The Word

By Audrey W.



“What’s wrong with him?” Marco asked when he saw a glum John Gage climb out of the passenger side of the squad and head off toward the locker room.


John’s partner Roy DeSoto had just gotten out himself, having driven the truck back to the station after a rescue and trip to Rampart General Hospital.  As he came around the front end of the vehicle, he answered, “You know that nurse he took out last Friday night?”




 “Well, apparently he fell short in making an impression on her. She broke up with him today.”


“Broke up with Gage?” Chet Kelly asked. He’d just come from the dayroom on the opposite of the station of the locker room and was standing at the left front fender of the squad.


“Doesn’t a guy have to be going with a girl for her to break up with him?” Marco wondered.


Before Roy could explain again, Chet jumped in with, “To Gage one date is going steady.”


Roy frowned. His partner was never going to forgive him for being so open about his letdown.


Chet rested his elbows on the hood. “Why’d she dump him anyway?”


“She didn’t dump him, she just didn’t want another date.”


“So she dumped him.”


“All I know is that they had one date, he asked her out while we were at Rampart and she told him no, there’s just no magic between them.”


“No magic?” Marco repeated in question form.


“Yeah, that usually means no goosebumps. . .excited chills. . .you know. . .” Chet filled in for Roy again. “In other words, Gage doesn’t do a thing for her.”


Roy just shook his head and wondered what in the world he was thinking by speaking up about the situation in the first place. Marco rolled his eyes at his shiftmate’s explanation.


John came around the rear of the engine and saw Marco and Roy between it and the squad, Chet near the front of the latter. He had a bad feeling about the gathering.


“Well, if it isn’t Mister Romeo without a Juliet,” Chet said while trying to hide a grin.


“Roy, don’t tell me--”


“I don’t think I’ll have to. Looks like you already guessed it.”


Disappointment spread across Gage’s face.  “Ah, man,” he groaned. “How much did ya tell ‘um?”


“Just that you got turned down for a date,” Marco answered.


Chet came around the front of the squad to join the others with, “And that Patricia says you don’t do anything for her.”


Roy gave an apologetic look to his partner, one that John took as sincere. He still wasn’t happy, but he hadn’t exactly held Roy to sworn secrecy.


“Well, just forget about it. It’s not that bigga deal. We only went out once anyway.”


Chet started toward him. “Yeah but, Johnny, I have the answer; the never-fail tactic that is guaranteed to give goosebumps and chills to any woman.”


John’s look of disappointment turned to skepticism, one eyebrow raised in question.  “You?”


Chet stopped in mid-stride. “What’s so surprising about that?”


John looked at the others, then shrugged, a slight grin on his face. “Oh, nothin’. I guess I tend to forget you’re a regular Casanova.”


“Look, you wanna know the secret or not?”


“Sure. Fire away.”


“Are you kidding? You think I’m just gonna blurt it out? No, sir,” he shook his head. “Uh uh.” He motioned for John to follow as he walked past.


Gage gave Roy and Marco an eye roll, then followed to where Chet waited near the locker room door.


“You ready?”


“I’m ready.”






Less than two minutes later, John came wandering back, a puzzled expression on his face. Only Roy remained, Marco having left figuring that it was going to take Chet awhile to give out all his information.


Roy glanced at his watch. “That was quick.”


“Yeah,” Gage agreed with a nod.


But nothing more was said.


“So, does his secret sound like it’ll work?”


But it seemed as though Gage either didn’t hear the question or he chose to ignore it, as he asked a question of his own.


“Have ya ever tried saying just one word to Joanne. . .you know. . .when you. . .” He shifted uncomfortably on his feet, realizing he probably was asking more than he wanted to know anyway. He tried another approach. “You know, does one specific word whispered in her ear give ‘er goosebumps. . .make her kinda giggle? In a good way, I mean.”


Roy grinned. He had a hunch Chet had been given the same information he had at one time in his life, when he was just out of high school. It was really supposed to just be for laughs, but it did give the person being spoken to goosebumps and chills when whispered in their ear.


“You mean like Kaopectate?”


He could tell by the suddenly slack lower jaw of his partner that it indeed was ‘the word’. Roy walked off and left a thoroughly baffled John Gage before anymore could be asked.


John glanced over his shoulder, toward where he’d come from after talking to Chet. He then looked forward again, his gaze where Roy had just walked around the front of the squad as he headed for the captain’s office to fill out the log book.


After a few seconds, he shook his head. “Nah, can’t be.”


He wasn’t about to fall for their joke. No siree.


I’m not *that* desperate. . .yet. . .make that *ever*. . .


He had a feeling if he whispered a word pertaining to anything to do with diarrhea in a chic’s ear, he’d end up with an ear full of some choice words from her. He could certainly do without that added to his girl problems. 


He let the whole idea of whispered words drop as he headed for the office to help Roy with the log book, determined never to even flirt with the idea of getting dating advice from Chet again.  






Years ago in the 1970s, a friend of ours brought this up just while a bunch of us were out for the evening. :o)





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