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Ro? 

Yes dear. 

Do we have any liniment

Fred and Rosemary Hyde had been married for thirty years; friendly, quiet. They kept to themselves, mostly. 

Fred did all the cooking, he was something of a gourmand. Rosemary made figurines, and statuettes. Decorative little pieces. Cast in epoxy resin

Ro? Did you hear me? 

Yes dear I’m getting it. Shoulder acting up again? 

Darn thing never did set right…I gave that guy what for, though, didn’t I Ro. 

Yes you did dear, she said and kissed his cheek. She opened the tube and crinkled her nose a little. 

Oh my…I hate that smell

I know, Ro, but it works. Show on yet? 

Diagnosis: Murder. They watched it every week.

That Dick Van Dyke was so versatile. 

They sat through the opening montage and an Anacin commercial. The doorbell rang. Fred and Rosemary looked at one another. 

Fred had barely opened the door when a man burst into the room

Where is it, where do ya keep it? 

His hand was in his pocket; it appeared he had a gun

Where is what, who the heck are you? 

Never mind who I am—the safe, where is it? 

Rosemary and Fred exchanged looks

We don’t have a safe. I don’t know what the heck we have that we’d need a safe. 

The man blinked.

Now look...I have a gun. And there’s a safe around here somewhere. I know there is. 

Honestly there isn’t, said Rosemary. These houses all look so much alike, are you sure you have the right house? 

1313 Crestmoor Drive, I know what I’m doing, lady. And you got five seconds to show me where that safe is. 

Fred smiled. 

Sorry, Chief. This is Crestview Drive. Happens a lot, remember a few months ago Ro, that Amway guy? 

Oh my, yes. He was quite a talker

Fred chuckled. 

Wasn’t he though. I thought he’d never— 

Shut up! Just shut up and let me think… 

Rosemary took a small, quiet step forward. 

You don’t look at all well. 

She caught Fred’s eye and nodded toward the kitchen

She’s right, son, you don’t. You don’t look well, when was the last time you had a home-cooked meal

…you understand this is a gun, right? 

Of course it is. 

And that I’m prepared to use it. 

Of course you are. 

That’s just your finger

Isn’t it son. 

The man swallowed hard and looked at his shoes

I have kids, ya know? I was laid off…been seven months now…my wife’s sick and...listen, you seem like nice people… 

Fred and Rosemary looked at one another.

The man was close to tears

They’re gone now but you remind me of my folks. 

Rosemary spoke softly. 

Well you came to the right place after all. Fred, isn’t there still some of that pot roast? You go with Fred into the kitchen and let him make you something. He’s the cook in this house, I can barely boil water

She gave a little laugh

Then we’ll get all this silliness sorted out. 

The man wiped his eyes. He and Fred started toward the kitchen. 

Rosemary took a praying hands statue from the mantle. It was cast in epoxy resin. She brought it down hard. 

Fred looked at his wife of thirty years. 

He smiled. 

Atta girl, Ro. 

Thanks. With your shoulder like it is, I just figured. 

Normally, I would’ve given him what for, like I did that Amway guy. Remember Ro? 

Yes I do dear. What should we do with this one? 

Fred thought for a moment

Vinegar. It tenderizes. 

Rosemary crinkled her nose. 

Oh my. I hate that smell. 

Fred kissed her cheek.   

I know, Ro. But it works.

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