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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Miss? I'll Take Another Gin and Tonic. Put It On the Cat's Tab...

By the time I reach home, Liza Bean is at the front door waiting.

“Look at you,” she says in a tone normally reserved for her observations on no-name seafood and below-the-butt belted trousers.

“What?” I say, irritably. “I’m supposed to look this way. The yoga studio’s a hundred degrees, for cryin’ out loud!”

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) chortles indulgently. “Tsk, tsk,” she murmurs. “I thought yoga was supposed to be calming.”

“That’s what the drinks are for,” I say, peeling off my clothes. “Let me hit the shower quick.”

Fifteen minutes later, freshly laundered and talcum-ed to a powdered-donut-like degree, we are in the car and heading toward Psycho Suzi’s, just a couple miles down the road.

It is over the first round of gin and tonics that Liza Bean leans in.

“So what would you say if I were to let you in on an excellent investment opportunity?”

My mouth drops open.

The cat smiles. “I’d like to talk to you about the power of positivity.”

I hold my arm up and holler in the direction of a heavily tattooed server. “Check!”

Liza Bean wraps her little black lips around her straw, chuckles good-naturedly. “Sucker,” she smirks.

“Liza Bean, I swear…”

“Oh, come on,” she says. “You didn’t believe that, did you?”

I scowl at her. “You’re giving me wrinkles,” I say.

A striped paw goes up and a server appears immediately. Cats are notoriously good tippers, and this server knows it.

Liza Bean leans back magnanimously, her raised paw drawing small, all-encompassing circles in the air. “I’m thinking tater tots,” she muses. Her eyes meet mine. “What?” she says. “They’re delightfully campy.” She closes the menu, smiles graciously at the server. “And two more drinks, extra limes.” She turns to me. “Pearl?”

“An order of the pickle roll-ups.”

The server is speeding away as Liza Bean lowers her head toward her drink. “Don’t look now,” she says, speaking around the straw in her mouth, “but there’s a woman over there I believe I saw suspended over New York attached to guy wires in last Thanksgiving’s parade.”

I pull my compact out of my purse, use the mirror to look behind me. “She’s about ready for market,” I agree.

Liza Bean snorts. “And there’s a man over there,” she murmurs, her head tilting ever-so-slightly to the right, “with a barcode tattooed on the back of his neck." She laughs, a low purr of a laugh. "Such angst!”

She accepts her second drink with a nod to the server, squeezes one of three limes into it, sips, adds the second and third. “I’m thinking of running up Tattoo Boy's back and perching on his head after my third, perhaps fourth drink. Where do you stand on that?”

I glance casually at the man she’s talking about. He’s enormous. “Hmm. I’ll be standing next to the car,” I tell her, “frantically trying to get the key in the lock.”

Liza Bean’s eyes sparkle like found dimes. “I do so enjoy our outings.”

“Me, too.” We smile at each with the heartfelt sincerity of the slightly inebriated.

I decide the time is right.

“Liza Bean,” I say, casually, “I couldn’t help but take a look into the car this morning and notice that there was a minnow bucket in the back seat.”

Her green eyes meet mine. “A gal likes to snack.”

“That was a big bucket,” I observe. “For such a small cat.”

She nods slightly. “I suppose I may as well tell you now,” she says. There is silence as she finishes off her second drink. The server appears with Liza Bean's – and my – third gin and tonic. A five-dollar bill is produced from between the toes of the cat’s right paw and the server appears to curtsy…

I blink my eyes. Man but these drinks are strong.

I lose patience.

“OK! OK!” I say. “Tell me already!”

The cat smiles. “We had a meeting last night,” she says, squeezing the limes into her drink. “Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve had my violin restrung?”

I shake my head. I hadn’t noticed.

The server appears, sets the tater tots down in front of Liza Bean. The cat smiles and with the deft snap of a wrist arranges a napkin in her lap. “Squeak Toy is getting back together.”

I stare straight ahead. Squeak Toy…

“We never did get the security deposit back at our last space, you know…” Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) sips her drink, holds a claw-speared tater tot up in the air before popping it into her mouth. “But I’d say that, older and wiser, we’ve learned our lessons.”

She smiles, holds up her drink. “So what do you say? What will you charge to let us practice in the attic?”

37 comments:

George said...

An instant classic.

Pearl said...

George, I know they'll pay the rent, but just how well acquainted I'll become with the police because of them has me a little worried...

Bossy Betty said...

For goodness sakes, woman, don;t mess around with this situation. Give them permission and fast.

haphazardlife said...

Squeak Toy in the attic? Don't go there Pearl!

Pearl said...

