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1


A lot of screaming and glass breaking was coming from the house next door. Not a big surprise. Andy and Gert Simmons were going at it again. Happened every football season. They'd be down another set of dishes by spring. Again.

Beau Farneuff waited impatiently for Lily, his wife Nora's Pomeranian, to finish her business so that he could slink back inside the house to watch the game and pretend he hadn't heard a thing. If she didn't find a spot to squat soon, no doubt Andy would be out in the backyard, looking over the fence for a sympathetic ear. Beau wasn't in the mood. The Pats were ahead and he wanted (prayed) they would win this one. He had fifty bucks riding on it with Tad from accounting.

Just as Lily's ass end went down, the Simmons back door flew open.

"Go fuck yourself!" Andy screamed, slamming the door. "Oh, hey, Beau."

"God damn dog," Beau muttered. "Hey, Andy." He left out the "how's it going", still hoping to avoid the inevitable.

"Bitch can't just let me watch the game," Andy said, as if Beau had asked anyway.

Twenty-five years of living on Eden Street next door to the Simmons and Beau was sure Andy had never actually watched an entire game. Not to mention it had cost Beau a pleasant Sunday or two every season. Days like these he was especially grateful for Nora, who used football Sundays to go Christmas shopping. Sure it was early, and half the time she came home empty handed, but she gave him space.

"That sucks," Beau said. "Come on, Lil. Hurry it up."

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