Bob, Van, and Clyde were more than brothers; they were best friends. They had been there for each other since they were young. Through their years together in high school, they were always there to back each other up if the situation called for it. But once they got married, their time together diminished as they became involved in their lives with their families.

Realizing this, Bob called the others to join him for lunch one day. As they ate, Bob expressed his concern that their wonderful friendship was fading away.

“I propose we have lunch together once each month. We can rotate who chooses, and that person can be the one to pay,” Bob said.

The others felt that was a good idea, and Van set the date for the next one. As time went on, their friendship restrengthened itself. But as in their early years, they weren’t against playing jokes on each other.

There was the time in high school when Van and Clyde wired Bob’s car horn to his brake. The horn went off whenever he stopped for someone at an intersection. It annoyed some girls who thought Bob was honking at them. But after it went off when Bob was behind a police officer, they decided they better fix it.

One time, Bob went to the school office and pretended he was Van, with Clyde being the lookout in case Van came by. Bob, acting his part, signed Van up for a cooking class, and the school secretary was none the wiser. At first, Van was annoyed, but then he realized the cooking class was full of girls. He ended up becoming quite the chef, gaining popularity among the young ladies in the process.

When the three of them took a weight-lifting class together, every time Clyde climbed on the bench press to do his weight lifting, the other two would slip the pin down a couple of extra notches, then put it back when he finished. They would tease Clyde about straining so hard when the others were lifting the same weight so easily. It was almost the end of the semester when Clyde figured it out, and by then he was lifting more than anyone in the class. When Clyde became a champion wrestler, Bob and Van claimed it was because of them “training” him in weight-lifting class.

Even though they were now much older, those jokes they played on each other weren’t far from their minds, and each kept alert to what the others might do.

When it was Bob’s turn to choose the place to eat and pay the bill, he took them to a restaurant that was famous for its good food and was in a tourist town over an hour away. It was filled with tourists passing through, and the trio didn’t know anyone. But the food was good, and they had fun visiting.

When they finished, they went to the counter for Bob to pay. After the waitress told him the total, Bob pulled out his checkbook. As he started to write the check, Clyde grinned and nudged Van.

“Can you believe he spent ten years in prison for writing bad checks and here he is at it again,” Clyde said to Van, loud enough for all to hear.

Van played along. He nodded, “Some people just never learn.”

Everyone in the restaurant turned to stare at them, and Bob hadn’t even finished writing the check before the waitress said they would prefer cash. Bob glared at his brothers and dug out his wallet. He pulled out all the money he had, and it wasn’t enough.

Clyde pulled out his wallet, shaking his head as he spoke loudly to Van again. “If I remember right, we bailed him out a few times back then before the law finally caught up with him.”

Van fished out his wallet and added a twenty to the pile of money. “Yeah, some things just never change.”

As they left the restaurant, Clyde and Van were grinning.

Bob smiled. “You’re right. Some things never change.”