There was Steve, our resident cowboy, sitting at the round table in the Mule Barn truck stop, doodling on paper. Other members of the world dilemma think tank gravitated to Steve's table.
Steve appeared to be oblivious of the rest of us. "Downspout," he mumbled.
Doc nodded at Herb. "Downspout, Herb."
"I thought so, too," Herb said.
"Oh hi guys," said Steve.
"So Steve ... downspout?"
"Hot tub," Steve said, as if that cleared everything up. "For the cabin. You know. I'm going to put in a hot tub."
"And you need a downspout for this?" Herb said.
"For the rain," Steve said.
We looked at him.
"No water," Steve said. "You know, at the cabin."
"Let's see if I have this right," Dud said. "You want to put a hot tub in at your cabin and you don't have water."
"So you need a downspout...?"
"For when it rains," Steve said. "To fill the hot tub."
"Okay. So how will you get it hot?"
"Going to wrap copper tubing around the stovepipe in the cabin, you see, and then send it on out to the hot tub. The tub will be outside on the porch."
"You don't have a porch."
"But I will by the time I get the hot tub built," Steve explained. "I'll bet that copper tubing will heat that water right up and then I can have a good soak up there any time I want."
"Not quite," said Doc. "Not the way I figure it."
Steve looked at him. "Why not?"
"If the water comes down the downspout, around the stovepipe through the copper tubing and then outside to the hot tub, it looks to me like the only time you can soak in the tub is in a rainstorm."
Steve thought about that for a minute. Then sipped his cold coffee. Loretta heated it up.
"And Steve," said Doc, "you ever been on that mountain when the lightning's popping? If you're in that hot tub, with your moustache flopping around in the wind while you watch the surrounding countryside explode, well ..."
Steve wiped out what he was drawing with the pencil and started in on a fresh napkin.
He looked up after a few minutes. "Pool table," he said.
It's a good thing dreams are free.