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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

The Girls' Get-together

‘It’s great to have these girls’ get-togethers, don’t you think?’ said Janice as she topped-up the wine glasses of the other four wives.

‘It certainly is,’ responded Susan. ‘It gives us a chance to talk about what we’re really thinking about - the sorts of things that we can’t discuss with our husbands.’

‘Didn’t I see you in Winchester on Friday?’ said Alison to Julie, changing the subject.

‘Yes, I was looking at some of those small terraced houses in Colebrook Street. If my husband, Alex, died, I think I’d move there. It would be so convenient for the shops and the theatres. What were you doing in Winchester?’

‘Just shopping,’ replied Alison. ‘I bought a very nice dark red dress. I was thinking that, if George died, it would be ideal for me, as his widow, to wear at his funeral.’

‘I often think about that when I buy clothes,’ commented Celia. ‘Of course a lot would depend on how Robert, my husband, passed on. Dark red would be perfect if he died peacefully in his sleep, but suppose he’d been run over by a combine harvester and torn limb from limb, or had been hacked apart by a deranged, machete wielding psychopath. If either happened, I think I might go for a darker shade of green, as the red would be a bit reminiscent of the blood and gore.’

‘I agree totally,’ said Janice. ‘That was the very reason I didn’t want to have a red car. It would have seemed so unsuitable if my other half, Henry, had been mashed to a pulp in an horrific motorway pile-up - particularly if he’d survived in agony until he had been cut from the wreckage. Mind you, I’ve had second thoughts about having now chosen a yellow one.’

‘Why was that?’ questioned Janice.

‘Well, if he was dying of terminal liver cancer, he might turn yellow. If that happened, I think I’d have to sell the car, and then I’d loose a fortune as it’s less than two years old.’

‘It’s definitely wise to plan ahead for these things,’ ventured Susan. ‘I liked the location of our house because you have to walk past the cemetery on the way to town. I thought that when my hubby, Chris, passed away, visiting his grave wouldn’t take too much time out of the day.

‘All five of our husbands will be going on the Village Men’s Group outing on Saturday,’ Julie reminded them. ‘I’d been thinking we should make a few provisional contingency plans in case the minibus is struck by lightning and then plummets from a motorway bridge into the path of a high speed train pulling tanks of aviation fuel.’

‘What plans were you thinking of?’ enquired Alison.

‘Well, it occurred to me that the funerals would probably happen about this time next week, so we would have to postpone our weekly get-together.’

‘Perhaps if we provisionally put the funerals in our diaries for Thursday and change our get-together to Wednesday?’ suggested Susan.

‘I’ve got a better idea,’ proposed Celia. ‘Why don’t we postpone our get-together until Friday. We wouldn’t have to worry about what time we got back then, as the men wouldn’t be there?

‘Good plan,’ they all agreed.