Grin and Bear the Bear, Jer.
By ice rivers
In the meantime, Brad had decided to keep the game going by stealing once again from Laura.
I wasn't paying much attention. I was focused on my refountained youth and courage. The reverie was rudely interrupted when Laura, the oft-wronged Laura, burst into my space.
"I'll take the bear,Jer."
"Don't take the bear, Laura, I pleaded as my courage began to dissolve.
"Hey, you're retired and you make more money than anybody here so say goodbye to the bear, Jer"
Laura and the bear trundled back to the other side of the room.
All of a sudden, it was my turn to choose again. If I took the last elephant, the game would be over. On the way to the table, I forgave Laura. She had a bambino on the way plus she had been stolen from at least four times and was still being tortured by Ava and the teddy bear,
Mr. Baseball was still saddled with my piece of junk.
I decided to keep the game going, maybe I'd get another shot at the bear.
Once again I heard the cacophony of pleas.
One plea stood out.
"Jerry, take this whatever it is and assign your students to write a composition to figure out what the hell it is."
I stole the whatever it is/was from a weird guy named Chuck, a science teacher welll known for incomplete passes at female colleagues.
The stolen object was a glass "sculpture" about a foot long and ten inches high. The "sculpture" looked vaguely like some sort of drug delivery system or a synthesis of Sideshow Bob and a snake crawling out of a saxophone resting on lava. Trying to be good natured and retain composure. I said that I would indeed use this as a composition subject. I brought the questionable "sculpture" back to my seat where Lynn looked too flabbergasted to speak.
Chuck followed me over to my table and stole from Mr. Baseball my cardboard classifiction system.
I heard Chris, the principal mutter under his breath...."what's Chuck gonna do with THAT? Keep record of his strike outs?"
Mr. Baseball jumped to his feet and slauntered over to Laura.
"I'll take the fiber optic bear."
Baseball came back to our table, and set the fiber optic bear next to Beatrice within her reach but far beyond her grasp.
Laura took the attache case from Ken.
Ken ended the game by choosing the last elephant which turned out to be a candy jar full of Hershey kisses.
For a moment, I thought that Baseball had redeemed the bear in order to gift it to Lynn.
"Hey Baseball, I'll give you this beautiful glass sculpture for the bear."
"Baseball turned to me with shit eating grin and said: "why should I take that ugly thing back, I've been trying to get rid of that piece of shit for the last five years."
Yes, Mr. Baseball had my bear and I had his bizarre piece of junk.
I offered Baseball fifty bucks for the bear which was probably worth twenty. He just laughed and said "no" which is a good thing because I didn't have the money on me anyways and Lynn, much as she loved the bear would have been pissed off if she ever found out about such a waste of money.
The party was over.
Baseball and Rosie left the building.
A few minutes later Lynn and I were silently driving home in frigid, black ice weather that could be described as an Arctic assault appropriate only for polar bears.