Butt, yes

Experts agree there is no room for sarcasm in a healthy relationship. Oh, that sounds realistic.

No, really. The subject of sarcasm came up for two reasons, both having to do with Fast Lane.

First, there’s this exchange between Lara and Clay after an obnoxious ingénue interrupts them shortly after they meet at a party:

Clay turned back to Lara. “Sorry about that.”
“You don’t have to apologize. It probably happens all the time.”
“Welcome to my life.”
“Pobrecito. Always being hounded by women.”
Clay raised one eyebrow. “Sarcasm. I like that in a woman.”

Upon further review, Lara’s retort isn’t sarcasm, which is harsh or bitter, like a heavy hammer of irony. It’s more like verbal sparring or repartee. A tickling feather of irony.

Then there’s this note my editor wrote in the margin where I listed a character’s age as twenty-one—after I’d already said in an earlier scene that she “arched her back and stuck her little twenty-three year-old butt into the air.”

Her butt, at least, is 23.

Sarcasm? Hmmm. This was information I needed to know. And the presentation made me laugh. So I took my editor on a romantic getaway to a bed and breakfast out in some godforsaken—I mean wonderfully rural—burg forty-five minutes from downtown Milwaukee.

Don’t worry, my wife knew all about it. Mary Jo has been my editor for twenty-nine years.

It was our anniversary, and we dined and engaged in repartee at a quaint Irish pub, then went back to the B & B to play cribbage and drink champagne and stuff, then had breakfast served to us in a lovely Victorian dining room.

A healthy relationship always has room for breakfast.

The margin note? This was my response, via email: “In my mind, the character is 21, but she has the butt of a 23-year-old, which, as we both know, is better.”

So I’m going with repartee on that one.

And, by the way, I’ll take an older butt over a younger one any day.

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