To understand the irony of this story, you should know my face friends, the ones who have seen me pregnant and seen me in a bikini (not at the same time) understand that my stomach is my most hated part of my body. I loathe ab work and all the damage done by having kids. I try to pretend it's not there. I'd have surgery, except a medical condition precludes it. So. There. Now you've got context for what follows.
I think I officially experienced the worst proposition in the history of the Lariat, with the husband in tow, to boot.
He approached our table and put his beer down. This is not unusual. First of all, I'm the type of person that looks approachable. My hatred for all things people festers deep beneath my veneer of low-cut tops and bleached hair. Never mind that it's mostly for the Husband's benefit. He totally takes it all for granted anyway. Secondly, the Lariat in winter is a very friendly place in a small town full of drunk ice fishermen. This guy looked okay--meaning he not only had all his teeth, but they were beautiful. (When I asked the guy what he did for a living, he said he was a coal miner. I told him he was lying because he was too clean. He insisted he was, and he'd fished all day, too, and didn't even stink, so he had that going for him. ) Anyway, folks approach each other all the time, if just to share a round of shots. And I coveted a good stare at those teeth because they were so white and even. He had a model's smile.
But that was where pretty ended and weird started.
"Are you two open-minded?" he asked.
"No," the Husband replied with a grin--the one that still makes my heart skip a beat. The newcomer's glowing teeth faded a bit in my estimation. "What's up?"
"I got money on this," he said as a teaser, "so you want to help me out?"
I got that familiar adrenalin crawl up my spine. I love looking at people. Not so much the talking. I wondered for the millionth time whether my looks don't rate normal people approaching me, or whether there just aren't any normal people.
"My friends bet me I couldn't lick your belly tonight," he said.
My mouth dropped open. And trust me, I've heard it all. I'm a tough one to shock. But he did it. Got to give him that.
"Ick," I managed as I took control of my rebellious lower jaw. "Ick. Ick. Ick."
"Oh, come on. Quick and dirty and it's over. I'll give you five bucks. I'll buy you a beer."
"I have a beer, and I just found a twenty on the floor in another store." All true. For once.
"Come on, I got a hundred bucks on it."
A hundred bucks...on my...belly. I hate that word, and now it'll take therapy to erase the image...his tongue touching... shudder.
My tolerant husband (who witnesses my craziness on a daily basis) rolled his eyes.
"That was a stupid bet," I said. "Cuz they're gonna win."
After some banter that dangerously tossed the beer in said belly, I finally talked him down with tactical remarks of stretch marks and Caesarian sections. I also got a napkin and scrawled the words "belly lick" to remind me what to post about on Monday.
"Oh, I see," he said. "Now you're going to write about what I said, and make me look like stupid."
"You're right," I said, "I'm going to write about you said. As for stupid, though, I don't have to say a word."