And since the Uptowner tavern/charm school is yet to open, I’m off to my favorite Webb’s where a guy like me can get a jump-start on girding his loins in preparation for the day’s daily shit-storm to follow. Come along if you want but you leave the tip, what the fock. Let’s get going.
Bea: Hey there Artie, what’s your pleasure?
Art: How ’bout a nice cup of the blackest, thickest and cheapest of whatever you’re calling plain-old American coffee today—none of that fancy stuff the young people spend half-a-day’s pay on. I’d like a nice cup from that pot you always hide whenever the EPA comes sniffing around.
Bea: Alrighty, Artie. Just give me a second to put my safety gear on.
Art: Can do, Bea.
Bea: So what do you hear, what do you know?
Art: I got a question, Bea: If a man says something in the woods and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?
Bea: Me oh my, Artie, I don’t rightly have an answer. Metaphysics was never my strong suit. I’m more a quantum-mechanics gal.
Art: I figure whatever it is that this guy in the focking woods might be flapping his gums about, you can bet your buck two-eighty that you’ll never ever hear him say, “Hey, let’s watch Oprah.” And you’ll never hear him ask, “Do you think this beer gut makes me look fat?”
Bea: That’s a safe bet all right, Artie.
Art: Darn-tootin’, Bea. I ought to have my own show on the TV like this Oprah character. I hear there’s a lot of dough in those shows where you just sit around on your dupa, gasbag for an hour and call it done.
Bea: I imagine so.
Art: Bea, the daytime TV schedule is crying for a show that men could stand to watch, what with all these guys out of work with nothing better to do than drink beer and watch TV.
Bea: I think sometimes the men these days are just too picky about jobs. I heard about a guy who saw in the papers this headline, “Man Wanted for Robbery in Arkansas.” And so this guy says, “Dang, if that job was only in Texas, I’d take it.”
Art: Hey Bea, scoop me out another cup of that fabric paint you’re calling plain-old coffee today.
Bea: My pleasure, Artie.
Art: No sir, Bea. My show wouldn’t necessarily be only about sports and gals in the bikini swimming suits. I’d also try to enlighten the fellas about the ladies, that group-wise, when taken as a whole, they are not the sex-starved bunch of slutty slatterns that the common man would appreciate to think of them as, I kid you not.
Bea: You could be right about that, Artie.
Art: I’d like to think so, Bea. I’d try to provide the fellas with some real good do’s and don’ts on how to steam-fit a successful relationship—mostly the “don’ts” though, since that’s what I’m most familiar with. But I’m thinking practical, common sense stuff for if you’re involved in a live-in relationship you want to last longer than the weekend.
Bea: Like what, Artie?
Art: Like you don’t have beer for breakfast, Bea. The intelligent male waits ’til the lady goes to work. Two, you don’t take her sister to Vegas ’cause you want to get to know the family better. Three, you don’t ask her to dial 1-900-SPANK and then bring you the phone ’cause you’re too tired from watching TV all day to do it yourself. Four, if you insist on taking her to Hooters for her birthday, don’t ask the waitress for her phone number. Five, don’t lose a fistfight with her dad.
Bea: Those certainly are practical, Artie.
Art: Focking-A, Bea. And then I’d end my show with a signature sign-off like a regular Paul Harvey or Jimmy Durante. I’d say: “My friends, the future’s always here before you know it. If you have not prepared, you will get caught with your pants down, trip and crack your head open as you try to flee the inevitable. Don’t sweat the future. Just keep your focking pants on and tomorrow takes care of itself. Goodnight and god bless.”
Bea: What if you don’t wear pants, Artie?
Art: Start. Anyways, I got to run, so thanks for the coffee and for letting me bend your ear there, Bea—utiful.
Bea: My pleasure, Artie. Always nice getting talked at by you. Take care.
(It’s off to the Uptowner. And if I see you there, then you buy me one ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)