"Ricky, I invited the Mertzes over for dinner again. Is that okay?" Lucy asked.
"Oh, sure," he told her. She went into the kitchen, and he mumbled to himself, "Bought a $50 dress. Could've fought in front of the Mertzes, and paid the same thing."
"What was that, Dear?" Lucy called from the kitchen.
While they were enjoying a spaghetti dinner, Lucy gave Ethel a look. "Fred?" she asked. "Have you and Ethel been fighting? Ethel said you have had some... disagreements."
"What!? No we haven't," Fred objected.
"How 'bout you Ricky?" Ethel asked. "Lucy said you've been arguing, too."
Ricky looked offended, "We haven't been arguing."
"Well Ricky, if you and Lucy have been fighting, I think it would only be fair if you told us," Fred said.
"What about you? If you were fighting, you should tell us!" Ricky said.
Fred shook his head, "But we weren't."
"Well neither were we," Ricky said.
"How can I know for sure?" Fred asked.
"I don't know," Ricky said. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"
"Because I am!"
"Well..." Ricky was silent, then he asked sarcastically. "Lucy, why would you tell Ethel we were fighting?"
"Huh? Oh, uh, we had that little disagreement this morning, remember? You said you would tell, and I said you wouldn't." Lucy said.
"Why would you say that?" Fred asked Ethel, also with sarcasm.
"Well, we uh, we, we, because we were. We were fighting this morning, too. You were worried about losing $50, and I was getting annoyed with you." Ethel said.
"So you were fighting," Ricky accused Fred.
"Well so were you," Fred fought back.
This was not going the way Lucy wanted it to. She was hoping they would call it even, and call off the bet themselves. But it wasn't working that way. "Ricky," she said suggestively. "Why don't we just call off the bet? We were both fighting, so let's just call it off."
Ricky looked at Lucy, "Why? If they fought before we did, we'll win the bet."
"Oh, Ricky! Come on... There's no way anybody can win the bet."
"Why? Oh, because... because me and Ethel... we... we want you to call it off," Lucy said.
Ricky thought, "Okay. Fred? Wanna' call it off?"
"Uh huh," Fred said.
"There," Ricky said. He turned to Lucy, "Now, we have a dress to discuss."
Ethel chuckled, "See Lucy. I told you he would get mad anyway. We could've told them."
"What do you mean 'anyway'? And 'told us what'?" Ricky asked Lucy and Ethel.
Lucy glared at Ethel, and said to Ricky, "Well Ricky, me and Ethel, we... uh... we officially called off the bet this morning."
"What!" Fred exclaimed. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"Because... well... oh Ethel, what'd ya' have to say that for!?"
"Answer Fred's question. Why didn't you tell us?" Ricky asked.
Lucy sighed, and said quickly, "Because I wanted to get that dress, and if you thought the bet was still on, then you wouldn't get mad at me."
"So it was before you got the dress," Ricky accused.
"Well... Ricky, I... You... We... OH!... Yes," Lucy finally admitted.
"Well," Ricky said, pleased. "Then you can just take it back."
"No, Ricky. I can't take it back!" Lucy said.
"'Cause I don't wanna'!"
"Lucy," Ricky said. "You take that dress back as soon as the store opens tomorrow."
"Come on Fred, I think we should leave now," Ethel said.
"Yeah, we've seen and heard this argument before," Fred said.
The Next Morning...
"So Lucy, how did things turn out last night? Did Ricky let you keep the dress?" Ethel asked, sitting down on the couch.
"No," Lucy said, pouting. She sat down next to Ethel.
"Aw, you have to take it back?"
"No," Lucy said.
"But I thought you said Ricky wouldn't let you keep it."
"Yeah, he said that. But I told him I wouldn't take it back," Lucy explained.
"So he hid it on me while I was sleeping."
"And he took it back on his way to work this morning," Lucy finished.
"Oh. What are you gonna' do?"
"I don't know," Lucy sighed. "To get something new, I guess I'll just have to wait until the next opportunity."
"Yeah," agreed Ethel. "And you won't even wait 'till then. You see something you want, you won't wait."
Lucy shrugged guiltily, "I know."