Puffing by Susan Tepper

Who woulda thought my wife Mabel woulda gone out to Sears & Roebuck and bought the same coat with brown flecks in gray wool that Janelle Stevens bought? Those two been arch enemies since grade school. One likes peanut butter, one likes jelly. One likes chocolate, one vanilla. You get the picture, I told Rudy. Rudy nodded and went about wiping down the oil from the paint shaker machine. For a hardware guy he shoulda known better. You put too much oil, I said. Rudy nodded and lit a cigarette. You can get cancer, I said. Rudy stubbed out the cigarette. Why d’ya pay attention to me? I asked him. You got the one I wanted, he said. You got Mabel Brady. I only got Janelle Stevens. Mabel Brady has the bigger chest. Well how ’bout that, I said puffing out my own chest.


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Filed under Susan Tepper

15 responses to “Puffing by Susan Tepper

  1. yeah, great last line. a zinger.

  2. Love the jostle, the positioning, Susan. Great portrait of a friendship which reaches much further than the moment at hand.

  3. I love how you’ve brought up decades of the past into the present here, hinting at years of possible hidden emotions. Nice!

  4. i’m feeling chesty all of a sudden. lovely.

  5. guy

    What a couple of wierdos. Some of your characters are very compelling in their wierdness. I step away, go do something else and the relationship between your characters is still twisting in on itself, like smoke.

  6. Your characters are like everyman: neighbors, dentists, grocery bag packer: realistic, vivid and so convincingly portrayed. Your skill amazes me, gets under my skin, and for that I am a huge fan.

  7. Oh, how I guffawed at the end of this. Fun and insightful and also sad – the inanities of most of our conversations! But truthful too – big tits, for some, are the way to go …

  8. Thanks to everyone who wrote, I’m so flattered and happy! That I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow…
    should I go for the double d’s?
    or keep the twiggy look?

  9. Excellent! Great voice. And great full-cirlce-ending line.

  10. Ha! These two make me itchy, in the best possible way. Like I kind of want to slap them, or maybe draw a chair to the table, deal a few hands and belt back a couple of beers. Great stuff. peace…

  11. Michael Parker

    I love the smalltown rivalry atmosphere you paint in this story. Having lived in one, you depict it accurately and it is a great story of rivalry and constant comparing. Enjoyed this a great deal. Best,

  12. Maude Larke

    You have a handle on guys, alright.

  13. I’d stick with Twiggy myself. If you had big boobs you would never know if the guys liked you for your physical attributes or you writing skills. I really appreciate your writing skills- couldn’t care less about your bra size. Doris

  14. Pingback: Week #41 – Coincidence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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