Bette vs. Betty
Joanne Faries
Carl Jenson awoke to hammering. He rubbed his eyes and then moved the curtains to look out the window. He rustled out of bed, slapped on a pair of jeans, brushed his teeth, and ran downstairs to slip out his patio door. The hair dryer effect blasted him – no cool breezes in August on Planet Betty.
“Kenny,” Carl called out to his neighbor. “What’s up?”
Kenny held up a coffee pot and Carl nodded yes. Kenny poured him a cup. “New Bette Davis fence policy voted in town council last week. Privacy concerns. I’ve got no issues with you Betty Grables, but others do, and our backyards are the town border.”
Carl sipped his coffee, contemplating his status as a you Betty Grable. Two teens – Royce Kimbell and Jared Jenson rounded the corner, fishing poles in hand. “Jared, come to the house. We need to talk.”
“Aw Dad, we’re headed to Betty Draper Lake.”
“Nope, come inside.” Carl gave Kenny his cup, and shook his hand. “I’ve enjoyed your company. But you know the drill – in for a bumpy ride, my friend. Enjoy your privacy.”
“Sorry son. I don’t want you hanging with Royce or any Bette Davis town kids,” said Carl as they returned to the house.
Jared protested, “That’s stupid.”  
Carl shrugged. “Politics, son. We’ll see.”
Construction noise filled the air. An impromptu meeting popped up in Betty Grable Park. Kids played as parents ranted. “Snobs needed fences. Well, just wait until they figure out they need to shop. Bette Davis town is all upscale housing.  Too fancy for retail. My hardware store is closed to them.”
“Yeah, I won’t serve ‘em,” said Betty Grable Bar’s owner.
“We’ve got the eggs in our basket,” said Betty Grable’s Green Grocer. “Let ‘em starve.”
Betty Grable inhabitants threw themselves a unity barbecue complete with fireworks. Every weekend was jam packed with activities for the kids – pool parties, outdoor movie nights, and no Bette Davis folks allowed to participate. They were denied access to stores and entertainment. Had to drive thirty miles to Betty Crocker village. Good thing the hospital was in Comic Book Betty Cove – a neutral area for all.
August sizzled and tempers flared. Adults had not thought the plan through, and it was time for high school football practice to commence. Bette Davis and Betty Grable town funneled kids into one school, one team. After a summer separation, boys had to work together for the Betty Friedan Foxes football team.
Squared off on the fifty yard line, Royce Kimbell was nose to nose to Jared Jenson. A whistle blew, helmets clacked, bodies scrambled, pushed forward, backward, no fences. Another whistle blew. Boys grinned. Foxes football freedom prevailed.

First published: August, 2014
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