Ignoring E.T., you walk over to the bartender and ask to borrow his hairnet.

You'd think I'd have a sense of humour.   I don't.  My life is a cliché and it's been that way for years.

Around me sat Six ne'er- do- wells, in this malodorous venus flytrap of a bar, all with their mouths accordingly agape.

Yes.  I just transformed my partner into the fat man I once was and now I'm back in my familiar frame.   JVC's voice had got to me.  Yeah, he was still whining but at least it wasn't shrill.  

And as for these deadbeat witnesses?  Identifying me?  Fact is, these louts have probably had better delusions involving purple elephants before most of us have had toast in the morning.   Easy enough to figure that tomorrow, they'd be more worried about having the shakes, than at what had just transpired.

The bartender was a different story.  He seemed like he may be half sober.

I turned back to JVC before he could utter a word.

"Why don't you go back to the car?"

It was what he was waiting for.   His body was dreadfully obese, but he made his way like a rampaging hippo.  Of course, he slammed the door.  He's an idiot.  I should have had the foresight to tell him not to make himself obvious, but like I said, I didn't care. 

He'd be outside in the car, with his Dutch music blaring out the open windows, air conditioner cranked.  All he would need is a neon sign saying "I need everyone's attention right here" to make himself anymore evident.

Anyhow, the bartender had me worried.  He wasn't sober, and if I had his damned job, I'd probably have snuck a few sips myself.  But he was sober enough.

Time, as always, had seemed to stop.  Everyone, as always, looked at me, as if waiting for me to commence some kind of speech declaring I had come back from the future to seek their aid, or something equally f'd up.

E.T. could wait.  He was breathing. 

"Come here"

The bartender gave me one of those dumb looks as if he was confirming that it was he I had addressed.

"There doesn't seem to be anyone else behind the bar, Nostradamus"

I could picture him leaving a trail of slime on the floor behind him, like a snail, as he approached, all wide eyed and stupid.

I pointed to his hairnet.

"Gimme that"

"This?"

His voice trembled like a violet in a frikkin summer breeze.

"That!"

I snatched the net from his hair, being extra careful to yank out a tuft on the way.  The clown pretended not to wince.  Way to stand up for yourself.

My eyes locked into his, possessively as I furiously worked the hairnet to shreds, tossing pieces on the dingy hardwood floor until the area around his feet looked like a barber shop's.

"See that?"

He nodded.  Of course, he nodded.

"See why you're not gonna say a word about any of this?"

I looked around the room.  Every leper in the place had got the message.

"Take care of your friend.  Don't call an ambulance or they'll need room for two."

As I strode out the door, I told myself not turn to around.  But I had to.  As I closed the door, softly behind them, I just had to.  I just had to blow them all a kiss.

 

The End

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