It was the cold outside that bound us together better inside the Mule Barn truck stop. The coffee warmed our innards and the laughter at the philosophy counter heated our souls to very comfortable.
It was Doc who noticed it first. He’s trained to be observant, of course.
“Dudley, me lad,” said Doc, “are you on a diet?”
Dud, whose body would fall into the “just right” category, shook his head.
“Not me, Doc. Why do you ask?”
“Every day, for years, you put sugar in your coffee. You didn’t this morning.”
Dud straightened himself up grandly and turned to his rapt audience.
“I discovered something about myself, Doc. Yes, in looking over my life, I’ve come to a conclusion.
“It all began right after Anita and I were married,” Dud said. “One morning she came up and whispered to me that my life would be greatly enriched if I were to remove that dead tree in the back yard.
“Then she made me my favorite breakfast one morning, French toast with sourdough bread, and she sat in my lap and said if that sagging post on the porch were to be replaced, it just might cause extreme happiness to burst forth upon our stage.”
“Is there a point to this?” Steve asked.
Dud sipped his coffee and grinned.
“So last month, she came up behind me and put her arms around my neck and started feminine-wiling me and asked if I’d get my pickup painted so she wouldn’t be embarrassed when she rode with me.”
“Dud,” said Doc, “I can see your truck isn’t painted, and I drove by the other day and your porch post still leans, and I thought I noticed that dead tree still out in your back yard.”
“You’re right, Doc. That was my big discovery and why I no longer put sugar in my coffee.”
The others stared at Dud.
Dud just grinned. “I found out I’m sucrose intolerant.”
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