(click here for part one)
Another Saturday night at McGinty’s. This time at least we had the pretense of celebrating the birthday of another esteemed patron at the bar. Although none of us could quite remember who this guy was or how we knew him. Jenny seemed to recall it was the college friend of someone she worked with two temp jobs ago. I didn’t really care – any excuse to leave the house and come here worked for me. I even wore a corduroy blazer to try to lure in a girl, only realizing once I had arrived that I had no idea why I thought that would be alluring. Was it something that came from the advice the fifty-something women who populated my office and told me what a catch I was? The bar had gotten warm after a couple of IPAs, so the coat had ended up crumpled on the floor. Still, I made sure to keep scanning the bar for prospects.
Mike, on the other hand, had spent the first part of the evening grousing about outsiders intruding on our turf, going into a full snarl whenever anyone had leaned around his sizable frame to try to get a bartender’s attention. He would have preferred to buy the bar and close it to the public so the three of us could drink there in peace.
As we continued to tease out scenarios of our intricate debate, a girl with a frilly purple shirt, black librarian glasses, and the stench of over-priced perfume giggled her way up to the bar. She seemed very outgoing, leaning in to our conversation without provocation. After a few moments, she wrinkled her nose and bore her teeth with disgust. “Why would you want to talk about hurting nine-year-olds?”
Mike locked his eyes on hers. “Why wouldn’t we?”
I leaned over a little, trying to get her up to speed while making sincere eye contact. “They’re attacking us. It’s self defense.”
“Why are nine-year-olds attacking you?” She shifted so her left foot was facing away from us, ready to bolt at any moment.
Mike sighed, exasperated that this needed explication. “I don’t know. Because we kidnapped their parents. And their little sisters, if they have any.”
“What about their brothers? Why do they care more about sisters?” Jenny had slammed a few shots back to catch up and was already slurring.
Our librarian intruder persisted. “Are they attacking you all at once or one at a time?”
Before Jenny or I could say “all at once,” Mike roared, “One at a time? Shit, if it’s one at a time I’ll take all those fuckers down with one hand and smoke a joint with the other.” We were too busy laughing to notice the girl slink away. I hadn’t even caught her name.