“No one said they have a problem with wombats, Carl.” I turned to my girlfriend Maggie. “Did you say you had a problem with wombats?”
“I didn’t say I had a problem with wombats,” she said.
“See Carl, Maggie says she didn’t say she has a problem with wombats. No one has a problem with wombats.”
Carl looked at us suspiciously. “Okay,” he said finally.
I waited before adding, “Everyone just has a problem with this wombat.”
“She eats your money, for one.”
“She eats paper!”
“Money is paper, Carl.”
“You have a problem with everyone I date!” he cried, munching on his thumb the way my father used to when The Patriots were losing.
“See! You have horrible taste in women. She doesn’t even pay attention to you when you’re together. The last time we all hung out she just ignored you and went on and on about her wallaby friend getting published in the Times, I mean who cares? Your fuckin’ Mom has cancer.”
Maggie looked up at Carl. “Your mom has cancer?”
“Test. Test. She had a cancer test, man. Not the same thing.”
“Whatever. She doesn’t care about you.”
“That’s not the point!”
I frowned. “It is though.” We were walking through the park and a woman cut across our path pushing a baby carriage. “My point is, Carl, you can do so much better.”
Maggie poked my arm. She said, “There was no baby in that carriage.”
“And dude, like—I don’t want to mention it, but you can’t afford it.”
Carl glared at me. “Sure man, I know.”
“Guys? I think there were knives in that carriage.”
We passed a bench and I asked if they wanted to sit down. They did and Maggie kept looking back the way we had come.
Carl said, “You know, I don’t know what to do.”
“You need to break up with her. Look at what happened to David!”
Carl nodded. “Yeah, she sucked.”
“Guys,” Maggie said, “I think something is going on, we should go. Guys, guys, I think we should call someone about that woman.”
“She did suck!” I said, slapping Carl on the back. “You don’t want to end up like David. I mean, can he even walk anymore?”
Somewhere in the park, someone screamed, and a few startled pigeons flew overhead. One of them managed to shit right there on Carl’s knee.
“Ah, hell!” Carl cried. “I can’t catch a break!”
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