“Aussie, she’s taking the bed away. The bed we’re on!”

“But that’s the Man’s bed, Harry. She’s getting rid of the Man’s bed?”

“First she stripped it, and now they’re taking it away. What are we going to do? Without a bed to jump up on, how are we going to look out the window?”

“How are you going to go ballistic when the snowplow comes in the middle of the night and wake everybody up?”

“And did you hear our neighbor say that there’s a bobcat in the area? How are we going to guard the house?”

“We need to guard the house!”

“Just look at how she gave away his clothes, Aussie.”

“She did wash them first, Harry.”

“But did she iron them? That’s what I want to know. Did she straighten them with loving tears in her eyes? I didn’t see one tear in her eye, did you, Aussie?”

“I don’t think she’s ever been the ironing type, Harry. But what about the desk and chair she sent away? He worked at that desk for 20 years.”

“Where did she send them to, Auss, the Smithsonian?”

“No, to the Salvation Army, Harry. The very desk where he said hi to all his teachers week after week and played Solitaire. Emptied the files, recycled the papers. Sent away everything, Harry: berets, suspenders, Hawaiian shirts, his clowning stuff.”

“This is the worst send-off I’ve ever seen, Aussie.”

“It’s insensitive, uncaring, unloving. It’s, it’s—“

“I’ll tell you what it is, Aussie, it’s ruthless! Damnit, it’s ruthless!”

“You’re getting carried away, Harry.”

“How could she do this to the Man?”

“Actually, Harry, you never met him.”

“But I feel like I know him, Aussie. He was humble, sweet-natured, gentle, a real sweetie.”

“Like I said, you never met him.”

”Who would have thought the doll could be so undoll-like. Do you see her sunk in memories of the past?”

“I do not, Harry.”

“Do you see her looking out to the snow outside, sad and weepy?”

“I do not, Harry. Droopy, maybe. Weepy, nah.”

“Women are supposed to be sentimental! Women are supposed to be nostalgic! Did you see her throw out all those photo albums? And the gazillion photos? A real doll would have been poring over them, sorting them out, and sending them to all his students with mushy notes.”

“I don’t think she’s mushy, Harry. She said it would take her ten years to do that.”

“But is that a reason for chucking them all out?”

“Actually, yes, Harry.”

“I’ll tell you one thing, Aussie. She ain’t no doll. I misjudged her, gave her the benefit of the doubt. But now I know. Doll ain’t no doll.”

“The Man could have told you that, Harry.”