In the last episode, we learned the tragic history of my favorite bra, which disappeared shortly after I moved in with my Lady Friend. If you missed the first two chapters of this riveting who-done-it, you can read them on my web site: www.jenniferparello.com )
The last time I wore my favorite bra was to a bridge tournament in Wisconsin. I slipped it on shortly before beginning the final game of the weekend, when my playing partner and I were pitted against our arch-rivals, Sal and Leon, for the championship match.
Sal and Leon are my Moby Dick, my Waterloo. They aren't good players, but I usually lose to them because they drive me to distraction with their annoying habits and body odor.
'Helloooo, ladies,' Sal bellowed as he slammed into a chair at our table. Sal is a big, messy man who smells like an old salami. He eats constantly while playing, unwrapping greasy napkins filled with chicken wings and smacking his liver-colored lips with each bite. When Sal isn't slobbering over his cards, he is braying loudly about his brilliant play and lecturing his opponents on their idiotic mistakes.
Leon, a small, pudgy fellow who resembles a garden gnome, twittered girlishly and took the chair opposite Sal. Leon speaks in a high-pitched whine that pinches at my eardrums like an infection. I often have to resist the urge to pick up Leon and stuff him into a garbage can.
I shook off a wave of irritation as Sal pulled out a bottle of off-brand soda and methodically swirled it into a cup of sugar cubes as if mixing a Martini. I tried to think happy thoughts about the awards banquet that followed the match. I had worn my favorite bra in anticipation of the event. It was there that I intended to ply a certain country-club blonde with white wine spritzers in hopes that she might slip off her wedding ring and follow me back to my room for some harmless sexual experimentation.
Sal interrupted my small fantasy by demanding that I play a card. I quickly rubbed my hand over my bra for good luck and tossed the queen of hearts onto the table. Sal was so distracted watching my palm slide across my breasts ( they are really quite impressive ) that he miscarded and was assessed a penalty, which assured my partner and me an easy victory. He later lodged a complaint against my breasts, but the judges ruled in my favor after I explained to them the importance of fondling my lucky bra before any significant event.
'It would be a damn shame if anything were to ever happen to that bra,' Sal sneered as I walked away from the table and headed to the awards banquet, where a trophy and a slightly tipsy married woman awaited me.
A few days later, after my bra disappeared, I couldn't help but think of Sal's comment. This was a man who was in definite need of a bra. But just as I was about to ask the American Contract Bridge League to investigate Sal's role in what I now regarded as a kidnapping, a new, more promising suspect entered the picture.
Next time-Chapter 4: Baiting the trap
( Do you know what happened to my bra? Send your theory to email@example.com . If you guess correctly before the last chapter in this saga, I'll send you an excellent prize. )