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Part I: My Sheep Farmer Story Dethroned

Crush story winner about to be revealed. If you have a story you were planning to submit (you know who you are…) then get it in quickly to be considered! And I’m not going to acknowledge the several months lapse in posting, because in that time, my life has been rattled, broken, and rearranged…all of which are not www fodder, sooo. Pushing forward…

I've done this shearing thang.

Well. I realize that most of you out there haven’t heard the story of me being proposed to by an Irish sheep farmer when I was but 17 years old. (He was 65, if he was a day, had few teeth and had recently won the Irish lotto. Am I writing about that now? No. If you would like to know that story, pick up a copy of my book once published, or take me out for drinks.) But you should know that it’s a story I’ve been asked to tell and retell for so many years, that it’s sort of knit into the fabric of me.  Ha. “Knit.” Sometimes I catch myself spewing humor referentially. And I like it.

I bring this up now because, for the first time in over a decade, I’ve met my match when it comes to lamb tales, which is saying something, and it is my competitor’s story that I’m telling… in two parts, so let’s begin:

I’m sitting at the kitchen table with Mr. and Mrs. F, who are two elderly country folk I have just made the acquaintance of. The air is filled with the heavy scent of not-so-recent bacon grease. There’s the cabinets, the table, the chairs with our three posteriors in them, and then floor to ceiling clutter ranging from infomercial buys to grandbaby toys.

Mrs. F is in her housecoat apologizing for the smell and Mr. F is grinning at me, but it’s hard to tell because he has a pronounced under bite and features that would rival Uga, but there’s a twinkle in his eyes, and I can’t think of any reason he would be grimacing at me, so I’m calling it a grin.

It has just been said that Mrs. F knits. She has sticks and a pair of half-finished socks in her lap to validate her assertion and she promises to show me her pièce de résistance before I go (she uses those exact words). Her mention of self-cleaning the wool she uses to knit after shearing the sheep, which they own 9 of,  in their backyard is what sparks my recesses to tell the story of the Irish sheep farmer, but Mr. F interrupts.

“You should tell huh,” he sounds alarmingly like Christopher Walken, so I don’t look at him for the rest of the night so I can imagine he is.

“I was gonna tell her,” says Mrs. F. She is barely southern and sounds like no one we all know, but she has nice skin. Mrs. F looks at me, and says,

“Neil Diamond is my boyfriend,” she pauses dramatically and I scramble mentally to separate him from Dick Clark and/or Rod Steward because I have a terrible memory, “Mr. F is my husband,” she continues, “Neil Diamond is my boyfriend.”

“Okaaaay…” I insert awkwardly. Mrs. F goes on,

“And Christmas of ’09, Neil had a contest for the best Christmas sweater. The winner would get to come to his house for dinner and…” She’s cut off by Christopher,

“You nevuh set it. Up. Right. You don’t. You nevuh doah,” I picture Mr. F/ Christopher shrugging sharply in a blazer I know he isn’t wearing.

“I was saying…” Mrs. F tries.

“Every time. Each and every time.” Walken mutters whilst shaking his head and looking in another direction.

“You two sure know how to build anticipation,” I say. Eyes shining with possibility.

“Don’t mind him,” Mrs. F dismisses Christopher with a glare, “Let me tell you what happened. You’re not even going to believe it all.”

Best Christmas sweaters EVER, Mrs. Weasley. EVER!!!

“I already don’t,” I eagerly utter as I lean forward, “So your boyfriend, Neil?  You were saying that you were wearing only Christmas sweaters, I think…?”

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