“No way.” Richard’s voice carry down the hall.
“No way,” Richard said his voice going up in intensity, pausing to listen, “no way.”
Bunny, Clarissa and I laughed.
“Who on earth is he talking to?” Bunny asked with her refined Texas accent, her long blond hair swept back into a pony tail which crowned her statuesque figure.
“My guess is Knowlan by the amount of ‘no ways’ we just heard,” I said laughing.
“Nolan?” Bunny asked leaning forward in the brown wing back chair in front of the book cases.
“Knowlan with a K and a W,” Clarissa and I said together.
“Nolan with a K and a W?” Bunny asked her eyebrows nearly touching her hairline, “where does the W go and who names their kid Nolan with a K?”
Before I could answer Bunny’s question, Richard’s voice drifted down the hall, “We are so in, I can speak for Fannie, anything with power tools and she’s there. Wait, they won’t have any chainsaws will they?” He paused to listen, “that’s a relief.”
“I can’t wait to hear what this is about,” I said laughing. “And he’s definitely talking to Knowlan. It’s spelled K-N-O-W-L-A-N,” I said smiling. “Clarissa would you pass me the coffee?”
“Sure thing,” Clarissa said passing me the carafe, her short red curls framing her round face.
Bunny’s pony tail wagged in irritation. “Do either of you want to bring me up to speed here?”
Clarissa and I shared a look.
“You’ve never met Richard’s best friend, Knowlan?” I asked my green eyes dancing. “He would have been Nolan Edmund Rose the fourth, but his dad was a bit of a loose cannon and changed the spelling.”
Bunny shook her head, her pony tail still out of sync.
Clarissa laughed and said, “Before Richard decided to propose, he made Fannie go on a double date with him and Knowlan to make sure he wasn’t making a mistake. Only Knowlan didn’t have a date. I had to work that night so she asked Kissee to go with her. Knowlan and Kissee got married not to long after Richard and Fannie and the rest as they say is history.”
“Who’s Kissy?” Bunny asked looking from Clarissa to me.
“She was my college roommate,” I said putting down my coffee cup. Laughing I said, “and she identifies with ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and makes sure everyone knows it’s Kissee with two EE’s because it’s so much better with an E than without one. Don’t you think?”
“Do you know anyone with a normal name?” Bunny asked throwing her hands in the air.
Clarissa snorted coffee out her nose. I handed her a napkin.
“Thanks,” she said.
“Richard and George aren’t enough for you?” I asked laughing.
“Sorry,” she said shaking her head. Her pony tail back in line with the rest of her head.
Richard walked into the family room, his tall lean frame towering above us. “Hi ladies,” he said before snitching a mint chocolate chip cookie from the plate. “Can I talk you out of some of that coffee?”
I handed him a carafe and the cup sitting on my great grandmother’s mahogany coffee table.
“So you’ll never guess who that was,” Richard said, his blue eyes dancing.
Clarissa and I said, “Knowlan.”
“Okay, you got me there,” he said the wind slacked in his sails. “Fannie move over so I can tell you guy what happened.”
“What’s the matter Richard, don’t you want to sit in the Chair of Much Nappiness?” Clarissa asked laughing.
“Not when I have something this exciting to tell you,” he said winking.
I moved down closer to Clarissa on the sofa. Richard sat down, ate another cookie and smiled from ear to ear.
“Knowlan invited us to join him in a belt sander racing competition,” Richard said before taking a sip of coffee.
“A what?” I asked leaning forward.
“You heard me,” Richard said knowing he had us on the hook.
Bunny, Clarissa and I exchanged looks.
“What exactly is belt sander racing?” I asked taking the lead.
“It’s so cool,” Richard said leaning forward, “they drag race belt sanders. According to Knowlan they have two classes, stock and modified. He’s e-mailed me a link so we could check this out. When we’re done with our cookies, you guys have to come see. Oh and Bunny, I already texted George, he says he’s in.”
Bunny rolled her blue eyes. “Of course he’s in, you couldn’t have dangled a bigger carrot in front of an engineer’s eyes than tinkering with power tools. Are you trying to make a tool widow out of me?”
Ignoring Bunny, Richard asked, “Clarissa, can you check and see if Devon wants to join us?” Smiling like a ten year old with a new train set Richard said, “I don’t have his cell phone number.”
“Sure, and I’ll bet Zack’ll want in too,” Clarissa said laughing. “So when and where?”
“Lake Wilderness Park in June, that should give us plenty of time to get our belt sanders ready to go,” Richard said his blue eyes brightening, “and get this, when watching a race, Knowlan was telling me we have to remember to stay behind the Red Line of Death.”
“The what?” Bunny asked her upturned nose crinkling.
Enunciating each word, he said, “The—Red—Line—of—Death.” Laughing he said, “that’s what they’ve name the safety zone so the kids, and adults for that matter, won’t get to close and get clobbered by an errant belt sander leaving the track. ‘Cuz you know that’s gonna leave a mark.”
“So what’s the difference between modified and stock?” I asked intrigued.
“Stock is how it comes out of the box,” Richard said rubbing his hands together, “but you get to decorate the heck out of it. Modified is when you amp it up to get more speed out of it,” His jaw quivering with excitement he asked, “What could be more fun?”
“Screw the cookies, I want to see this video,” I said getting up.
Richard grabbed the cookie plate. We walked into the office. He sat down. We gathered behind his chair. He clicked on the link.
(If you cannot see the video, click here.)
He stopped the video. “So now you know, don’t cross the red line of death,” he said grinning.
Shaking her head her pony tail drooping Bunny said, “now I know I’ll be a tool widow for the next two months.”