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!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mary and Peggy go to Florida; or Small Bar, Anytown, USA


Did you miss me incur the pudgy-fingered wrath of airport Security?
Did you miss Mary actually get detained at airport Security?

It's not too late to catch up.  Go on -- take a click or two!  I'll go get a coffee and meet you back here in just a few...

In many ways, it’s a bar like any bar in the United States.  A pool table, a juke box, the smallest stuffed deer head I’ve ever seen.  It’s Florida, though; and this means that the bartender is 12, maybe 13, and the average age of the clientele is 70. 

Mary is seated next to a man in a silk VFW jacket.  He is grizzled.  Perhaps he drinks a bit.  A veteran of the Korean Conflict, Ken has a sparkle in his eye.

“I wasn’t always an old man,” he says to her.

“I’m not sure you’re old now,” she says.  “I see ya lookin’ at me.”  Ken has the look of the rake about him. 

“Ya see that guy over there?” he says.  “The one checking you out?  I could kick his ass for you, then write a song about it.”

Mary laughs, takes a drink of the Diet 7-Up in front of her.  “You’d do that,” she says from around the straw, “for me?”

“Damn right I would,” he says.  “That’s the kind of guy I am.”

I have been silent.  My ears on Mary and Ken, my eyes on the TV at the end of the bar, the drinks keep piling up in front of me. 

If that fluffy headed idiot thinks he can buy me off with drinks…

“Why don’t you just go ahead and drink them?”

I turn away from an episode of King of the Hill.  “Because I’ve got my own.”

“Well, I’ll take ‘em,” says Ken.  “Mary?  You want a couple of these?”

Sober for five years, Mary shakes her head.  “Uh-uh,” she says.  “But I’ll take your popcorn.”

Ken slides the popcorn over and then stands, places a hand on Mary’s shoulder.  “How long you here for?”

“Just a couple more days,” she says.

He nods briskly, removes his hand.  “Then I’ll say my good-byes now.  And I’ll give you this.”  He holds out his hand.  In it is a hundred dollar bill.

Mary looks at me; I look at her; and after the briefest of pauses, we nod at each other.

She smiles at him tenderly.  “Sorry, Ken,” she says.  “We are women of independent means.”

“It would make me happy,” he says, “to know you two had a good time here.”

“Man, meeting you is what makes it a good time.  You know that.”  And Mary, not one for extravagant displays of affection, puts her hands on his shoulders and kisses him on the cheek.

“You’re a good-lookin’ man, Ken.  Don’t you go forgetting me now.”

Ken tips his hat.  “Not likely, ma’am.”



Wait.  What fluffy headed idiot?  Come back tomorrow if you dare..

19 comments:

Jocelyn said...

This whole damn thing, from the tiny deer head to the kiss on the cheek, is THE BEST.

Shelly said...

A grizzled Korean war vet, a tiny deer head, King of the Hill...you have my undivided attention.

vanilla said...

Always with the hook. I'll be here.

jenny_o said...

Have I told you lately how much I love your writing? You wring every drop of interesting detail from your encounters and serve it up to us in a frosty glass. And, paradoxically, it quenches our thirst AND leaves us wanting more. Looking forward to tomorrow's installment.

joeh said...

I have to disagree with Jocelyn, the whole damn thing is very good, but

"I could kick his ass for you, then write a song about it.”

Is the best!

I will be stealing that line.

sage said...

I am getting excited about lunch at my desk as I read about you and Mary...

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Fluffy headed idiot.... we skipped a bit. Oh thank goodness you realised.... tuned to this channel... Episodes must be caught up on! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

Jono said...

Really? I can buy a kiss from a pretty woman for a hunnert bucks? Next time I travel without the wife I might just try it. You won't tell will you?

Delores said...

Mary knows how to handle the fellas.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

I love this story, though I'm not sure whether Mary took the bill or not. I kind of like that I don't know.
You're a genius, Pearlie!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Ah, so it's a serial... killer!

Marty Damon said...

I feel like one of Dickens' readers waiting at the dock for the next installment of Great Expectations.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

I WAS Ken. Several decades ago. Oh, my.

River said...

I'll be here tomorrow, you are the queen of cliffhangers :)

Daisy said...

Sounds like there's some flirting going on! I'll stay tuned to see what happens next. :)

Elephant's Child said...

Awww. You too are good people. Even though you keep me dangling from tall cliffs...

Gigi said...

Honestly Pearl...the devil's in the details and you know it. Can't wait for the rest of the story!

Rose L said...

Ahhh, how sweet! Did ya take the money?

Anonymous said...

So sweet and awesome. Mary rocks as do you, Pearl. I think this may be one of my faves or at least in the top 10.