Must Be in the Fifties

Andrew Leon Hudson

This story must be in the fifties... on the cheekiness scale.

“Ooo-wee, what a beaut!”

“Thanks, Tom.”

Tom leaned on the fence and gave his head a half-shake of admiration. His neighbour's new model had been parked out in front of the house all day. He had been unable to stop directing an envious eye across their property line, but this was the first time he'd seen Bill outside, first chance to strike up a conversation and pull a few details.

“Fresh off the lot, right?”

“The factory floor.” Bill tilted back his tan leadora to let a little sun onto his forehead while protecting the hair from a breezy ruffling. There was a smile of real satisfaction on his face: happy, relaxed, true satisfaction.

Tom wasn't wearing a hat and was glad of the wind. He only had the one, so he felt he had to save it for the working week. Got to make sure he looked in keeping with the boss's expectations regarding sound employees. But ever since that ozone layer went up with Bikini atoll, the summers had been getting hotter. He rubbed a gritty palm over his shiny dome and thought about slapping on a bit more cream up there. Lot of rads coming down today, the count must be in the fifties.

“Top of the range, or am I wrong?” he said.

“I guess you know your way around them, Tom.”

That was nice of Bill to say. Tom was touched. Always playing it cool, that was Bill, never one to brag. Tom knew if it had been him, he'd have been cruising around town showing off to everyone in sight, whether he knew them or not. Or maybe not. Hell, you'd have been hard pressed to get him out of her for a minute all weekend.

Bill had been edging his lawn with a top of the range Whirly-Weeder and, suddenly self-conscious, Tom dropped his manual shears blade-down into the flowerbed so they stood out of sight behind a small shaped privet. Then he felt kind of stupid, and a little ashamed, because Bill knew he didn't make so much cash at the plant, and he knew Bill didn't care.

“Must have set you back some,” he said, in spite of himself.

“Well, Tom, I don't want to go into the pennies of it, you know.”

“But she's worth every one, I'll bet!”

Bill shared a twinkly smile and Tom had to grin back. Bill was a good neighbour. Always happy to lend a guy the use of his ride mower for an afternoon. Always quick to share a beer over the fence when he came home in the evening with a six-pack. An all-round decent guy to have in the house next door. The way Tom figured it, Bill deserved every bit of good fortune that came his way.

“Got to say, I’m tempted myself. It’s been a while for ol’ Brenda and, well, you know.”

“Sure, Tom, sure.”

“Why don’t you join me in a cocktail?”
Bill didn’t, but Tom couldn’t help but glance ol’ Brenda’s way. He’d never be one of those guys chasing a new ride every year, but there comes a time when you just can’t help but notice the flaws creeping in. Just last weekend he’d been under the hood for hours only to get home Monday evening to find she was leaking again. “What’s the interior like?”

“Calf leather.” Bill looked very pleased. “Smooth as skin, because it is, like the man said.”

“Real smooth. Give her a name?”

“Just Dee, I think.”

Dee. All gleaming sheen and glorious curves. Not like his clunky old bucket. “She’s a doll, no question.”


“I’d love to take her for a spin!” he enthused.

Bill raised his eyebrows. “Well... lawn won’t do itself, Tom,” he said. He flipped on the Whirly-Weeder again and strolled away along the flower bed.

Oh no, Tom thought, me and my big mouth. He followed on his side of the white picket. “Hey, ah, Bill,” he said, raising his voice over the whine of the motor, “sorry about that.”

“Don’t mention it, Tom.”

“Crossed a line, Bill. Didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Really, don’t mention it.”

Tom was sweating now. “You won’t say anything to Mr. Harris, will you?”

Bill stopped, flicked the Whirly-Weeder off again and looked Tom in the eye. “I’m not going to do anything like that, Tom. You got my word.”

Tom blushed. “I know that, Bill. I’m sorry I even suggested... Aw, hell, I... I feel like a heel.”

“Forget about it, Tom. I already have.”

Tom plucked at his sticky shirt. “Hey, you want a beer, Bill? I think I’ve a couple of cool ones on ice.” He had one cool beer, anyway, and if Bill wanted it—

“Thanks Tom, but why don’t you join me in a cocktail?” Bill fished in his back pocket and came out with something like one of those old two-ways Tom’s lieutenant used to be so proud of during the war. Only bigger. Bill held down the button and said, “Dee. Make. Two. Mai. Tai.”

They both watched as Dee got up out of the sun lounger and wiggled towards the wet bar in the dining room. Tom could hardly believe her breasts. Double-D’s and unreal. Must be in the fifties.

“She’s quite a mover. And voice activated.”

“Wireless was an option, but worth the extra.”

“They do a payment plan, you think?”

“Maybe. Ask.”

“Yeah, yeah, I will.”

Dee returned with their drinks. She took a while to cross the lawn, but Tom had no problem waiting.

“Thanks. Honey. Why. Don’t. You. Do. Your. Front. For. A. While. Hmm?”


Tom raised his glass. “Here’s to you, eh Bill?”

“Thanks, Tom. And really, don’t worry about before. Neighbours have to look out for each other, you hear? We’re all in it together, pal.”

Tom sipped his Mai Tai. Perfect. Still, he thought, kinda weird, that neighbours comment. More than a shade of pinko, really. What was that firebrand senator, that McCarthy guy, what was he always saying? Tom mused. Maybe he ought to make a phone call.

He tore his gaze away from Dee’s rolling caboose to squint up at the sun, then blew out a breath. What a summer. Damn hot today.

Must be in the fifties.

©Andrew Leon Hudson 2014 All Rights Reserved

Date and time of last update 13:48 Thu 27 Nov 2014
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