Thursday, November 17, 2005

Another winner - literally ...

This was entered in Jim Anderson's Beer Philadelphia: Beer Lit 101 Contest, sometime back. The task was to craft a story around a dozen or so beer/brewing terms. Can you find them???

It was early to mid-April. I’m not exactly sure now. But it was definitely after Easter.

Anyway … I had just settled down in front of the TV for the evening. I put on the Comcast Sports channel to see what was on tap. Hockey or baseball? The Phillies were winning; the Flyers losing. I should have known there was trouble brewing.

Mother’s Day was just a few weeks away. Who was I going to bring to enchant dear Mother? Would it be Nikki Mars, the tall blonde candy heiress? Or perhaps Muffy Busch, the petite auburn brewery babe? I had been dating them both without the other’s knowledge for nearly sixteen months now and both were getting anxious. Both thinking I was after their fortunes as well as … well … ass.

My decision would be made for me and sooner than I had imagined.

Just as the penguin was singing “Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo”, my door flew open. It was “Batchelorette Number One.” And she was upset. I should have never given her one of my spare keys.

“So! You didn’t think I’d find out,” she ranted, “You thought you’d covered your tracks. A clever little bunny who hops from one garden to another and eats all the flowers he wants. Well, I followed your pellets right to your hole, Bugs!”

Even in her agitated and much pissed off state, she put a rise in my trousers like yeast in fresh bread.

“I want a commitment and I want it now!” she shrieked.

“Honey, relax. Let’s go to the soda shop and get a chocolate malt,” I pleaded with her. I figured that if I said the most stupid and clich├ęd thing I could think of, I could buy some time while she tried to get whatever it was that I just babbled. It didn’t work.

“When I think of the times I waited for you to call, and you didn’t. Of course you didn’t. You couldn’t. Because you were with her.” If it was possible she was getting even madder as she thought about it. “It makes my blood boil!”

“Hey, baby,” I was really back-pedaling now, “There were times I didn’t call her ‘cause I was with you, too, ya know. I played it fair, right down the middle. I wanted our relationship to ferment a little before I made up my mind.”

“Well, it didn’t ferment; it aged. And now it stinks like bad cheese.”

Those were the last words she’d speak to me. Someone else would do her talking now.
She reached into her purse and pulled out the most elegant hand-cannon her trust fund could buy. And I was sure she’d gotten the matching lawyer and self-defense plea bargain to go with it. The light was dim, but I could see five little Indians smiling at me from the cylinder of the revolver, and the Big Chief was already in the bottom of the barrel.

When my body hit the floor, the spilled lager from my glass mixed with the blood on the Pergo in a gruesome raspberry vinaigrette of loss and guilt.

I knew I wasn't going to die, not today anyway. I found the strength to look up her skirt, perhaps for the last time. My heart lifted when I saw that she wore the ring I gave her for Valentine's Day. She was mad now but she had already forgiven me.

I could barely hear the dialtone from the ringing in my ears as I called 911. (Quick lesson, never discharge a firearm in a small closed room.) As rapidly as the Police and EMT’s arrived “on scene,” as they like to say, I was down at least a pint or two as I was loaded unceremoniously into the vehicle. The multi-colored lights on the truck looked like candy. And the red and white truck looked like a big can of Bud. I lost the grip on my consciousness like it was a canoe paddle and I had just realized I was too drunk to swim to shore if I had to, which too far away to make it anyway.

Although we weren’t married, or even living together for that matter (and never would be now), it still went down as “Domestic Disturbance”.

Sometimes life isn’t all Skittles® and beer.

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