Funny, I was thinking of another saying--you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 3:06 PM
 
Carla, I think you goaded Wilbur.

You did a good job, too.
Posted by Anonymous e. smythe : 3:08 PM
 
Wilbur, don't let those women get you down. It's your stool--claim it!
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 10:59 AM
 
Bet that was the longest minute of Wilbur's life.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 10:59 AM
 
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