Jean: Are you always going to be interested in snakes? (She fools with his ear.)

Charles: (Almost crossly) In a way…snakes are my life.

Jean: (After a very long pause) What a life!

Charles: (After a pause) I suppose it sounds kind of silly…I mean I suppose I should have married…and gone into the brewing business which I suspect my father’s always wanted me to do…as a matter of fact he’s told me so fairly plainly…but I just don’t care for the brewing business.

Jean: You say that’s why you never married?

Charles: (Chuckling) Oh, no…it’s just that I’ve never met her, that’s all…I guess she’s somewhere in the world.

Jean: It would be too bad if you never bunked into each other.

Charles: (Shrugging) Well…

Jean: I suppose you know exactly what she looks like and everything.

Charles: I…I think I do.

Jean: I’ll bet she looks like… Marguerite in “Faust.”

Charles: No…she hasn’t…she isn’t…(He helps out with a gesture)…hefty enough for an opera singer.

Jean: Oh. How are her teeth?

Charles: (Startled) Hunh?

Jean: You should always pick one with good teeth…it saves expense later.

Charles: Oh…you’re kidding me…maybe you should.

Jean: Not badly. You have a right to have an ideal. I guess we all have an ideal.

Charles: What does yours look like?

Jean: He’s a little short guy with lots of money.

This Issue

December 20, 1990