Friday, May 13, 2011

Funnier When Drunk Short Story

L. Paul Fobert Jr.

Funnier When Drunk

It was time. The pre-planning was over. Mal pulled his cell out of his pocket. His phone was hard to hold onto, that's how sweaty his hand was. It said 12:30 while the clock with the beer bottle handles above the door said 12:27. He would go by his cell, more accuracy that way. He had come into this rundown bar an hour ago and sat down waiting for one o’clock. He was recognized instantly by the frequent customers. He was a frequent customer as well. This was the beginning.

Mal means bad in Latin. That is why he chose the name. Bad people do bad things. Like studying people before they need to die.

He wasn’t drunk, but he knew how to act like it as he studied the people in the bar. Covertly looking up from his glass as he acted his part, Mal saw two big men wearing cowboy hats and plaid shirts with pearl snaps to his right, both of them trying to hustle one another for five hundred dollars. They would be fighting before the night was over. He made a note to keep a wary eye on them. Behind him, at a table, a slim man in a tee shirt was drowning his sorrows, while behind him two drunken young lovers; a purple haired man and a blonde woman; were playing darts. To his left the plump brunette barmaid, who had a scar running across her left arm, was flirting with an underweight redheaded woman with fake tits. These two whores were why he was here. They were his targets.

He clutched Vera tighter to his chest. She was a .22 caliber pistol he had concealed in his oversized parka as he listened to the two women flirting with distaste. “Are you sure I can’t get you anything else?” the barmaid asked, “I love Sex on the Beach.”

The look on the redhead’s face made it clear exactly what she was imagining. She looked flustered before smiling back. It was disgusting. “I don’t have a problem with that. Although I prefer a Comfortable Screw,” the redhead replied after a moment.

They looked at each other for a few more moments before the barmaid pulled the redhead off the stool and into the backroom. “My name’s-,” the barmaid said.

"I don't care," the redhead interupted with a kiss.

She pecked the barmaid. It only took a few moments for the plump woman to respond in kind. How much had they had to drink already? However many it was, neither one seemed to mind the slobber and drool as the two of them continued towards the back room. If any other patrons noticed this they didn’t take any interest or seem to care either. This was why Mal was going to do what it was he was doing.

They had yet to lean each other's names The clocks read 12:37 and 12:40. Having watched these two whores before Mal knew they would be back out here flirting before it was time. In the meantime, he looked over at the other five occupants in the bar. The other casualties in his cause. They would all die. He clutched Vera, thinking about the euphoria to come. The couple who were playing darts sat themselves down next to him. Mal loved to look at her. She could easily distract him. Tonight she was acting more blonde than usual. After every kiss the tall wire-y, beanpole would give her, she would spout off a random nonsensical question.

Why is it that if you put two cents in you only get a penny for your thoughts?”

I don’t know,” her boyfriend said, smiling in amusement. When he leaned in to kiss her again he removed his wire-rimmed glasses. His oddly colored hair didn’t clash as much without them.

What would happen if you got a paper cut on a get well card?”

Are you asking me these questions or are you just asking them in general.” As he kissed her again Mal noticed that that he didn’t get any feedback. The blonde seemed to be lost in her own world. The man had not yet noticed this.

Mal glanced towards the back room. He had a perfect view of the two whores. Taking in their state of near undress, he knew he still had a little time before he killed them. The two men playing pool were getting louder. The man wearing the authentic cowboy hat was winning and it was making the man in the black hat a sore loser. By his guess they would be fighting before he put his plan into action. They could cry foul at his actions before anyone else. They would have to die first.

The blonde’s ‘boyfriend’ was getting annoyed with them. The blonde herself seemed lost in her own little world. “Why do people say you can read a picture book? It doesn’t make sense. You view a picture book.”

The men at the pool table had annoyed the blonde’s boyfriend so much he was starting to get frustrated with her. “Where’s the barmaid?” he asked, before muttering, “I need another drink. Now.”

