Quick And Dirty Fiction: Benny And Phil

Quick and Dirty as usual meaning that it’s basically as-is writing — other than minor in-progress edits and a quick spell-check, nothing’s been done to it. Other things to know: no smut; some swearing; no violence/gore. Setup/Premise: Phil’s a bit sensitive about his lack of education and he’s not sure about this new guy he’s been set up with. However, over the first six weeks or so of their partnership, he discovers something interesting… 

* * * *

“…It’s a little circumnavigatory, but it’s the best of our options.”

“Circu- What the hell?” Phil scowled at the other man, crossing his arms. “What the hell was that big word?”

“Circumnavigatory,” Benny said, blinking over the edge of the list he held. “Although I may not have used it quite the right way.”

“That one,” Phil said, still scowling. He lowered his head and set his shoulders. “What the hell’s it mean?”

“Basically, to make a very long trip, as in ‘circumnavigating the globe’,” Benny said, his voice mild, looking down and missing the challenging set to Phil’s posture. “No matter what we do, we’re going to have to drive across town at some point. It makes more sense to start with our farthest point and work our way back. Since you’re driving, what do you think?”

Phil’s scowl faded some, and he relaxed. “Uh, okay, yeah, sure. Let’s get goin’.”

 - - -

“Mister Ogilvie was certainly loquacious this morning,” Benny said, as he sank into the passenger seat. “I didn’t think we were ever getting out of there.”

“He was what?” Phil’s brows drew together and down as he started the car. “What kinda word was that?”

“Loquacious. It’s an adjective,” Benny said, taking out the little notebook he’d taken to carrying and checking off Oglivie And Sons. “It means excessively talkative, and he certainly was that.”

“Yeah,” Phil said, glancing at the other man, his face thoughtful.

 - - -

“So I’m trying valiantly to stay awake while Bobby’s extolling the manifold virtues of this girl. I was almost glad when I burnt my tongue on the soup,” Benny said.

“Extollin’?” Phil said.

“Listing in detail,” Benny said, “minute and excruciating detail. Would you like to hear about how her hair looks in the sun?”

Phil laughed and shook his head. “Nah, that’s okay, thanks. Unless you want me to fall asleep while I’m drivin?”

“Not in the least.”

 - - -

“How can you stand to work with that guy?” Anderson said, shaking his head.

“Benny?” Phil shrugged. “Benny’s great.”

Anderson snorted. “Whattya mean, ‘great’? He’s a fuckin’ snob, ain’t he?”

“Whattya mean, he’s a snob? He ain’t a snob,” Phil said, closing The Art and Science of Food on his index finger. “Why?”

“He’s always usin’ those giant words an’ he’s always got his nose in a book,” Anderson said, pointing at the large volume in Phil’s hands. “An’ he’s rubbin’ off on you, ain’t he?”

“Well, yeah, he does, but if you ask him what they mean he tells you,” Phil said. He looked down at his book and laughed. “Not really. This is really good, it’s all about how stuff works when you’re cookin’. I read it all the time, an’ it’s only since I been workin’ with Benny I started takin’ it with me. An’ Benny’s fine. He just likes to read, is all.”

“An’ laughs ‘cause you dunno, right?” Anderson rolled his eyes. “Like I said, he’s rubbin’ off on you.”

“No,” Phil said, sitting up straight. “He ain’t never once acted like me wantin’ to know what somethin’ meant was a big deal. Not even the second day we were workin’ together an’ he used this word I don’t remember. It meant takin’ a long trip, like goin’ around the world, an’ when I got pissed off an’ asked him about it, he just told me. Didn’t even look at me funny or nothin’.”

“Huh,” Anderson said. “Really?”


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