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Tom Grace

June 2, 2009

Travels with Uncle Chet: Events are signs of our woes

COLUMBUS _ The silver pickup curved down the driveway, Uncle Chet driving and Cousin Bruce riding shotgun.

I turned on the gas burner to warm up the coffee, then went to the bedroom, looking for my wallet and the key to Hon's car.

``Told you he wouldn't be ready,'' said Uncle Chet as he crossed the threshold. ``This guy was born late, married late; never been on time a day in his life.''

``In here, looking for keys,'' I called. ``Help yourselves to coffee.''

"Find 'em quick; we gotta go. Bruce has a date.''

``From around here? Who?'' I emerged from the room, keyless, and began to rifle through jacket pockets.

``Girl I met on the Internet,'' said Cousin Bruce, who wore new jeans, a tan camp shirt and sunglasses. ``From Cherry Valley.''

``One of my favorite places,'' I said. ``What's her name?''

``She had a head injury like me, she's on disability like me and she sounds pretty cool, so I thought I'd meet her for lunch.'' He glanced at his watch.

``Where the hell is that key?'' I rechecked my own pockets.

``I'll ride back with you, and Bruce'll take the truck on his tryst,'' said Uncle Chet. ``Then he can swing by here and get me later.''

``Where could she have put that key?''

``By the refrigerator?'' Uncle Chet suggested, glancing at keys hanging off brass hooks beside it.

``Couldn't be,'' I said, but spun in that direction.

``Why not?'' he asked.

``Because that's where it belongs,'' I said, ``and we never put anything where it belongs. Although, wait; here it is, hiding behind the tractor key.''

``For the love of Mike,'' Uncle Chet shook his head.

``For the love of Bruce,'' said Cousin Bruce, and we spun out the door and jumped into the truck.

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Tom Grace

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