Why was Winnie the Pooh sophisticated enough to put honey in jars, but not get it out of jars without making such a mess? How did he get it in there in the first place? Didn’t he know what a spoon was?” The blonde’s boyfriend had given up trying to kiss her questions away and was wildly searching for the barmaid, who was currently moaning pleasure in the back.

When Donald Duck gets out of the shower why does he have a towel wrapped around his waist when he never wears any pants?”

I don’t know the answer to any of these, Caroline. May I have a drink please?”

The barmaid didn’t hear him. Whether or not it was because she and her lover were in the middle of ecstatic pleasure or because the two men at the pool table were nearing the climax of their fight, Mal did not know. What he found most interesting of all was how easy he knew everyone was going to be killed. Despite everyone's attitudes he knew they were all depressed. There could be no other reason why no one cared about whores having loud sex in the back room. What they were doing was against all natural laws of god and man and he would put a stop to it.

12:42. 12:45.

Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?”

I don’t know,” her boyfriend replied.

"Is it bad luck if you find a four-leaf clover under a ladder and what if a black cat walks under a ladder and breaks a mirror?”

Mal nearly snorted into his drink. They were the most ridiculous questions he had ever heard and yet they were oddly intriguing. He liked the way her mind worked.

The odd-looking boyfriend didn’t think so. At the top of his lungs he bellowed, “What does a guy have to do to get drunk in this fuckin’ bar.”

The two women in the back yelped and sat up off the shelf of kegs they were sitting on. Only half dressed, they seemed embarassed enough to look around to make sure no no was watching. Mal bent his head down into his drink.

Coming!” The barmaid shouted.

Her brunette lover giggled.

The redhead slapped the chunky lover's butt playfully before they started fixing their clothes.

You dirty cheater. I want my money,” the man with the black cowboy hat yelled.

What’s going on out there?” the barmaid called out, not yet finished with her clothes.

Mal cursed himself. He had waited too long to take care of them. He needed to act fast. He looked at the clock above the door. 12:47. That meant it was 12:50.

I’ll take care of the problem,” Mal muttered.

He didn’t want to do it this way, but the plan could still work if he got them outside. They were drunk enough.

He casually walked over to the pool table and heard Caroline ask, as if the men weren’t causing any trouble, “When atheists go to court do they have to swear on a bible?” Mal hoped he was never in a position to swear on any bible. He was definitely an atheist.

Picking up their remaining betting money, Mal walked out into the cold, winter, Illinois night. The two men followed shortly after, once they had realized what had happened. As the door opened he heard, “What’s a Hot Pocket called when it’s cold?” 

That’s ours,” the man in the authentic hat yelled.

Give it back,” the man in the black hat yelled.

From what I understood of your argument it belongs to only one of you. I’ll make you a deal. Hand to hand combat, a fight to the death to see who should have the money or…” he pulled Vera out of his parka. Always be prepared. He learned that last time. Mal was the only member of his former gang to serve jail time (He considered himself lucky, the others died in that hostage standoff). That was the way it had to be. That was why he couldn’t leave evidence. Why he couldn’t get caught.

Without warning he shot both of the gambling cowboys perfectly between the eyes. There were no cameras out here. But getting everyone out would be too difficult and take too long. The original plan was still the best option. He put the gun back into the parka and left the bodies where they were, knowing that even out in the open, no one would be coming to the bar until morning. All the late night regulars were already here.

Entering the bar again the only change he saw was the whores sitting where they were before their unnaturalnness.

How old do you have to be before they say you died of old age?” After being out in the dark, Caroline’s bright pink, tightly-hugging tee-shirt and crème colored leather pants seemed to blind Mal even more than the neon signs decorating the walls. He looked at the clock once more and gave a sigh at how slowly time moved when people paid attention to it.

12:48. 12:51.

Here’s your Screaming Orgasm sir,” the barmaid said.

