Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Just borrowing them. I'll give 'em back, very, very soon.

The Big Three-O

By Susan Proto

Johnny arrived sobered, and Roy wondered why. It was a big day for

his partner.

"Johnny? You okay?" Roy asked.

"Okay? Sure. Why wouldn't I be okay?" he replied earnestly.

"For a guy who's celebrating a birthday today, you're awfully quiet."

"Birthday?" Johnny blushed. "Oh, right, birthday. Hey, no big deal."

"Excuse me? Who are you and what have you done with my partner?" chuckled Roy.

"It's not a big deal anymore," Johnny replied dejectedly.

"Oh c'mon! It's your birthday!"

"It's my *thirtieth* birthday, Roy. It's time I...." He stopped, conflicted.

"Johnny, spill."

"It's time I start acting my age. I mean, that's what everyone is always telling me, right?"

Chet entered the room, noted the glum mood, and said, "Where's the funeral?"

"Here," replied Johnny gravely.


"Birthday. The big three-O," clarified Roy.

"Ohhhh," understood Chet, "so ya think life's over for ya, right, Gage?"

"Well, life as I knew it," answered Johnny.

"Aw, don't be a dolt, Gage. Ya shouldn't think of yourself as being thirty," began Chet.

"Oh, no?" asked Gage.

"Nah... just think... you're only ten years away from being FORTY!"

Chet took off, and Johnny proved just how spry a thirty year old could be.