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Peanut Butter Kiss
by Bill Tope

You live and you learn.  Well, you
live anyway. When my headstrong
wife served pickleloaf for dinner on
our 3rd wedding anniversary, I might
have expected our days together
were numbered.  But I learned from
it. You learn from everything that
happens to you.
We had been having problems for
about....three years, and lately I had
begun to suspect that she was perhaps
cheating on me, at least in her mind. 
I know, it's weird, being as how I've
always been such a good catch, but
there it was. 
We searched about for some means
of reconciliation. Maggie had said she
would do her part to bring us together,
by preparing "A Man's Favorite Home-
cooked Meal,".as had been suggested
in Cosmo or somewhere.
But as we sat down to dinner, I could tell
neither or us really wanted to be there.
However, it was clear that an effort must
be made. Neither of us were in the best
of moods. There were so many doubts,
so much tension.
When I questioned her choice of
entree, she snarled, "What do you
want, the world?" I blinked at her in
surprise.  "No, of course not, but
you know what I really like..."  And
she did know. She made a face.
"Beans and weenies; weenies and
beans," she chanted crossly in a
sing-song falsetto.
"Look," she said, "I'm about up to here,"
and she slashed her forehead with her
index finger, "with your weenies and
beans!  God, roach!"
"Well, what kind of a meal is pickleloaf?"
I growled back at her. "Looks like you
threw a package of bolonga on the floor,
poured some sweet pickles on it and then
pounded it in with your foot!"
"And what about dessert?" I went on, on a
roll now. "PB & J?  That's a dessert for a
grown  man--on his wedding anniversary?"
Next her face got very red and for a
scary moment I thought she was going to
stroke out.
But then she broke down in tears, her lower
lip sticking out the way it does. I stared at my
shoes. "Look, I...." I began, but she was
wailing now.  "Look, Baby," I said, "I'm sorry
for what I said; I didn't mean it." As she dried
her eyes with a tissue she regarded me
uncertainly. "You didn't, really?  But what
about dessert?" I stared at her. "What about
it?" I asked her.
"i never should have prepared it; you hate
peanut butter!" "No, no, I don't," I protested.
"Yes you do!" She began crying again. "No, I
love peanut butter," I exclaimed. "See, look,"
and I lifted the peanut butter off the table
and stuck two fingers in the jar and scooped
out what must have been a half pound of the
detestable stuff. Steeling myself, I stuck my
fingers in my mouth and licked the peanut
butter off with my tongue.  I nearly gagged.
I really do hate peanut butter.
"You do love me!" my young wife cried,
throwing her arms around my neck.  We
shared a passionate--but messy--peanut
butter kiss. We nuzzled and stayed in that
embrace for a long time. Then Maggie
said, her cheek tight against my chest,
"I really do love you, Teddy."  What I
learned from this experience is that you
have to know when to hold your tongue.
I didn't have the heart to remind Maggie
that my name was not Teddy, but rather