Where’s my Screaming Orgasm?” her lover whispered.

Didn’t you get yours?” the barmaid asked, whispering back in mock outrage.

Leaning in her lover responded: “No. We were interrupted. But later on tonight, you're mine.”

Mal smiled as he sat down. In nine minutes they would be dead.

Why did Sally sell seashells on the seashore? It is more profitable to pick them up off the beach for free.”

Baby,” Caroline's date tried redirecting her attention, “do you know what’s in a Screaming Orgasm?”

Mal snorted once more into his drink.

Do you want me to help you make one?” The underweight redhead said, overhearing the question.

The barmaid scowled at Caroline then at her redheaded lover.

If you pamper a cow do you get spoiled milk?” Caroline continued, ignoring the jealousy around her.

Um, kahlua, Irish cream, amaretto and vodka,” The purple haired boy answered his own question.

How did the Wicked Witch of the West bathe?”

Mal glanced around to check on the depressed drunk. He had moved only enough to lift his beer to his mouth. The whores had moved down to the end of the bar and had linked hands. They were gazing intently into each other’s eyes. It would not be hard not to pull Vera out and fire her at them right now.

Why is the alphabet in that order?”

Caroline's date lost all reason on his temper and roared, “I don’t know. I don’t care.”

Mal nearly pulled his gun as quick as he did the night he was arrested. The beer bottles said it was only 12:50; seven minutes to go. The whores looked up in shock, unlinkinking their hands. The depressed man, for the first time, showed signs of life, as a look of warning crossed his face.

In a whisper Caroline begged, “Why do people refer to being happy or in love as ‘head over heels?’ Isn’t that how we are already?” She emphasized the word ‘we.’

Her date calmed in less than a second and said, “Yeah baby, we are.”

She smiled and continued her questions, “Why isn’t ‘palindrome’ spelled the same way backwards? Why isn’t ‘phonetic’ spelled the way it sounds? And why is ‘abbreviate’ such a long word?”

Her date groaned. The depressed man went back to drowning his sorrows. The whores went back to gazing into each other’s eyes and Mal considered three more of the blondes odd, yet compelling questions.

A police officer with shoulder length red hair and a cold, hard stare of blue eyes, narrowed at the room in question, walked through the door which got caught on a rock that the cop had kicked into place.
Why’s a partially open door ajar, but a partially open jar adoor?”

The lady cop seemed to take Caroline’s hint and turned to remove the rock and let the door close all the way. Outwardly Mal showed no signs of panic. Inside his body was screaming in alarm. She wasn’t one of the regulars. There was absolutely no way she hadn’t seen those bodies displayed out there for all the world to see. Would she know who had done it? He had to hope the answer was no.

What’ll it be?” The barmaid asked.

Bourbon,” the cop said, arriving at the bar.

The depressed man looked up again with a little bit of shock before deciding he didn’t care and dropped his head onto the table again.

Mal didn’t blame him. They weren’t the only ones staring. Caroline and the barmaid were also having trouble concealing the fact that an on duty cop would bend the rulebook in front of a bar full of people. But maybe this would work in his favor. Maybe she was already drunk and didn’t see the bodies? That theory didn’t fly considering the glare she was producing to the room. Maybe she would get so drunk she would forget about them?

Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?” Caroline asked. She was the only one to not notice the cop’s entrance.

They don't. I don't think. I can't remember. Ask me again when I'm sober,” her date said answering a question for the first time.

Can I have a beer?” Caroline asked. “I haven’t had anything to drink yet.”

Mal was the only one who didn’t look shocked at this. He was looking at the clock again.

12:52. 12:55. From here on he would go only by his cell phone.

Why do people say their alarm clocks are going off when they’re actually coming on?” she asked the empty chair that was currently getting her a drink as well as one for himself.

The barmaid was giving the cop her drink when she pulled another one from behind the counter, handed it to the purple-haired boy and said, “Are you sure?”

