I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Part Two: What Happened to the Fence; or Nothing Good Happens After You’re Kicked Out of The Vegas


You didn’t miss part one of this little tale, did you?  It was posted yesterday.  Go ahead – go back and read it.  We’ll wait for you.



George lifts her beer.   “You remember Maryanne?”

“Heavy drinker, elfin facial features, somewhere between 60 and 65, maybe?”

George nods, takes a drink.  “Yeep.  So that means you remember Connie, then, too.”

Maryanne and Connie are two peas from the same drunken pod, with Connie just slightly older.  They are loud, happy drinkers with a penchant for The Statler Brothers and those weird purple shots provided (for free) after Viking touchdowns.

I nod.  “What does this have to do with the fence?”

“Or the tree or the car or the deck we just had a smoke on…”

I laugh. “What?”

George laughs, lifts those eyes – those beautiful,eye-liner-ed eyes! – and smiles.  “I know things.”

I cock my head at her, squint.  “Things,” I say, rolling the word around on my tongue.  “Tell me things.”

George takes another drink of her beer.  “I went to see The Music Man with Tom not too long ago.  You remember Tom, don’t you?”

I do.  Tom, like Maryanne and Connie, is a long-time resident of The Spring.  A man who studied at a seminary and talks philosophy with the earnest intensity of a teenager, he no longer drinks but tolerates well those who do.

I nod. 

“So in the course of dinner, before the show, he tells me about the night Maryanne got kicked out of The Vegas.”

I choke on my beer and we both burst into laughter.  “You can get kicked out of The Vegas?!”

The Vegas, a dive bar off Central with the coldest beer you can imagine and karaoke seven nights a week, is a throwback to another time.  Wood paneling, pull tabs, light fixtures from the seventies – we clink our glasses to the thought of anyone getting drunk enough to be kicked out of this bar.

“So she gets in her car,” George says, setting her glass down, “and drives the five blocks to The Spring.”

I raise my eyebrows.

“She comes in, manages to order two, maybe three drinks before the bartender realizes how wasted she is and cuts her off.”

“How could you not notice,” I say.  “Maryanne has to be one of the loudest drunks I’ve ever heard.”

“There is wisdom in what you say,” George reflects.  “And yet the facts speak for themselves.”

We consider this.

“So anyway, she’s cut off.  Maryanne decides to leave.  So she gets back into her car – and drives into that low planter, the one that runs around the smoking deck?  Everyone on it starts yelling, raises their glasses.  She freaks out, backs up – kitty corner, across the street – and straight into the fence.  Runs the fence over, actually backs completely over it.  She starts yelling – you can hear her from the bar, Tom says – backs up, puts her into drive and runs into a tree.  Backs up again, straightens it out – and hits a parked car.”

George pauses, takes a drink of her beer.  “At this point, Maryanne is completely freaked, gets out of her car – which wasn’t even her car, come to think of it, but her boyfriend’s car – and she takes off running down the street!  Right down the middle of the street!  She later tells friends that she was going to Connie’s, going to ask Connie if she’d hide her until things blew over.”

“But it was her boyfriend’s car. How would things blow over?”

George shrugs.  Our server glides past, backs up.  “Two more?”

“Two more,” I say.

“So then what?” I say. 

George starts laughing.  “So while this little loudmouthed woman is running down the middle of the street, crushed fences and trees and cars in her wake, who pulls up?”

I stare at her.

“The cops!  The cops pull up!”

“Uh-oh.”

George shakes her head.  “No ‘uh-oh’,” she says.  “And you know why?”

I shake my head.

“Because she’s adorable!  Because she’s a little old lady!  ‘I was confused, officer!  My shoelaces got caught in the accelerator and I got scared, officer!’

My mouth drops open.

“She played the age card,” George says, shaking her head.  “The police actually drove her home.  No arrest, no ticket, nothing.”

“Senior citizens are devious creatures,” I say, “and we have much to learn from them.”

George laughs.  “Indeed we do,” she says.  She leans into her backpack, checks her cell phone.  “Look at that,” she says.  “Our bus comes in 30 minutes, and ooooh -" she looks up, smiling.  "Here come our beers!”

32 comments:

Shelly said...

So where can I get one of these age cards? Is it like a driver's license, where they have to photograph you and you have to take some kind of age test, or is it like a punch card where you get so many free chances because of your age?

And you, Pearlie girl, since you will soon be the same age I am, maybe we could get a two for one discount on those things...

Pearl said...

