"Didn't you get my message?" asked Uncle Billy.
"Yes, I got it." I braced for what was coming.
"So, why didn't you call me?"
"I was in the middle of something ... and I forgot you'd called."
"What the hell was so all-fired important that you forgot I called?"
"What difference does it make ... I forgot okay?"
"No, seriously, I'm curious."
"I was doing research on the target audience for my books."
Billy snorted. "Target audience? That's easy, drunks and losers."
"Thanks, Uncle ... I appreciate the support."
"I'm just kidding ... don't be so damn sensitive ... but I needed to talk to you."
"Okay, you're talking to me ... "
"Clara's giving me grief about not coming home last weekend."
"Why would she care?"
"You know we've been dating."
"So, I was supposed to go with her to the casino on Sunday, and she couldn't find me."
"Where were you?"
"You know exactly where I was ... you saw me."
"You were with Alma Beeler."
"Yep ... and Clara is busting my chops ... you gotta help me."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Just tell her I was staying at your place."
"You want me to lie for you?"
"As one guy to another ... you can't betray the fraternity."
"Uncle Billy, aren't you a little old for this nonsense?"
"If you're too old ... you're dead. Please, just help me out here."
"I'm not lying to Clara. I won't mention that I saw you in Alma's car, but I'm not going to tell her you were staying with me. You're going to have to sort that out yourself."
Uncle Billy was silent for few seconds. "It's a good thing your mother isn't around to hear what a traitor you are to the family."