Otto Burnwell

The Camel’s Dick

You didn’t say no when your wife asked if you were okay with her taking a casserole over to her ex-husband’s place. He’s laid up with a bad back, she said, and had to take time off from work.

Instead, you asked why he didn’t have his new wife do it.

His girlfriend, and he says she’s not very good. It’s just a casserole, she said.

It’s the camel’s nose, you said.

We’ve got plenty.

Wouldn’t hurt him to miss a few meals.

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that.

You didn’t say no when your wife asked if you were okay with her running a load of laundry for her ex-husband. He’s finally back on his feet, she said, and needs something clean to wear for work.

Instead, you asked if his girlfriend is lousy at laundry, too.

She left him. It’s just a load of laundry, she said.

It’s the camel’s nose, you said.

There’s always plenty of room in the washer.

Wouldn’t hurt him to spend an hour at the laundromat doing his own laundry.

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that.

You don’t remind her that she’s the one who told you her ex- was an asshole and a parasite. She’s not stupid. She dumped him for a reason. But she is kind-hearted. That seems to trump everything now that he turned himself into a charity case.

You didn’t say no when your wife asked if you were okay with letting her ex-husband use the home number for messages. They turned off his phone, she said, and he needs a number to give out while he’s looking for a job.

Instead, you ask what happened to the job he has.

They let him go and cancelled his insurance. It’s just for messages, she said.

It’s the camel’s nose, you said.

We hardly ever use it anyway.

There’s a payphone at the Cash and Go that still takes incoming calls.

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that.

You didn’t say no when your wife asked if you were okay with letting her ex-husband sleep in the back room. He needs a place for a little while, she said, to keep his stuff and get cleaned up so he’s presentable if he gets an interview.

Instead, you asked why one of his neighbors at the trailer park can’t put him up.

They went in together and took out a restraining order on him. You’re gone all day, she said, so you’ll never see him.

It’s the camel’s nose, you said.

He’ll keep to himself so you won’t even know he’s there.

I’ll loan him a sleeping bag and he can sleep in his car.

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that.

You do care what people think. Even though you resent how it makes you the bad guy if you object to your wife’s empathy toward guys who trade on their self-inflicted wounds for sympathy.

That’s why you didn’t say no when your wife asked you to make up a cot for yourself in the garden shed over the next few days. It’s the way you treat him, she says, makes him so depressed he can’t get out of bed to go look for work.

Instead, you asked how that was possible since he never saw you.

It’s just for a couple of days, she said, while the weather’s still nice.

It’s the camel’s nose, you said.

A little kindness won’t kill you.

He can sleep in the garden shed.

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that.

You trust her good heart and keep to yourself when you’re not at work, and only run into the house to grab a beer.

So, it surprises you how not surprised you are when you come in to find them both naked in the kitchen, him boning your wife as she’s folded across the dining table.

Her butt cheeks ripple with each blow of his pelvis against her tailbone, scooting the table across the linoleum. He stutter-steps to keep up with the drifting table. A boner ballet of step thrust-thruststep thrust-thruststep thrust-thrust, your wife’s arms spread wide, holding on, toe-walking as they drive the table across the kitchen floor, until it collides with the refrigerator.

She realizes you’re there and gives out with a yelp, but he’s got one hand planted in the small of her back, and the other hand pinning her head to the table. She’s twisting under his palm, looking back at you, her cheek mashed against the tabletop.

If he heard you come in, he gives no sign, the way he’s got his head thrown back, eyes closed. He’s feeling himself shoot all he’s got into her. There’s no way he’s going to let her up before he’s done.

He slows, taking longer between each thrust, then holds himself against her, making sure to leave it all inside her. He exhales and draws out.

When he does notice you, he gives a nod, says hey, and heads for the bathroom, doing a hop-step kind of dancing, like he’s doing you a favor not dripping on the floor as he edges by you. Your wife strains to reach a dish towel to cover herself before she straightens up off the table, as if you’ve never seen her this way before. Which, when you think about it, you haven’t.

You don’t know what to say when your wife asks if you’re okay with her giving her ex a turn. It’s kind of creepy for him, us having sex when he can hear every little thing.

Instead, you ask why he can’t jack off to porn like everyone else.

Do you want that showing up on our browser history?

You realize it’s lame to bring up the camel’s nose again.

I’ll let him go first because he’s a lot smaller than you, she says.

Why can’t he call a hooker?

How would that make us look?

Can’t argue with that. 

She puts the dish towel between her legs, scurrying off to join her ex-husband cleaning up in the bathroom.

You pull the dining table away from the refrigerator so you can get your beer.

You might as well take both six packs with you because you’re going to be in the garden shed a long time from the look of things.

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