Bone tired and soaked to the bone in sweat, Jason crawled into his truck. The long scorching summer working for his paleontology professor in the bone-dry Wyoming bone beds was at its end. Although the work-study program had good bones on paper, in reality, it failed to deliver anything more than bone-numbing tedium. Bone deep, Jason knew he had pulled a boner by accepting the puny bone that the professor had tossed him. This had come after Jason, no lazy bones, failed to receive an acceptance to grad school. No more bone-headed decisions, he told himself. Nor would he pick a bone with his professor about the lack-luster recommendation that he had written for Jason. Rather Jason, who did not have a mean bone in his body, would look to the future, bone up for the next two weeks, and retake the graduate school entrance exam. Far more than rolling the bones of chance, he felt in his bones that his goal was attainable, so he held onto it like a dog with a bone.
The pioneers’ bone yard, headstones askew, marked where the dirt road crossed the highway. Dust swallowed Jason’s truck as he pulled onto the asphalt. No bones about it, Jason did not see the oncoming semi, which with bone-crunching force hit his truck broadside and T-boned it.
A month later when Jason, slender to begin with, was finally discharged from the hospital he was hardly more than skin and bones and still had a tender funny bone. The urologist told him that it would be months before he could expect to have a boner again.
For several reasons, graduate school for now was out of the question. The dean had cut the paleontology department’s budget to the bone, and his message struck the faculty close-to-the-bone because several of them would be dismissed, which, of course, raised big bones of contention among the least secure. Although far from boneless, some of those at risk, rather than continuing to jawbone in protest, joined Jason in looking elsewhere for jobs, even freelance gigs writing contrived stories containing bone expressions.