“Harry, did you hear about that boy who ran those girls over with his mini-van?”

“Bloody business. What is this world coming to?”

He took a long draw from his pipe, and puffed smoke rings up to his living room fresco of the Sistine Chapel. He was nearly 50 years old, but looked 60 because of heavy alcohol consumption.

“Why did you never marry, Harry?”

“I didn’t want to be told what to do.”

“Yes… I guess, I understand that.”

A young boy, full of good looks and haughty pride, stared at the two wrinkly old prunes.

“Dorian is my nephew,” George said. “He hasn’t had a drop of alcohol. In fact, he hasn’t had a woman, either.”


“Well… it’s true. A man can’t be a man until he has sampled Eve.”

Harry glanced at George with amusement. “Sex without love can be so disappointing.”

“What is love, exactly?” George asked him. “Dorian has a religious education.”

“What did they teach you about sex?” Harry inquired.

“Why do you harp on sex like it’s your favorite instrument,” George asked.

“Because I play my organ every day,” Harry said, “And I want to know if Dorian does too. Many of his generation don’t, you see, and look what happens… they leave bloodied girls in the streets.”

Both old prunes looked at the one untouched by women and the world. Dorian’s skin was strawberry-peach, dipped in milky cream.

“I’m guessing there’s a cost to loving a woman?” Dorian asked, innocently.

“The boy is learning, already. I told you so; he is such a bright young man,” George said.

“But what does a woman cost?”

“Just go to the nearest brothel, and ask.”

“Not that type of woman—the marrying kind.”

“What’s the difference?”

Dorian looked at the dried old prunes with suspicion, and decided to go see for himself.

“He’s a literal young man,” George consented.

“What’s wrong with that?” Harry asked.

“Oh, nothing. Only that the answers to life’s big questions become too obvious.”

“Too true,” Harry confirmed.

Then they puffed on each other’s pipes.

The End

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