Betty, the additional income IS tempting...

haphazard, I may have had a squeak toy in the attic for a while now...

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

I think asking you for permission to practice in the attic was just a formality.
Stock up on the tots. Tater that is.

Oilfield Trash said...

Classic!!!!!

white rabbit said...

Presumably Liza Bean's violin was restrung with - erm - catgut...

Kavi said...

Liza Bean rocks. At the least ! :)

Pearl said...

Renee, I'm afraid you're right!

OT, thank you!

white rabbit, oooh. :-) Good point.

Kavi, she does, doesn't she? :-)

Pat said...

What comes out of those 'little black lips' is pure gold.

R. Jacob said...

a new music sensation Liza Meownelli?

Consciously Sedated said...

I'd love to meet this feline. She sounds like a cook cat!

Leenie said...

Violins practicing?? I've raised a violinist. Good thing you've got an attic. Just don't let her bring a saxophonist home. Too much sax and violins can be bad for the soul.

Camille said...

Oh My God Pearl - I'm dying over here. That was absolutely hysterical. I startled the dogs (and probably the neighbors) with my snorts of laughter...it's hot - the windows are open. And perhaps the next time you share a cocktail with LBB of the MB you may want to leave the car running.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Okay, first thing, the cat has an evil sense of humour, second, I'd be letting her practice in the garage with the car running and the door shut. No offence Liza Bean.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

You know, I am completely in love with Liza Bean's total and utter coolness mixed with two parts simmering psychosis. Plus the girl knows how to make a deal! :)

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Couldn't help but think about the movie "Fight Club" as I was reading this. (Sorry if this reference doesn't make sense to some of you. But if it does, you will be a bit concerned about Pearl)

jenny_o said...

So MANY good lines here!

I'm pretty sure bows are strung with horsetail hair or even synthetics these days ...Liza Bean would have no conflict of interest with that, would she?

Susan in the Boonies said...

How does Liza Bean squeeze limes?

No thumbs.

It's the little thing....we'll just suspend the disbelief in regard to playing the violin....

Cats can already wail. Cats don't need no stinkin' violins....

Eva Gallant said...

I question Liza Bean's TRUE purrpose; she's up to something more than Squeak Toys and violins.....

Pearl said...

So many suspicions raised against the blameless kitteh! :-) Liza Bean wouldn't do anything untoward, would she?

WOULD SHE?!

It's true that her real intent has yet to be uncovered -- something that will be revealed with time only. After all, Squeak Toy has not even moved in yet -- it may be a few days before we have a chance to creep into the attic and take inventory...

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Haha- LB is a classic.

Crystal Pistol said...

Tater tots ARE delightfully campy. I can never get enough, which is why I try to stay away.

(I'm tempted to quote Napoleon Dynamite here but I will refrain as "gimme some of your tots" is over-done and beneath me...)

What must you have been wearing to inspire a down-turned nose from Miss Liza. Not only a cats notoriously good tippers but they have a real eye for style. :)

Sausage Fingers said...

Another classic although I am unsure of WTF are pickle roll ups

Leenie said...

Had to Google Pickle Rollups. They sound like something people in Idaho would invent. Putting cream cheese and ham slices on my grocery list.

nick said...

Next 2 cats you get, call one Gin and the other Tonic. Neighbors will love to hear you calling for the kitties!

Jocelyn said...

I like you so much.

The compliment I want to pay you here is one I'm afraid I'll phrase badly, so just know it's meant as huge props: it's really hard to write this kind of campy-satire-goofball stuff using an animal, especially, a cat, without it being precious or cutesy. But you BANG it, baby. Not sure I can think of another blogger who could do it so right.

Happy Frog and I said...

I love the idea that waiters would know cats tip well, pure genius. Great post.

Gigi said...

I'm smelling trouble in the future.

Belle said...

Love the part where she wants to sit on the tattoo guy's head!

Doubting Thomas said...

HA! That Liza Bean. Still thinking there needs to be a book dedicated to her antics and adventures...

Lazarus said...

It's neck-and-neck for me between the bus rides and talking cat dialogues, both great fun to read!

Cheeseboy said...

Getting one's violin restrung can be a big moment in the life of a cat. I've seen it a million times.

Cloudia said...

squeak toy rock on!!!!!!



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Sandra said...

Paaar-ty! It's a good thing she's so generous with her tips, otherwise she might not be so likeable, what with the bucket of minnows in your car....the smell! Isn't it like 106 degrees in Minneapolis?

IndigoWrath said...

Good grief, this won't end well. First it'll be complaints about the attic noise, then it'll be paparazzi snapping candid shots of the catnip parties while you're at work. Just. Say. No. Be strong, Pearl! Indigo x