Ted and Ned
Edited by Anne Goddard
Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard
Photo by Wiebrig Krakau on Unsplash
old fictitious friends in their seventies and retired for quite a few
years struggle to make things happen and create kinships that promote
joy in their lives.
intention is to make the story interesting, intense and funny as
was sitting facing the entrance door in a booth that could rest four
people but he was alone. Waiting was not an exciting thing for him
and he was checking his watch every twenty seconds. His friend, Ned
said he would meet Ted here at 9:00 A. M. sharp, it was already seven
minutes after nine.
was in his seventies but in a rangy sort of way he appeared quite
fit. There were wrinkle signs in his face that went round his neck
under the unruly hair that he brandished under his baseball cap
designating Saskatchewan Roughriders foot ball team. Grin wrinkles, I
must say, were the most prominent. Sitting slouched in the vinyl
booth seat; it didn’t appear that he was six feet three inches
tall when he stood up.
arrived and Ted looked crookedly at him as he dropped into the
opposite side of the booth where he always sat. Where Ted was thin
and wiry, Ned was quite different. Not many wrinkles probably due to
the fact that he had fat jowls hanging from his face that hadn’t
been shaved for the last three days. Ted reckoned that he carried
nearly two hundred fifty pounds on his five-foot eleven body. Ned
topped this off with an always friendly look and smile.
how’s the state of your constipation this morning?” Ted
grinned and said that he was just as strong as always.
that from the rear end or are you referring to the top end?”
scowl raced across Ned’s face and he said, “Stop needling
me all the time,”
I had no inkling that I had perturbed you my fine friend,” Ted
growled,” It’s bad enough to have this stupid Covert 19
without your stupid statements.”
Covid-19 Ned,” Ted corrected him.
Ned replied without looking up.
stood and turned toward the washrooms.
waitress arrived at the booth and Ned ordered coffee with three
sugars and said the Ted would like coffee with cream.
was nothing new to the server since she had known them for almost ten
Ted returned, he sat with a thump and commented, “Damn
prostrate’s getting bigger every day and every time I turn
around, I have to pee.”
turn around so much and the word is Prostate, Ted.”
inquired, “How’s that old couple that live next to you.
Do they still go out every day and drive someplace with their fancy
a damn nice car and I wish I had one instead of my eighteen-year-old
van. Can’t afford anything newer either.”
a GMC like I have. It’s got nearly three hundred thousand
kilometers and it still runs like a top.” Ned implored.
but look at all that rust and it rattles so loud it wakes everybody
up next to the street, and if it ran like a top it’d be turning
around all the time, “Ted chuckled.
scowled at Ted and said, “Why don’t you buy a lotto
ticket and when you win, you could buy a Lexus.”
I can’t even afford that what with the water, gas and
electricity going sky high in my wreck of a house I live in.”
sat quietly for a few moments drinking their coffee.
of money, Ted started; I have a question for you.”
if I hired you at one cent the first day and each day your pay would
be doubled for thirty days, would you work for me?”
didn’t hesitate very long, “No damn way.”
you going to figure that out before you give me your final answer?”
just looked at Ted
few moments later another male friend came to their table and quickly
pushed Ned further in the seat and he immediately took control of the
conversation. Ted and Ned were not pleased with this fellow, Slim,
his name was, and they started to clear the table.
nattered along for a bit about the day he’d had and the people
he’d talked to, then paused.
looked both Ted and Ned in the eye and asked, “What happened to
a woman who backed into a plane propeller?”
answers from the other two.
was a loud groan from the two original occupants.
quickly stood up and Ned managed to push Slim out of the way and they
made their way to the exit.
ya tomorrow,” Ned uttered.
They arrived at the same restaurant and the
at the same time, on the same side of the booth Ted and Ned sat down
and ordered coffee.
some words of the world, Ted said to Ned, “I have an idea to
have some fun. You recall the job I offered you yesterday?”
answered in the affirmative.
let’s get in touch with five other guys and offer them the same
job at that rate. Just for fun, I’ll bet you a hundred dollars
that two of the five will take the job. If four say no to the offer,
then I lose. How does that sound?”
frowned, thinking of the hundred dollars that sure would come in
handy. Ted had to have two people accept and he had three to start
probably and all he had to do was for another person to say no.
OK, but I get to offer them the job. And,---each one has to answer
within let’s say three minutes, and I also get to choose three
out of five.” Ned firmly stated.
screwed up his facial wrinkles and the were deep, then he said, “Make
that two minutes and we have a deal.”
refilled their coffee cups and waited for the first candidate to come
spotted a man that he knew and fingered him to come to their table.
The new man got a coffee and Ned sprang into the spiel of hiring at
one cent the first day and doubling it every day for thirty days.
