“Alright everyone, for an ice breaker, let’s start by telling us your name and sharing with us your first pet,” said Shane. She looked around the circle at her Globophobics Anonymous group and smiled.
“Um, excuse me. What if we’ve never had a pet?” asked someone.
“Then tell us what pet you’d like to have some day. You can start,” said Shane.
The man’s eyes darted around the room. “My name is Isaac. My first pet was a schnauzer named King.”
Shane looked a little stunned. “I thought you never had a pet.”
“I was just curious,” replied Isaac.
“I never had a pet,” said a man on the other side of the circle. He was wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap set low on his forehead.
“Seriously?” asked a woman sitting next to him.
“That’s interesting,” said Shane. “What’s your name and what pet would you have?”
“People call me Duct.”
“As in ‘quack quack’?” asked Isaac. He smiled at people around the group.
“Not duck. Duct,” replied Duct, emphasizing the ‘t’.
“That’s a unique name,” said Shane. “Why do they call you that?”
“It’s short for Duct Tape.”
“That explains everything,” mumbled the woman sitting beside him.
Shane sat in silence, staring at Duct.
“I’ll bite. Why Duct Tape?” asked Isaac.
“‘Cause I fix everything.”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” said the woman beside him.
Duct turned to the woman and glared over his sunglasses. “I didn’t choose it. What’s your name?”
“Prudence. They call me Prude for short,” declared the woman.
“C’mon. You’re making that up,” said Isaac.
“It’s a family name,” explained Prudence.
Isaac shook his head. “Alright, fine. So what’s your real name, Duct?”
“It’s a family name, too,” Duct said to Prudence. “Its Death.”
The group erupted. People murmured to each other.
Isaac threw up his hands. He turned to Shane. “Death is afraid of balloons. Who knew?”
Shane’s eyes grew as wide a dinner plates. “Well, Duct, can you possibly fix this?” she asked.
Duct shrugged. “I’ve always wanted a kitten.”