Louis Dumkowski decides to face the loan shark to whom he owes money, and surprisingly is forgiven and hired, along with his friend Cleatus Washington. He even gets a girl friend for the first time, and that’s when his troubles really start.

     Cara Lee, a waitress at the café two blocks from the pool hall, had taken a liking to Louis.  Louis was at first suspicious, then amazed that she would notice him.  Their first time together had been a fumbling, grunting mess, but to Louis it was heaven.  It was also nice, he thought, because she always took the initiative.  Louis liked not having to make decisions or initiate anything.  It was much nicer when other people did the thinking and acting, and all he had to do was follow instructions.

     He was just pouring himself another drink of the Jack and coke when his hand phone rang.  Putting down the bottle, he took the phone from his pocket and flipped it open.  At first, he didn’t recognize the number; then when it came to him, he paled and handed the phone to Cleatus.

     “Is it for me?” Cleatus asked.

     “N-not really,” Louis said.  “It’s my momma.”

     “Your momma ain’t got no reason to be callin’ me,” Cleatus said.  “It’s got to be for you.  You answer it.”

     “Aw, man, can’t you answer it for me?  Momma don’t never call unless she got something to say I don’t wanta hear,” Louis said plaintively.  “You answer it and find out what she want.”

     “Shit, Louis, you can’t even wipe your own behind without somebody else helping you.”  Cleatus took the phone anyway.  “Hello Miz Dumkowski, this is Cleatus.  How you doing?”  He frowned as a tinny voice came out of the receiver.  “Yessum, Louis around,” He said.  “Why sure, Miz Dumkowski, I get him on the phone right away.”

     Cleatus put his hand over the phone and glared at Louis, who was shrinking back in his chair, staring at the phone as if it was a bottle of nitro.

     “Come on, Louis,” Cleatus said.  “Yo’ momma said she want to talk to you, and you better answer.”  He pushed the phone across the table.

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