“Would you work for me? You have two minutes to reply,”
man, about as mature as his table companions, screwed up his wrinkled
face. Ned said “Times up.”
fellow commented, that was a short time for two minutes, but he made
up his mind and the answer is “No.”
for me, “Ned yelped.
process went on and soon they had a crowd of at least twenty
bystanders and they were all loud cheering for one or other of the
picked a candidate and low and behold, without hesitation, he said
this moment, it was tied.
collected two more in the negative and it didn’t look good for
Ted. He looked around as if he couldn’t find a candidate,
whispered to Ted, and he pointed, “That big hombre has been
watching all morning, why don’t you try him.”
motioned to him and he came forth. “I haven’t heard the
entire story it’s been so loud in here, why don’t you
fill me in.”
was Ted’s turn and he set the time for the answer. The big man
frowned, looked away, move his pointer figure on his other palm. “You
got a deal,” he grinned at Ted.
tried to start something that the tests haven’t been done
properly and anything else he could think of, but to no avail as
people crowded around Ted.
paid up right there. Ted spent nearly twenty dollars of the hundred
to treat a number of people to coffee.
the restaurant cleared and since it was now near the lunch hour, Ted
and Ned headed home.
started thinking of the fun that they had, had as well as quite a few
customers, but there was a little inkling of guilt tickling the back
of his neck. The ruse he had planned worked very well. He had already
clued in his two recipients as to what the final figure would be at
thirty days. It is truly amazing how much money it is.
I’ll sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow.
next morning, Ted was full of intentions to tell Ned that he had
screwed him out of a hundred dollars, but that was put aside when two
men just stopped and sat down at their table. They had not been
invited but they were longtime friends.
each had their turn shedding their life activities and listening to
each other. The subject of racism of course arose and offers were
made to stop this sort of thing and many tsk’s about what had
and has happened to the black man and the people of First Nations.
of the men. Mike, got up to go to the washroom. He didn’t move
very well like he had a lot of pain. Ted commented about that to the
other three and they voiced their condolences.
Mike came back to the table, he looked around at all three and said,
“I just had a hemorrhoid operation a couple of days ago and
it’s going to be sore for a while.”
chuckled which seemed to be inappropriate. “They used to call
them piles when my old man had them. He had an operation when I was
about twelve and I was with my Mother when he was coming out of the
ether, terrible smelling stuff, and he opened his eyes and in a
sleepy voice said “What is it, a boy or a girl?”
all laughed a bit and got up from the table and departed.
don’t know how I’m going to tell Ned about the trick I
played on him. Guess I could give him back eighty dollars, that’s
all I have.
another day at the same time, same place, same booth, same seating
arrangements, sat Ted and Ned.
of them said anything for a few minutes as they were absorbed in the
man standing by the front counter.
said, “I know that guy but I don’t remember where or
here, “Ted nodded.
know, “exclaimed Ned.
the one that when this virus thing first started and everybody was
buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer. He, maybe others did too,
thought that if the disinfectant he read about could kill viruses and
bacteria, it should be good to prevent the disease in humans. So, he
drank some, at least he tried, and ended up in the hospital for quite
some time where they weren’t certain whether he would make it.
We see he must have survived,”
sat with a strained look on his face and offered his thoughts, “He
may have survived the poison but he obviously succeeded in escaping
the ravages of intelligence.”
of the men, Mike who was involved with the mathematics recently set
up by Ted, came and sat down beside Ned.
different subjects were visited and then Mike said to Ted, “How
did you figure out that if you started to get paid one cent a day and
doubled it to thirty days, it would be a good job?”
sat up a little straighter and replied, “I was always a whiz at
numbers all the way through school and my profession enabled me to
use that expertise quite well.”
and Ned looked at him but neither one answered.
there was a pause in the conversation until a new item of interest
was brought forth.
very next day, Ned arrived and was sitting in his perpetual location,
a few minutes early.
came in shortly after.
were exchanged and Ned stated that he had a math problem for Ted.
“You said, just yesterday, that you had a lot of expertise in
numbers and solving problems.”
bet you can’t solve this old problem; Ted and I’ll risk a
answer to your comment regarding my expertise, I take a lot of pride
in what I can do with mathematic problems. And yes, I’ll bet
you a hundred dollars, Ted gestured.
said, “Great, I’ll fill you in.”
have a situation that you can help me with. Now, bear in mind that
this took place quite some time ago when a twenty was worth a lot of
one evening three men entered the hotel, saying that they needed a
room for the night but couldn’t find any anywhere. The night
clerk advised the three that they had one room left with one double
bed and he could have a cot placed in the room as well, for thirty
dollars. It’s on the 4th floor and there’s the
that, each one of them placed a ten-dollar bill on the counter and
took the key to the room upstairs.
the cash in the drawer, the young night person started to think. He
had charged thirty dollars for the room and one of them had to sleep
on a cot. He started to feel a bit guilty and felt he’d over
helper was called over and given five one-dollar bills. “Please
go up to 410 and give this money back to those three gentlemen.”
the money in his pocket, the young man couldn’t figure out how
to split five dollars three ways. Lightbulb time, he would give each
of the men one dollar and keep two in his pocket. Nobody would know.
that meant that each of the boarders paid $9.00 each.
Ted, three times nine is twenty-seven. Right?
looked at Ted and said, “add the two dollars that the busboy
stole and that adds to twenty-nine.
did the other dollar go because they paid thirty dollars to start
looked a little bewildered, “Yeah, where did it go?”
stood up, collected the hundred dollars and started to walk away, “I
don’t know where the other dollar went.” He had a big
grin on his face.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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