James - or is it Jimmy.Red ran over to the car after the post-game pep talk from the coaches. She was flush with another team victory - even though she didn't score the winning goal this game. We climbed into the car and I drove off to meet up with Grandma and Red's parents who would still be at the church.
There wasn't much to talk about, about the game, so soon Red introduced a new topic for conversation.
"I saw you and Jimmy talking in the stands." She said.
"Why yes, I met your friend James." I said. "He came over and sat next to me and we had a nice chat.
"I bet you did." She said with a tone of sarcasm. "So what did you and Jimmy talk about?
"Well, first off, how much he hates being called 'Jimmy'.
"Oh yeah, that. I know he does.
"But you still call him 'Jimmy?
"Yeah, it bugs him and I like to rattle his cage.
"Does anyone else call him Jimmy?
"No, I don't think so. He'd probably beat em up if they did." She laughed. "Or, at least try to."
"So if you know he hates it so much, why do you do it."
"Jimmy takes himself too seriously, you know."
I nodded and though; "Ya think?"
She paused for a minute and then continued; "And I like to tease him - maybe knock him down a peg or two."
"And he doesn't beat you up?"
"I'd like to see him try." She said defiantly. I glanced her way and nodded. Her scowl turned to a smile and she continued; "No, he doesn't seem to mind it so much when I do it."
"I think he likes you." I said smiling.
"Who, Jimmy?" She said incredulously, "No, no, no. The only one Jimmy likes is himself."
"Hmm."; I said and glanced at her again. She was looking out the window - watching the houses go by.
After a while she sighed and looked back at me.
"So, " she continued, " what did you guys talk about."
"Well, he says that you've been keeping him pretty much up on everything we've talked about."
"Yeah, I tell him a few things."
"More than a few, I'd say. He seems to know about all our ideas."
"Is that a problem?"
"No, no, no. I think it's great that you talk about this with your friends. Maybe it will get them to thinking outside the box a little too."
"Well, not Jimmy." She laughed.
"No, I can see that. He thinks my ideas are hogwash."
"Did he say that?" She stopped laughing.
"Yes, he pretty much did. He read me the riot act saying I was delusional and possibly dangerous."
"Jimmy's a jerk, Grandpa. I can't believe he got onto your case about this!" She protested.
"Well it was really kind of cute, you know. He was really sticking up for you. Kind of defending your honor and all that. He was really getting in the face of 'this old coot' who is trying to fill your head with fairy tales and fantasy. Yeah, it was really kind of cute."
"Cute? Are you kidding me? Cute?"
"Well, yes. I think he must care about you a lot to be so defensive about what we talk about."
"Oh please! Grandpa, be serious, alright? "
"No, you know. I think maybe he's a little jealous." I said, laughing.
"Grandpa!" she cried. "Boy, just wait till I see him again. I'm gonna give him a piece of my mind. I can't believe he was that rude."
"Oh, come on Red. Don't make such a big deal out of this".
"It's not me who's making it a big deal, Grandpa, It's Jimmy. He thinks he's so smart but he's really dumber than anybody. And I can't believe he's such a jerk."
"Please, Red. " I said. "Take it easy on him. He seems like a nice kid and I've invited him to come over to the house so we can talk about this some more."
"You what?" She cried. "You invited him over so he could mock you some more?"
"Yes, I did." I continued. "I told him to come over with you sometime so we could all have a nice chat."
"With me?" She was astonished. "Why would you even think that I'd want to sit around and listen to you two go at each other?"
"Oh, I'm sure it won't be that bad, Red," I said calmly, "you never know what new ideas we might come up with."
"New ideas? Jimmy? He wouldn't know what a new idea was if you hit him over the head with it."
"Actually," I laughed, "that sound's like a good idea. Let's get our 2X4's ready and we can really get his attention."
"What?" she asked.
"You know that old joke about the farmer who said that the secret to handling his mule was to be talk softly to it - and then he hit it over the the head with a 2X4. When asked how this was being gentle the farmer said; "Well, first you have to get his attention."
"Cute, Grandpa." She laughed. "But I think we're going to need more than a 2X4 with Jimmy."
"Maybe a 4X4?" I laughed.
"Yeah, that might do it." She said, laughing.
"Or maybe we just need to be ready with some strong arguments. Or maybe gather the squirrels." I said.
"No, you didn't tell him about the squirrels, did you Grandpa?"
"Hey, " I said, "YOU told him about the squirrels."
"Oh yeah, that's right." She said sheepishly. " I guess forgot about that."
"You guess. Well he had a lot of fun with that as well."
"I bet he did." She said; "He's such a jerk. I can't believe it." And she looked out the window again for a while while we thought about this.
"I'm sorry, Grandpa" she said finally. "I shouldn't have told him about all this stuff. I never thought he's take it so seriously. And I never thought he'd be so rude as to insult you like that."
"It's no matter. " I assured her. "I look forward to having another chance to open up James' - I'm sorry, Jimmy's - mind a little."
"Be careful, Grandpa, he might beat you up." She laughed.
"I'd like to see him try." I laughed as we pulled into the church parking lot.
[Continue next chapter]