“Right. Betsy Bander. That’s B-A-N-D-E-R, like in candor.”
“What d’y’ think, Betsy. Would a Chiefs fan be accepted in San Diego?”
“Oh yes,” she said. “I personally don’t know of any Chiefs fans, but I presume you’d be treated like a human bean in spite of your bizarre taste in baseball teams.”
“Football? I was never rilly good on the different kinds of sports. Games is games, in my book. Say, what was that name again?”
“Ed Budwieser, that’s W-I-E-S-E-R, I before E except after C, but my friends call me Buster.” He was thinking of what he had once overheard his grandmother say to his mother: “He’s all boy, why in God’s name did you have to give him a sissy name like Edward, why not something masculine, like Buster?”
“Well, Mr. Buster,” said Betsy Bander, “if you’re any indication, Kirkland, Kansas is the place to be.”
“I’d have thought San Diego was.”
“You might just be ri—... say,” and her voice suddenly turned to a whisper, “I gotta go, my supe’s lookin’ at me kinda funny, but just don’t y’all be surprised if some day rilly soon you get a call from the Kirkland airport and a li’l ol’ Betsy Bander person axes you to come pick her up.”
“Not if I don’t first—”
But she had already hung up.
He went into the hall and put the receiver back on the hook.
Then he came back into the bathroom, dried himself with the purple king-size towel, leaned over the sink, and peered through his sunglasses into the steamy cracked mirror, admiring how the new costume brought out his darkly handsome features.