Tea Bags for Mary


No politics or defense policy here. Mary Shafer, a long time and valued member of the news groups, was looking at a little surgery. This was in her honor.

From August 2001.



Well, I was just sitting on the porch this afternoon, drinking some tea, when Andrew and Leroy dropped by.

I mean that literally, Leroy reached back for a beer as they were coming in front of my house and dropped the right side wheels in the ditch. He picked up a few more dents in the fender, but he did save the beer.

They climbed out and looked at the truck, but didn't seem too concerned. After all, when you have the only hot pink pickup in the county, a little more mud on the side is not such a bad thing.

They came across the road and I knew they were goin' to ask for help, but they tried to be polite and make conversation first. They asked how all my computer buddies were, and I told 'em everybody was fine except Mary was gonna be under the weather a bit.

Leroy said "Maybe we can help you cheer her up!"

"Yeah", said Andrew, "We know what chicks like!"

Now I'm not dumb enough to think I understand women, but I was pretty certain the two guys standing in front of me were not the answer to a maiden's prayer.

Although Leroy at least was married for a while. But he came home after a hunting trip one day and found everything in the trailer gone except for his collection of wrestlin' posters and a half empty bag of pork rinds. There was a note taped on the bedroom door that said "If you try to find me, my brothers will kill you." That seemed to Leroy to be a pretty clear approximation of "Irreconcilable Differences" so he kind of let the whole thing drop.

Andrew said, "You can send her a get well message. We'll help you write it."

"How's this?", said Leroy.
"Roses are red, violets are blued.
We think you're a babe, we'd like to see you nude."

I tried to explain that we didn't really think of Mary that way, that she contributed technical information and told stories from her engineering career.

"OK", said Andrew,
"Roses are red, violets are bloomin'.
You're so smart, we can't believe you're a woomin!"

I didn't care too much for that one either, and I told them that Mary's gender was not really an issue in the group, she was just considered a valuable contributor.

"In that case...", said Leroy.
"Roses are red, violets are a prize.
You're not really a woman, just one of the guys!"

I knew that cake was not gonna get any ribbons at the fair, and I got up to get my tow chain and bring a halt to the boys' artistic efforts. But they weren't done. They huddled for a minute and sang in unison:

"Roses are red, bananas are yellow.
You're the Cool Whip on our Jell-O!"

If you want romantic poetry from two guys who thought the eleventh grade was graduate school, that's about the best you're gonna get.