Woody makes his case

Mark Green Special to the Democrat
Booneville Democrat

All who knew them acknowledged a certain loopiness in the relationship of Woodrow Dexter and Lucinda Van Landingham. Cold logic was not their strong suit. Their personalities resembled each other’s to a nauseating degree. Since their freshman year in high school, their incessant billing and cooing had caused much rolling of the eyes by their classmates.

Though Cindy’s personality was at the left edge of the spectrum, her father, who ran a prosperous construction company, was taciturn and straight to the point with no time for foolishness. On this particular day he was worrying over the details of a major project that was not going well. Woody did not know this; but regardless of the circumstances, that brave lad had set his face to make his case for Cindy’s hand.

Mr. Van Landingham’s face also was set - like it had been carved out of granite with a dull chainsaw. It was transformed into even greater formidability when confronted with the insane prospect of his darling daughter marrying an absolute fathead like Woodrow Dexter.

“Mr. Van Landingham, I want to marry Cindy.” The pencil which Mr. V. was holding was snapped in two by the spasmodic jerk of his massive hand.

“You’d starve!”

“Oh, no, I’ll take care of her. I love her. You must realize that, after all these years.”

The phrase “all these years” was perhaps not the best choice, for even though it had been but five, to the beleaguered father it had seemed like decades – nay, centuries. Time did sometimes seem to drag when one was in Woody’s presence. A little bit of Dexter went a long way.

Woody did manage to interject a few words during the vehement response that followed, since Mr. V. had to breathe occasionally. However, those were substantially his contribution - until his opponent remembered that his blood pressure was already dangerously high. So, medical science came to the rescue of our love-sick lad.

Suffice it to say that when Woodrow left the room, he had obtained the consent of Cindy’s father, if one can call “consent” the silent nodding of a head containing wild, tortured eyes.

At this point, any rational person would have realized that discretion is the better part of valor and that through a strategic retirement one lives to fight another day – but not our hero. Oh, no. They had planned that if all went well he would cast a pebble against her window, and they would then seal their love with a kiss under the moonlight.

The problem with the plan was that it required both a pebble and the subtlety necessary to cast it gently against the window. Woody had neither.

There simply was not a pebble anywhere in the vicinity. There was only one stone about the size of his fist. A pebble is a rock, right? Well, this will do nicely. It fits the romantic pattern. A stone must be cast, and Woody had one.

So, with fervent, heroic emotions surging within him, he flung his “pebble” against her bedroom window. By now our readers have perhaps grasped the gist of the story sufficiently to anticipate that the window did not survive the fling.

I have spoken disparagingly about Woodrow Dexter’s loose grip on reality. It would be a grave injustice to him, however, to imply that he was so lacking in intelligence that he was unable to comprehend just how fraught with peril this particular moment was. Therefore, our forthright champion hurriedly retreated into the enveloping gloom, leaving his newly-betrothed fiancée to explain to her sire, in the best way she could manage, how the structural damage to their domicile had been inflicted.