So, this happened during the brief time of peace before the Governor hit the fan.

"Seriously, it was so stupid, I broke an egg on his head for saying it." Maggie laughed.

Michonne never laughed, but she did smile and shake her head. "You know, the more attracted to you a man is, the more likely he is to say something stupid."

They weren't much help with the cooking, but they made it a lot less boring. Carol spoke up."I thought men just said stupid things whenever."

"Well, they do," Maggie said, "but-"

She looked at Michonne, who explained, "It's on a sliding scale. Not attracted, not stupid. Moderately attracted, moderately stupid. Really attracted-"

Maggie dropped her jaw, bugged out her eyes—How did she do that? Carol wondered—and said, "Duhhh..."

"Exactly." Michonne nodded.

"Come on." Carol shook her head. "They can't be that transparent."

"No?" Maggie exchanged a look with Michonne. "Are you as sure as I am?"

"Yes," Michonne said. "Would you care to bet on it, Carol?"

Carol had begun to doubt the wisdom of disagreeing with them. They were prettier and bolder than she had ever been, and they had more experience with this sort of thing. "Well, I don't know."

"Do you know who's attracted to you and who isn't?"

"Michonne, I may not have it down to a science, but I'm not blind."

"Your method took a year, though," Maggie said. "Ours will give the same results in five minutes. If we're wrong, we'll do the dishes for a week."

Carol stopped thinking it over. "You're on. How do we do this?"

"Just follow our lead." Michonne picked up a stack of plates, Maggie got the stew pot, and they swept into the main room where the others had gathered for dinner.

Carol shrugged and followed them.

There was dishing up and grace-saying and chair adjusting. Carol said not a word, waiting to see how Maggie and Michonne would get the men to make non-stupid, moderately stupid, or ludicrously stupid remarks.

She almost missed it.

Maggie simply said, "We need opinions, you guys. We were talking about whether Carol should keep her hair short, or let it grow out."

"Look at my hair," Glenn laughed, "and tell me if I should be giving advice."

Carol judged that not especially stupid.

Rick and Merle said nothing, which seemed rather smart.

Hershel, in his serious way, put down his fork, gazed at Carol's head, and stated, "Since you asked, in my humble opinion, long hair would look nice on you."

Not stupid.

"That's what I think," Maggie agreed. "You said it was curly when you wore it long, didn't you, Carol?"

"Um—yeah. Yeah, it was." Great, Carol. What does it mean if you say stupid things?

"Long curly hair," Maggie said. "That would be beautiful on you. What do you think, Daryl?"

"Uhh..." Daryl looked like a deer caught in headlights. "Umm..."

Michonne dropped her fork and clapped a hand over her mouth.

Carol kicked her. "Michonne's also considering making a change. Jerry curls, was it?"

"I can't believe this," Glenn said. "It's the zombie apocalypse, and you guys are seriously considering makeovers?"

Maggie played along perfectly. "Daddy, what do you think?"

"Again, this is my humble opinion. I am partial to long hair, therefore I like it the way it is."

"I'm not in this," Rick said. It was moderately stupid, but wise.

"Merle?" Carol smiled innocently at him. "What do you think of Michonne's hair?"

Merle froze, spoon halfway to his plate. He gawped like a wide-mouth bass. "Uhh... Umm... What was the question?"

Carol interrupted with what she hoped sounded like a violent coughing episode, during which Michonne thumped her on the back a lot harder than was necessary.

"You okay, Carol?" Maggie asked sweetly.

"Fine." Red-faced, lips pressed together, Carol struggled to control herself. "Something went down the wrong way."

Michonne glared at her. "It sure as hell did."