“You never think of buttons much, Andy,” says Mr. K examining a small white one in his hand that should be attached at the collar of his shirt, “until one is missing.”
“I have a spare shirt for you in my office. Would you like for me to get it now or right before your lunch meeting?”
“After I meet with the Colonel will be fine,” answers Mr. K, still contemplating the button. “Iowa had a flourishing button industry. They carved pearl buttons from clamshells. Then the button workers went out on strike for a year or two. The shortage of those clam buttons made people realize the importance of the lowly button.”
“I feel deeply slighted you have not spent more evenings with me during our wives’ absence, Otto,” scolds the Colonel jokingly. “We should devote more time to late-night cards and drinks.” He winks. “Wenn die Katze aus dem Haus ist, the mice will dance. Instead, you lie awake late at night stewing over politics.”
Although Mr. K is sometimes a bit mysterious about his whereabouts, Andy is confident the two gentlemen are family men. Not the types to stray at all.
Clearing his throat and glancing at Andy, Mr. K replies, “Colonel, we are much too devoted to our wives to do any carousing in their absence. Besides, they’d string us out to dry like venison jerky in a smokehouse if we did.”