I'm thinking, Shelly, that the age card is probably already at my house, lurking between the extra emollient creams and the antacid pills. :-) Some day, I will find it -- and baby, I'm gonna play it on the bus, you wait. :-)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Hey...I've had one of those things for quite some time now...I should be getting more mileage out of it.

Pearl said...

Delores, I do not recommend Maryanne and Connie's lifestyle, nor drunk-driving. I do, however, recommend calling police officers "dear" and trying to appear as pink-cheeked and harmless as possible.

Eva Gallant said...

I play the age card whenever I have the opportunity...gets me 10% off at Dunkin' Donuts! By the way, I gave your books a shout out on my blog today.

Pearl said...

Eva, 10%! So this aging thing pays off, is that what you're saying?!

And THANK YOU, Eva, for the shouting. :-)

Buttons said...

Drink fast. Seniors do have a good thing going don't tell everyone the secrets yo:) B

Pearl said...

Buttons, it's a whole new world out there for those of us of the aging persuasion. :-)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

They say rank has its privileges? It's got NOTHING on age. We may not get promotions, but we get some pretty darned good discounts. And heck, now I'm allowed to be "too tired" to do something I don't feel like doing. (For a little while anyway.)

Great story!

Sioux said...

And I thought a lady had to show some boobage...

jabblog said...

Well, well - don't think I'll be trying that any time soon. Our police are not impressionable . . .

Pearl said...

Susan, exactly. :-)

Sioux, hasn't stopped me!

jabblog, oh, I do not recommend nor endorse drunk driving (and actually struggled with whether or not to even write this). The fence, though. The fence got to me, seeing it all wrecked and such, day after day... To then discover what had happened to it, and that I knew people who knew who had done it? It was too much for me.
I've yet to meet a British cop, nor have I been drunk in Great Britain, but when I am, I shall remember your words. :-)

Douglas said...

Great story. Glad I was wrong about the "epee" thing. The worst I ever did was back up into a metal light pole at a gas station, drive down the wrong side of a divided highway, and go the wrong way on a one-way street on my motorcycle (two or three times, I am not sure), All at different times , of course, and when I had no age advantage.

Daisy said...

I've got the "age advantage". Buy me a beer?? (Then call the taxi)

jenny_o said...

Hmm. I wonder if those cops had any sense of smell, because I would think Connie would be ... exhaling fumage, so to speak...

Also, and unrelated, you must have a better bladder than I do, to drink beer(s) and then take the bus!!

Great story! and by the way, I went over to George's website and her art IS wonderful.

bill lisleman said...

I never knew shoelaces could be so useful. You can't do that with velco.

Leenie said...

It's little old drunk ladies who give the rest of us people with an age card a bad name. Law enforcement people who let them get away with it should also be held accountable. I had to take the keys away from my parents when things got crazy so I know the drill. I pray I'll know when to hang up my driver's license long before I am a danger the kids, property and people in my neighborhood. If not, I hope I have kids with grit enough to do it for me.

Leenie said...

p.s. George's art is outstanding, as are her beautiful eye-linered eyes.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Your reply to Deloreses' comment made me chuckle - "those of us of the aging persuasion" :)

vanilla said...

Learning the tricks of the devious: Why we live six or seven decades before we are old, thus giving us time to live and learn.

Joanne Noragon said...

I've miss airplanes becase of beer, but I'll bet you made the bus.

Tempo said...

Wonderfully entertaining Pearl..

Daisy said...

Well, it was worth it to come back for the second half of the story. Very entertaining!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oooooo, the age card! Why didn't I think of that?

Oh wait, it's because I'm too darn close to having one of my own.

Geo. said...

You're so full of mischief. I'm glad you write it down too!

Gigi said...

The age card you say? Tucking that one away for the not-so-far-in-the-future reference.

Pixel Peeper said...

I've got an age card, too, right next to my AARP card and the AAA card. Now I just need to learn to play cards.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

The Elephant's Child said...

I hope I manage to play 'old and cute' much, much better than I managed 'young and probably cute'...

River said...

I have my age card, out here in Oz it's called a seniors card and gets me free bus travel at certain times, but I've forgotten about the extra discounts I can get with it. Eva's comment reminded me. I should probably get out the book and look read up on it.

Pat said...

Maybe I should start driving again?
Best not.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I knew part two would be good but hell this was just bloody funny, little old ladies are so devious indeed the things they will try and pull to get out of trouble.......one day I may be able to play the age card but that is still a long way off........

savannah said...

hilarious! sure, sure, i know, drinking and driving ain't a good thing, but it was a funny story and thankfully, no one was hurt! i'm glad you posted it! (btw, i LOVED the lead-up! that George is a pistol!) xoxoxox