I’ll say this for it, it was a bright, warm day for a long, long ride. I picked Carolyn up at 3 sharp. Her house was on the sunny side of $half a mil, and with a Jag peeking its cheeky nose out of her garage, I had to wonder why we were taking Aunt Harriet’s Turd Fergus.

“Because mine would be too conspicuous for a get-away, silly,” she answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Is this how we end up?“Getaway?” I inquired shakily. The morning’s bathrobe-inspired bravery was wearing off fast in the face of Carolyn’s breezy glee. “Are we going to need to make a getaway?”

“Don’t you think so?” she asked, bemused by my rank innocence. “We’re stealing something, aren’t we?”

“You think they’ll chase us for stealing a knitting trophy?”

Dahling,” she said, “you clearly don’t know much about needle-knockers. They’re vicious.”

“They’re elderly women, for gawd’s sake. How ‘vicious’ could they be?”

“Ever been in Macy’s basement on Bargain Day?”

I’m sure I blanched. I had been in Macy’s basement on Bargain Day as a matter of fact. Once. And I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It ranked right up there on my list of “Worst Things That Ever Happened To Me in My Life” along with a botched root canal and the time Eddie Prendergast put a bee up my nose during the 7th grade camping trip while I was sleeping. One old woman, determined to appropriate a scarf I was holding, cracked my second and fourth ribs with her copy of the Rev Billy Filcher’s massive bestseller, Love Thy Neighbor But Count the Silverware When He Leaves. “As bad as that?” I shivered.

“Worse,” she said ominously. “These ‘elderly women’ are armed with sharp, pointed objects and have been training in their use for years. In the hands of an experienced knitter, those needles are deadly weapons. We’re going to need to watch ourselves.”

“And I was worried about the dog,” I moaned.

“Forget the dog, Poopsie,” she said, patting her handbag. “The dog is taken care of.”

“What are you patting your purse about? The doctored steak is in the car.”

“I’ve got something better,” she smiled. I knew that smile. It was the same one Hannibal Lector had on when he chopped up a Central Park mime.


“Tut,” she said, dismissing my fears with an airy wave of the same hand she probably used to strangle cats. “The dog is covered. Forget the dog. You worry about those old women and their needles.”

So I did.