Madison Reynolds and other members of her church youth group are on a summer trip to a sister church in New Mexico. She is riding with the boys rather than the girls, because they are more interesting.
“No,” Clayton said loudly and firmly. “Or we get one of the girls in exchange. And Beverly will insist on coming over to bug me and the others will give in because they know she likes me. And they’re nothing but a bunch of giggling harpies. I can’t handle that. Not happening. No girls.”
Madison cleared her throat loudly. “Excuse me? Who’s a girl?”
“I don’t mean you,” Clayton replied without a hint of apology. “You’re like a guy—with boobs.”
“What?” She tried to hit him from the front seat, but he was too far away. “A guy—with boobs?”
“Enough!” Miss Polly yelled. “Apologize,” she demanded.
“I’m sorry. I acknowledge that you are not, in fact, male with female appendages.”
“Very nice ones,” Richard intoned from beneath his cap.
Madison could reach him from the where she sat. She leaned over the seat back and smacked him with a copy of The Hobbit she was reading.
“Ow! Ow! Unnecessary use of dwarves!” Richard yelled as he tried to climb over Brad.
“That’s it!” Polly signaled a lane change and pulled over to the shoulder.
The second station wagon pulled up behind her and Polly’s husband, Craig, got out. Skirting traffic, he ran to the car.
“Is everything all right?”
“We’re trading. I can’t handle these brutes another second.”
“Polly, it’s not time to change drivers.”
“Now,” she insisted. “I can’t stand what passes for male humor—or bonding—or whatever!” she stalked back to the car, grabbed her purse and coffee mug, before heading to the car with the girls.
He followed her as she rolled down the window. She handed him his coffee, started the car and took off. Craig ran to the other car, hopped in, checked traffic and pulled out after her.
“What did you do to my wife?” he asked the car in general.
“Nothing,” Brad and Clayton chorused.
“So, she just went crazy for no reason?” Craig checked the mirrors a changed lanes as his wife sped through traffic.
“They were just being guys,” Madison said. “I was ready to kill them myself.”
“Breasts were mentioned, Dad,” his son, Daniel, who had been silent before, commented from the rear. He was happily ensconced with the luggage and his own copy of The Hobbit.
“Breasts? Not your mother’s!” Craig was appalled.
“No, sir, Maddie’s,” Daniel explained.
“Someone tell me what happened. Be fast.”
Brad gave a 30 second account of the exchange. At the end, Craig was laughing.
“Understood. Okay, new car rule. No one mentions breasts unless in reference to poultry. Are we clear?”
“Yes, sir,” they said in unison.
“Maddie has a very tasty turkey on her chest,” Richard teased as he settled for another nap.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes