Contributor: Thomas Pitre

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Stovepipe is a big, loud man, with a heavy school ring that he taps on the table as he punctuates each of his talking points. Blah, blah, blah, tap, tap, tap. Blah, blah, blah, tap, tap, tap. Stovepipe’s ring is bigger, heavier and more ostentatious than the Fisherman’s Ring worn by Pope Benedict.

Stovepipe used to do security work for a computer outfit in the Southwest. It was a middle management job, but if you listen to his description, he has it embellished to the point that you might believe he ran the place, and half the state’s security personnel.

He was one of the first to get a carry permit for his 9-millimeter, and he wears it everywhere. I’ve seen him bending over to start his lawnmower, and it was tucked into the small of his back while he mowed his lawn.

Stovepipe’s wife is a big woman. She manages to keep her husband under her thumb. She spends most of the day in her recliner with the dog as she commands the roost. She is a soap opera fan, a game show fan, and a big fan of reality shows. She barks orders all day, never lifting a finger, while Stovepipe vacuums, cooks the meals, does the shopping and picks up the dog shit in the house. She usually barks commands while chewing, and bits of cookie and cracker fly out of her mouth and hit the dog in the face, or come to rest in messy little heaps around the base of her favorite chair.

There were two times that Stovepipe had his finger on the trigger of his automatic. Once at the firing range when he learned how to use it, and once after he was berated and cursed in front of a friend, for missing a spot behind the couch with the vacuum.

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Retired educator, living West of Seattle in a small, old, tired town with my dogs, weed whacker and Olympic Manual.
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