“I take it you’re leaving the cigars at home?” laughs Stan.
The charity fundraiser at the country club is three weeks away but already the five longtime friends are betting on who’ll collect the most phone numbers.
Widowed, divorced, never married, the OctoBoys as they call themselves — they’re all 80-plus or nearing — haven’t given up on romance. Just no more online dating, bars or singles’ events.
“Remember the gal who waited until we were at the steakhouse before telling me she was both vegetarian and vegan?” says Ed at one of their get-togethers. “Don’t forget the one who took me to a nudist resort but refused to remove her makeup,” Manuel chimes in.
The five have also learned that not all women share their enthusiasm for golf, tennis, car shows and deep-sea fishing. Or cigars.
So over Sunday brunch and drinks at their favorite restaurant, Stan, Manuel, Riku and Ed begin strategizing on the women who might attend the fundraiser and how to meet them.
Paul just sits quietly and smiles.
“The last time you smirked like that, we were playing poker and you wound up losing five hundred. Why so confident this time?” asks Stan.
“You’ll see,” Paul can barely keep a straight face.
The five put down their money. Paul, “since I’m going to win anyway,” logs the bets.
Country club day arrives and four of the five — their attire preapproved by Riku, best dresser of the group — show up together.
As they scope out the women, they also look for Paul, who’s uncharacteristically late.
Finally, he appears at the gate. Women immediately begin heading his way.
Under each arm, Paul has a wriggling mixed-breed puppy. Both are wearing small doggie vests with the words “Adopt Me.”
With the puppies licking his chin and ears, Paul catches up with his friends.
“Man’s best wingman,” he says, grinning.
“You can pay up now, boys. I’ll need the money to buy drinks for all these good-looking dog-lovers while I get their phone numbers.”