Beaten down by unrequited love, Jake needed something to distract him. So he searched for the phone number of his roller skating friend. The tough one. The one with mean elbows.

“Are you roller racing anytime soon?” Jake asked. “I need to be distracted.”

“She turned you down, did she?” said Amy. “Poor you. Well we haven’t got any races coming up. Our manager quit. We all have day jobs. We don’t have time to set anything up. We’re bummed.”

“That’s terrible. I could have really used something to do.”

“Well then set up some races for us,” said Amy.

“I wouldn’t know the first thing about it.”

“I’ll tell you the first thing then. Jeez, it’s not like people are born managing roller skating teams. You have to start somewhere.”

In the end, Jake was too depressed to utter the word no, so they met at Amy’s place. She cleared her chain saw off the couch so he could sit down.

“If you’re going to manage us you have to be more tough,” said Amy.

“I’m not good at being tough,” said Jake. “It’s not my forte.”

“This will help,” said Amy, shoving a cigar stub in his mouth. It smelled awful, like she had cleaned shower fungus with it. But he knew she didn’t, since she had told him she never cleaned her shower, she just ripped out the fiberglass shower insert every six months and tacked up a new one.

“I don’t smoke,” said Barry. But even as he said it, he felt tougher.

“Then don’t light it,” said Julie.

“Gotcha covered, babe,” said Barry, warming to his new persona, and understanding finally that he and Amy were meant to be together.

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