96 N O spells No! [See “Twirling At Ole Miss,” Terry Southern] and Froggy quotes The Troggs

“My sister-in-law Kar really isn’t my sister-in-law?”
“N O P E spells No Way,” answered the Administrative Assistant.
They were already at the billing and cooing stage, draped over opposite sides of the coastal deer statue in front of City Hall. Their fingertips were so close that they tingled but didn’t touch. With the advent of Uncle Joe, the AdminAssist made clear to herself that she’d left the job, but hadn’t specifically quit. San Anselmo with a man to hang her nearly imperceptible ankle bracelet on was looking like a whole new place. Where’d she considered taking another job – San Ramon, El Sobrante, Milpitas? Highways 80 and 680 and 880? Yuck and yuck and yuck. She delved into Joe’s eyes – yum and yum and yum. But because she was, after all, on city time at the moment, technically on her morning break, she wouldn’t allow the fingertips to meet.
She explained what she knew about the sham marriage.
“We thought they simply were shacked up, one more sin in the heap of them at that disgrace over on Yolanda and Alder circle.”
“She could walk away anytime?” Uncle Joe posited, his voice buoyed by wonder.
“‘Eggo’ . . . We’ve heard about Granny Guss’s syllogisms. At her age!”
“My brother doesn’t deserve her. He’s a bum.”
Her double take was just a reflex. Without a ripple of doubt, the Administrative Assistant heard a resolve in Joe’s voice to put the past behind.
“I wish my name were Drew,” he said soberly, almost mournfully, with the affected solecism dropped forevermore. “I could take you to dances at the Meadow Club, and look well in print next to your name in the social columns. I am so sorry.”
She practically but not actually patted his hand. “It’s all right . . . Joseph.”
They felt a strong wind, and it wasn’t a windy day.
“Awh awh awh awh awh! Love is all around. Awh awh awh awh awh!”
Then everything was just as still.


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