As I tried to look at the person they stabbed, a short man in a dark beard walked up and grabbed my arm.
“Come along,” he said, trying to jostle me away from the crowd, “there’s nothing to see here.”
“No, I think there actually is something to see here,” I protested.
“Come on,” he said, “let’s go and get a nice drink and a basket of onion rings. My treat.”
Who, I ask you, could reasonably turn down a free drink and onion rings? Not me, certainly. We walked over to Limpy’s place and went inside. I shot a knowing glance at Limpy and lifted two fingers and made a retching motion with my face and throat (not easy to do inconspicuously, mind you). This was our special, secret sign for ordering a martini and a basket of onion rings. Limpy smiled, nodded knowingly, and limped off to the kitchen to drop my rings in the fryer. The short bearded man and I perched ourselves on a couple of barstools.
“So what do you have planned for the day, friend?” he asked.
“Friend?” I asked.
“What do you have planned for the day?”
“Well,” I said, “I have this sack of sheep dung out back, and I was looking for some faces upon which to smear it.”
“Is that supposed to be some kind of symbolism?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “That’s just it. There is no symbolism whatever. It’s just sheep dung that I hope to smear on someone’s face. No symbolism. No hidden meaning.”
The short man with the dark beard was getting sweaty and his face would flush red and then get pale white and then flush red again. He began to look like a neon sign in Vegas. “Wayne Newton. One Night Only.”
“Look, friend,” he said, pulling a small coin purse out of his jacket pocket, “why don’t you just stay here and eat onion rings. All day. On me.” He held out the coin purse, offering it to me.
“I think you tried this once before,” I said. “No thanks. But thank you for the onion rings and martini.” I got up and called out to Limpy, “give those o-rings to Scabby Duane over in the corner, Limpy. I’ll come back for the martini later on tonight.”
I leapt like a calf out of the stall as I left the bar. Sheep dung can work wonders on a guy, you know.
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