“Okay,” Cindy says, clinking her cup with a spoon. “Question number one…”

Cindy runs her own business, and coffee at her house always comes with a mission statement.

“Say you’re marooned on a tropical island,” she continues. “Who would you choose to be with?”

Leslie, Cindy and I kick back on the sofa. In a matter of seconds, seagulls are crying around the skylights and salty trade winds are blowing away the stench of perspiration from Cindy’s treadmill, which happens to be placed next to me, a wet towel slung over the cup holder.

We girls are great at visualization. It’s the implementation we can’t seem to get a handle on.

The warm foaming surf washes against the white sandy shore. Palm trees sway in the breeze. Closing my eyes, I feel the hot sun on my tanned, cellulite-free body. Suddenly, my mind betrays me, and the beach is swarming with bronzed half-nude Sports Illustrated female swimsuit models on a photo shoot. Gasping, I zap them into penguins and send them, flippers flapping, back to Antarctica.

Meanwhile, leaning against a palm tree, body taut and glistening with a sheen of sweat from the heat, is —

“Tim Allen!” Cindy shouts, snapping me away from my fantasy. That’s not the Hot Stud I would have put into the picture.

“That crackpot from the show Home Improvement?” I ask. “You can have anyone in the world, and you choose a dingbat with a tool belt?”

“Hey!” Cindy snaps. “I bet our hut doesn’t leak.”

“On the contrary, I’d choose Woody Allen,” Karen says, burping cappuccino and then beating her chest with her fist. “He’s talented, intelligent and funny.”

“He’s a pervert,” I say.

Rolling our raised eyebrows at each other, Cindy sticks her finger down her throat.

“That wrinkled little Rumpelstiltskin would whine you to death in a month,” Cindy adds.

“Well?” Karen asks, looking at me.

Of course, there’s only one person I’d take for a tumble in the tide — Spouser. It’s my philosophy that if the guy you’re with isn’t the guy you want to spend your life with, then you’d better head for counseling.

“So, go on!” Cindy demands, staring at me.

“Spouser,” I answer.

“Oh, come on,” both girls bellyache. “You know the RULES!”

“This is Girl’s Fantasy Night!” Cindy huffs. “You’re not allowed to bring husbands into the picture!”

“Yeah, FAN-TAS-Y,” Karen says with a frown. “Got it?”

“Okay, girls, if you’re going to twist my arm, I’ll say Ashton Kutcher,” I declare.

Karen and Cindy sigh in unison. They seem pleased with my choice. So while they mull over their own fantasies, I catch a steamer back to the island in my brain. Passionately, wrapped in each other’s arms, Spouser and I watch the sunset on the white sandy beach as the foaming tide washes over us.

“Spouser!” I shout. “What do you think you’re looking at!?”

Unexpectedly, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models have reappeared, and I’ve lost Spouser to their magnetism.

Meanwhile, I can see Karen’s hut a few feet away. Woody Allen is wringing his hands and whining about the danger of getting skin cancer this close to the equator, and Tim Allen, hacksaw in hand, has Woody caged and is attempting to construct a turbo raft to transport us all home.

Gina Tiano is the author of Life in the Bike Lane, available at Amazon.com. Post your comment on this column at www.valleytowncrier.com.