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Harvey Lends a Hand

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It was a lovely May evening as Elwood P. Dowd strolled home from a convivial evening at Charlie's Bar. If pressed, he would be forced to admit that he was, indeed, more than a little spiffed. And if it wasn't for his companion and dear, dear friend, Harvey, steering him in the right direction, well, he might just have wandered off somewhere.

Elwood had woken up before in people's front yards, blinking up at the oh-too-bright morning sky. Sometimes, the yard owner would invite him in for coffee before sending him on his way and sometimes he'd just be sent on his way with an overly loud conversation and a few whacks with a broom. He preferred the coffee but it was always an unexpected adventure and a chance to meet people.

Tonight Harvey and he were discussing the competing charms of Miss Patterson and Miss McGee, two young ladies they'd met at Charlie's tonight. Harvey admired the finer qualities of Miss Patterson, who was a lovely young lady -- he would never dispute that -- but Elwood felt there was something about the warm brown eyes of Miss McGee that put her just slightly ahead. He was vigorously stating his case when he happened to trip over an uneven bit of sidewalk and fell before Harvey could catch him.

Laughing at his own clumsiness, Elwood rolled up in a seated position and waved away Harvey's apologies. There was a white picket fence right next to him and Elwood shifted to lean against it.

"No need to apologize, my friend. It was my own fault. Have a seat! Join me." Elwood patted the ground next to him and smiled happily as Harvey sat next to him. They were quiet a few minutes, just enjoying the night sky and the sound of crickets.

"What a lovely evening," Elwood said, rolling his head to the side to smile at Harvey. "With lovely companions. You agree? Well, yes, they both were but surely I can persuade you that Miss McGee... No? Well, I suppose every man is allowed his personal opinion where the fairer sex is concerned."

"Hm? What was that?" Elwood blushed just a smidge. "Why, thank you, Harvey. You're quite lovely yourself."

There was the sound of a zipper and Elwood snatched his hat off to hold it in front of his lap. "Well, you're certainly feeling frisky tonight. Are you sure you want to do this here? You are?" Elwood chuckled. "No, I suppose you're right. So long as we don't frighten the horses."

Harvey proceeded to get even friskier and things were progressing nicely when they heard footsteps coming towards them. Elwood elbowed Harvey to pull his hand out from under Elwood's hat. He might have had to elbow him twice since Harvey was flatteringly reluctant.

"Good evening. How are you folks tonight? Aren't the stars beautiful tonight, hmm?" Elwood couldn't doff his hat to the lady but he managed to smile and nod respectfully. For some reason, the couple didn't seem in the mood for conversation and hurried past them.

"I guess they were in a hurry," Elwood said to Harvey. "I think that was Tom Murray, the gentleman who works in the gas station. Very nice man. I've never met the lady before. Maybe she's from the next town? Hmm? What do you think? Oh. Oh, I see. You think we were interrupted at a critical juncture. You might be right. That's one of things I always liked about you, Harvey. You always know what's important."

His smile softened. "I agree. You're important to me too."

Elwood leaned back and looked up at the stars while Harvey continued to make a pleasant evening even more delightful.