Story Go Round 6/28/2008, #2

Who's The Boss?

(post-titled by Terry)

The boss was over for dinner and Ralph was excited, because it was his first time trying his secret ingredient in the beef stew - dirty sweatsocks. Along with carrots, celery, oregano, other spices, it sounded like a hit. It certainly hit the nose like nothing else.

The doorbell rang. Nancy stood on the other side of the door in her native costume, face as impassive as her tranquil mind, until the smell hit her. Then she smiled. When Ralph opened up, she whispered, "I see you're using your 'secret weapon', Ralph. How hard for me we are both applying for the same vacancy on the board."

Ralph glared at her. "You can't gloat if you haven't won yet, dummy," he retorted.

"I'm incapable of gloating," she retorted while pushing past him into the apartment, almost shoving him out into the hall in the process. Ralph was pretty sure she'd slam the door and lock him out if he didn't stop here so he did. She made her way over to the veggie + brie appetizers and asked, "Is there anything hygienic in this food?"

Ralph saw her angle. He refused to play along. "Does your mom still have that rash?" he asked, hoping to distract her. If he didn't get the position on the board, and she didn't either, Monday was going to be hell when she went back to being his boss, but Ralph bet heavy stakes and only risked if there was everything to lose.

"She does," Nancy replied coolly, "we like it. It looks so much like you, that she's kept it out of her fondness for you and your friendly face."

Ralph swore at her temerity, and prayed his big plan would work. Because now The Boss was back from his bathroom break and ready for chow.

The Boss spotted the two of them standing together in the kitchen, and was instantly suspicious.

"Nancy, I put you in charge of Ralph because you two hate each other, and I believe that makes for a good working relationship; now it looks like I've been had."

When neither responded he chuckled gleefully and added: "They're having me on the board - yes, they picked me! Isn't that great? I got the job!"

When neither responded he grew serious and tacked on: "Now, the reason we're all here tonight is so I can award my old position to whichever of you..."

"Sir, shouldn't we eat first?" Ralph asked. The Boss agreed with that and they all sat down to the table.

But when Ralph ladled his special stew into The Boss's bowl, Nancy's eyes widened as she remembered. She reached for her wine glass and knocked it into The Boss's bowl. If he choked on the vile brew of stew and died, they'd have to settle this legally, with rulebooks and lawyers and name-calling. Nancy's long sleeves swept the bowl, her bowl as well as the stew pot onto the floor, then her scarves became entangled in the boss's braces and her big skirts tripped Ralph so he went down.

The paramedics were called in and tried to disentangle them with electric saws and expert machinery, but the impact had been hard enough to fuse pieces of one's clothing to the flesh of their neighbor and vice versa. They would have to get used to a conjoined life.

The Boss said, "Well, it looks like we're all the boss now!" And they arched their heads back in a freeze-action laugh.