No,” he replied, and then added as an afterthought, “Can I get a double Absinthe?”

The whores giggled.

Unfortunately we don’t sell that here. Considering your problem,” she said, gesturing at Caroline, “Whiskey should do the trick. I might need one too if she keeps it up.”

No you don’t,” her lover said said, “we’ll just continue what was interrupted a few minutes ago in the back."

The boy's eyes unfocused as he got a faraway, dreamy look on his face. Mal tightened his grip on his gun. The slender lesbian brought the boy back to earth by waving her hand in front of his face. He turned around and squinted towards Caroline not noticing the whore’s hasty retreat, once again, to the back room.

Why do people squint when they’re trying to see something better?” Caroline asked the reoccupied chair, “Doesn’t that make a person’s vision less visible?” Her boyfriend set the drinks down on the table Caroline didn’t seem to notice, but he took a large gulp of his Whiskey. Watching so many people drink was getting to Mal. He wanted a drink so bad, but he couldn’t until after the job was over.

Here’s something to ponder lady,” the depressed man said, once again lifting his head from the table, “Why is there a toll on freeways and Why is ‘Joey’ short for ‘Joe?’”

A loud, pleasurable moan sailed from the back room. Mal's cell was even harder to touch than before. He put on his gloves again. His cell read 12:56. They were louder this time than they were fifteen minutes ago. The entire bar heard them. The distraction caused him to pull out Vera without anyone noticing. Still had more than enough bullets for everyone in the bar. Purple Hair, Depressed Man, and Female Cop hit the ground, dead.

The sound of the gun was not only muted by the silencer, but also by sounds from the back room.

He turned his back on the three victims to face Caroline who was looking at him with a frown on her face. “I had four more questions I wanted to ask.”

Smiling Mal said, “Yeah. And what were they baby.”

What’s a hacky and why is it in a sack? What would a fly without wings be called? And if a singer sings an original song, is it still karaoke?”

Before he could ask what the other question was, a groan interrupted him. One of these days he was going to have to find a way to keep focused on work around her. There were still people they needed to kill. Caroline pulled her own unnamed .22 that did not have a silencer on it out of her pocket and fired it at the rising depressed man’s head, killing him.

What was that?” The barmaid called out through her orgasms. Caroline’s .22 couldn’t be muffled by sex.

Mal pointed Vera and waited for the two whores to come back into the room.

Caroline walked over to the dead alcoholic, emptied his pockets and pulled out a Police Department badge. “Figures,” Caroline muttered. As she tossed the badge to Mal. They stood next to each other ready to take out the whores when they walked into the room.

The redheaded whore came into the front room curious and unarmed. Stupid. Before she could react, Caroline shot her in the shoulder. She fell to the floor in pain behind the bar.

Where’s your whore?” Mal asked.

I thought your bitch was the one who asked the questions,” the injured girl asked. Her voice broke over her bravery.

Mal fired his gun, shattering glasses sitting on the shelves above, raining glass down on her.

Where is she?” Mal repeated.

She in the back, where it’s safe,” The redhead said. “Why are you doing this?”

Come out Bitch, I've got your whore hostage.” Mal yelled, ignoring the barmaid's injured slut.

She can hear you and she isn’t that stupid. Why are you doing this?” The redhead repeated.

Cleansing the earth, two by two,” Caroline replied.

Two shots followed immediately. The injured hostage watched as Mal and Caroline hit the ground.
Mal was still, eyes wide open, only breathing in quick, shallow breaths.

Caroline was breathing in big, rasping gasps. The former hostage looked up at the barmaid, who was standing over Caroline with a shotgun aimed at her. They nodded to each other to acknowledge they were okay.

"Honey," Mal slowly carefully and painfully linked his hand with hers. "That fourth question," she said between gasps, “Why is it that when two things almost crash into one another, it’s called a near miss and not a near hit?”

With those words the two died holding each others hands.

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