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The Fair Game
by Apurba Dutta

What do four friends, all married, leading happy, contented lives, do, when they meet?

Carp about their wives, and mothers-in-law, of course. No prizes for guessing the right answer.

But there are exceptions. Let me tell you an incident with four men – four similar men, who decided to do something noble one warm Sunday afternoon.

They chose to talk about their girlfriends. And gradually the discussion turned to the kind of wives, their sweethearts of the days gone by would have made, if they had become … their wives.

The four friends were …oops – I will refrain from revealing their names, since I fear for their lives if this ever goes into wrong hands. Lets call Klaus Claus, Kirk Cirk, Kevin Cevin and Keanu Ceanu – that would make them very indistinct. It is impossible to hold back Cevin in such situations.

“Sue was great in bed.” His eyes were dreamy.

Ceanu had to interject. “That’s not the only thing we are looking at.”

“Then there is nothing else.” It was back to earth for him.

Cirk wasn’t so sure. Obviously, his interactions with the female species hadn’t ever touched a high note.

“Uh …… I had only one girlfriend before I married. She slapped me when I first approached her, and again, when she left me.”

“What about the ‘in-between’?”

He smirked. “I better not talk about it.”

Ceanu’s problem was different. He didn’t know which one to talk about – apparently he had many.

Cevin came to his help. “How about the best three?”

“The best was Jill. She was a great cook.” It has always been difficult for Ceanu to progress beyond his gastronomic interests.

“Second was Liz. Even though she was plump, she was sweet. She insisted on paying the restaurant bills.” He continued his rating game.

Cevin remembered something, and interrupted.

“You know, guys, I had one more, quite some years back. I think she would have made a perfect wife.”

“Who was she?”

“Claire. She lived next door. We had developed quite a liking for each other.”

“Then what happened.”

“Her mother. She ensured I didn’t look at her daughter with evil eyes.”


“By giving me a black one.”

Everybody chuckled.

Claus had been silent for a while. The others noticed him smiling, and let him be.

Ceanu came back to his third one.

“Julia loved making the drinks.” If you have fodder, you need the brew too.

I wonder if the ladies being subjected to such scrutiny ever talked about these men with such refrain. If they did ......

Cirk prodded Claus. His grin was still in place.

“I had four girlfriends, and all four were great.”

“Fine, we know, but who would have the made the best wife?”

“All of them.”

The three looked at him oddly.

“All together?” Tribal, or something.

“Actually, my wife is visiting her mother.”

He burst out laughing.