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“Windy, my man,” said Doc, “how are you and the widow getting along?”

“She’s been sorta creepitatin’ up on my blind side, Doc,” Windy said.

“Which side is that, Windy?”

“Very humoristic, Dud. Ha. Ha.”

We had all been watching, as closely as we could, the relationship between Windy Wilson, bachelor, camp cook, cowboy, and teller of tales … and Mamie Dilworth, aging hippie chick, starer at crystals, vegetarian, widow.

We all knew, those of us who lived vicariously alongside the perimeter of their friendship, that if it could’ve been filmed, it’d be on television longer than The Flying Nun.

“Doc,” said Windy, “ol’ Mame the Dame is a awful nice lady, sure ‘nuf. I have considerationed maybe takin’ our friendship to the next level.”

“What level is that?”

“Steve, that would be puttin’ one of my patented power sneaks on ‘er and holdin’ hands.”

“Be careful you don’t rush these things, Windy. You’ve only known each other a couple of years now.”

“I’ll be careful, Doc, don’t you worry none. Why, we almost got to that there hand-holdin’ when we capper-sized that stock tank boat of mine in the crick. Had to pull ‘er out. Weren’t no grateful smooch, howsomever.”

“So why ramp it up now?”

“Valentine’s Day, Steve! Comin’ up, ain’t it. Yessir, afore long there’s gonna be young lovers squarin’ off and smoochin’ and darin’ the world to stop ‘em from cuddlin.’ I really take to Valentine’s Day.”

“Buy her a card yet?”

“Thinkin’ on it, Doc. But I gotta get jest the right kind. Can’t be too moochie-smoochie or she’ll get the wrong idear. What I’m lookin’ for is one that says, ‘Mame, I kinda like you and think you’se smart and kind, And would you like to hold hands and talk about good stuff? And no more a-them tofu tacos, thank you.”

“That’s a tall order, Windy.”

“Valentine’s only comes oncet a year, boys.”

Brought to you by A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right. Look it over at www.lpdpress.com. Avuncular tips from a guy who made lots of mistakes.

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