“Well, that was a weekend down the booby hatch.” Marilyn Frack looked uncharacteristically like a tired wet hen. Her head was leaning against the heel of her hand, her elbow (in the usual black leather jacket) planted on the table, her whole body slumped in distinct disgruntlement. She lifted her head – and her other hand – long enough to toss a half glass of meritage down the hatch.
“We went sailing,” her other half, Edgar Frick, explained. I thought I heard an apologetic note in his voice.
Marilyn glanced up through her top lashes, which were leaking mascara. “And who hatched that plot, in mid-October?”
Edgar splayed his hand, palm up. “You saw the forecast.” He dashed back some of his glass of Hacker-Pschorr.
“What a hatchet job,” Marilyn said. “Sunny, my itchy cha-chas. The sky was cross-hatched with clouds in the morning, and by lunch we had to batten down the hatches.”
“Yes, well, things did get a little sketchy in the afternoon.”
“Sketchy?!” Marilyn raised her head, her eyes a bit wider. “I thought I was in the coney hatch!” I resisted the usually insurmountable impulse to ask whether she knew that this term for a madhouse came from the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum in London, and whether she was a fan of the Canadian rock band Coney Hatch.
“The girls got especially excitable,” Edgar said, a touch ruefully.
Marilyn looked at me. “A clutch of chicks, barely hatched. That’s why he wanted to go on this wretched trip.”
“You seemed rather fond of the crewmen,” Edgar said.
“Chet and Chico? I spent all my time with Chuck. Up-chuck.”
“It was wretched,” Edgar allowed. “And I ratched my back in the parking lot. I was clutching the catch on a hatchback…”
Marilyn smirked. “I thought it was from catching your britches in a hatchway.”
“Well,” I said, hoping to switch the topic. “This is quite an affricate festival we’re having here. And all these Anglo-Saxon words…”
Marilyn looked at me and half-smiled. “Don’t lose your touch, hot-shot. Oh, I have some Anglo-Saxon words to hatch and dispatch at my match…” She glanced over at Edgar, who was doing his best to look like a sorry puppy. “But…” she said with a shrug, “ah, frick it.”