The Story of Betty and Marlene

[one_half_last][/one_half_last]I have been friends with Giselle for more than fifteen years.  About eight years ago she began talking about a friend of hers from Chicago named Betty. “Betty found a way to remove that ugly stain from my carpet,” Giselle said one day.  “Betty is a pretty good athlete,“ she said the next time I saw her.  After that it was, “Betty has a daughter.”   “Betty, Betty, Betty.”  Yet I never met this Betty person. A couple of summers ago I asked Giselle’s sister if she’d ever met this Betty chick. “Yeah I met her,” she answered. “So what does she look like?” I asked. “Oh you know, just like a normal person,” she says. “What does a normal person look like?” “Well she has short brown hair and she’s about this tall.”  Giselle's sister held her hand out to show me. “Anything else you can think of?” I said. "Anything distinguishing?"

“Well, her hands are like great big giant ping pong paddles.”[one_half_last][/one_half_last]

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Last year Giselle introduced me to a man who she claimed to be Betty’s husband and a beautiful young woman that she said was Betty’s daughter. "Betty couldn’t make it,"  she said. I have heard many stories about many things that Giselle and Betty have done, including an afternoon when they went canoeing.  The only part of that story that I could possibly believe to be true is that Giselle said she is never going canoeing again. But here is where things start to get interesting.  I have another friend named Jenny.  Jenny and I have been friends for about ten years. We have lunch together most days at work along with, Blair.  About a year ago Jenny started telling Blair and I stories about someone named Marlene.  At first it didn’t seem weird. But one day Blair raised her eyebrows when Jenny  began yet another[one_half_last][/one_half_last] Marlene story.  This time it was about the flea market they’d been to.  It seemed that every night Jenny and Marlene went shopping or out to dinner or to a casino or Jenny was helping Marlene plant tobacco plants on her farm.  Hell, they even sewed together.   It was, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene. It occurred to Blair and I that Jenny was possibly delusional.  There weren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week to do as many things as she and this Marlene girl did.   We decided that Marlene existed only in Jenny’s mind. The day I realized that our suspicions had been correct all along was the day that Jenny told us that she and Marlene had gone shopping the night before and Marlene brought a friend along. You know what that other friend’s name was? Betty.

"Does she have great big giant ping pong paddle hands?"  I asked.


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