General Fiction posted June 7, 2021

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Vivian goes to the Dogs!

by Mary Vigasin

Eddie loved being Vivian's chauffeur. The car was kept polished to a high shine, the inside, spic and span, and her cooler in the back seat was kept filled with Genesee Beer. He always made sure he was clean and smartly dressed. Today, he wore his new Yankees baseball cap, a shirt with a picture of a bulldog wearing a chef's hat and reading: "Barker's Bites, the best pizza in the world!" Since it was the only pizza sold in the small town, the residents of Barker had no reason to challenge this claim.

The door to the house opened, and Vivian stepped out wearing a bright red pantsuit with a red hat covering her thinning black Clairol-colored hair. She walked leaning on what she called her "walking stick." It was a cane with an eagle-shaped brass handle. She walked slowly looking in both directions hoping that her neighbors would be watching.
As she entered the car, the faux ostrich feather on her hat hit the car roof and got knocked over, and it now dangled on the side of the hat.

"I want to go to the dogs!" Vivian declared. "My Dan and I used to go to the dog track every Saturday. I have not been since he passed away."

"Ok, Miss Vivian, the track it is."

Eddie removed his baseball hat and placed it on the seat beside him.
"What in the hell did you do with your hair?"

"I shaved it off for the summer," Eddie replied, brushing his hand over his shaved head.

"What did you use, a hatchet? It looks like a swarm of bloodsuckers attacked your head.
I would keep your hat on. The sun bouncing off your bald head will blind other drivers. It makes your ears too big. You will be able to receive radio waves with those things sticking out from the side of your head."

Enjoying her own words, she gave a deep-throated laugh. Eddie, knowing there was no mean intent in her digs, just smiled, and started the car.

Once they arrived at the dog track, as was her preference, they settled in at a table in the clubhouse.
Vivian was drinking her usual Genesee beer, while Eddie chomped down on a super platter of Buffalo Chicken wings and a bottle of pop.

The dogs for the first race were brought out.

"Here Eddie, take this 2.00 bucks and put on #3, King Tut to win. "

Eddie, looking at the tote board objected. "Didn't you look at the odds on #3? It is a 10 to 1 shot."

"Just do as I say." Vivian, tightening her crooked mouth, looked agitated.
Eddie returned just as he heard over the loudspeaker: "There goes Swifty."
The race was on, and as the dogs rounded the track, #3 King Tut, came up from behind. They both watched as he crossed the finish line first.
Eddie let out a whoop and his loud donkey laugh made those in the Clubhouse turn their attention to him.
"How did you pick that dog to win?" Eddie was puzzled that Vivian was successful in picking out the winner.

"Cause the dog wore gold silks and held his head up high. He reminded me of my Dan with that long nose, and Dan always wore gold chains."

"Here for the next race take my winnings and place it on #6, Fast Lady."

Seeing that the odds for this dog were even higher than the last, Eddie was about to again question Vivian about her choice but thought better of it.

"There goes Swifty!" The race began, and as the dogs crossed the finish line, Vivian's #6 won.

"Ok." Eddie had to ask: "How did you pick the winner?"

"Well," Vivian said, pausing to take a swig of her beer, "The dog was wearing purple silks. This was my sister's favorite color. She was also a floozy who ran around town a lot, so I knew the dog had to be fast."

Eddie just shook his head at the logic.

"Ok, one more race. Take everything and put the bundle on #2. Autumn Red. The dog is just like my sister-in-law, Tangy. She is red-headed, determined, and nuttin gets in her way. That dog has red silks and beady eyes, if Tangy was a dog, she would be Autumn Red."

Eddie came back just before the race started. The odds on this dog were even better, so Eddie, confident that she would win again, resumed wolfing down the remaining chicken.
Again, "There goes Swifty." The race began. This time, however, Vivian's dog #2 came in dead last.
"What happened?"
A surprised Eddie looked puzzled. By this time, he was convinced that Vivian had a sure-fire betting system.

With her face reddened, fist and lips clenched, he knew better than to press the issue.
Without a word, she just got up from the table and walked towards the exit.
Eddie took the cane she left behind, and he followed her out the door.

Once settled in the car, she reached into the cooler for another beer.

"She did it!"

"What? Who did what?"

"Damn, I shoulda known. She would do this to me! She never liked me that is why she came in dead last!"

Eddie just shook his head and started the car.



I introduced Vivian and Eddie in prior stories. The personalities are who they were. Vivian did say that "wada, makes me gag, I only drink beer. She also swallowed her prescriptions with the beer. Eddie was a decent fellow who worked for her as her chauffeur, and I do not remember him ever wearing a dress shirt. His laugh was a head-turner.
Swifty is the mechanical rabbit that the dogs chased.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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