Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So Many Strangled Kindnesses

This evening the pretty waitress set my order down, smiled and told me to enjoy. ('Cause that's what pretty waitresses do.) I had planned to thank her and leave it at that, but what we plan and what we do are so very seldom the same.

"Wait Ma'am." I said, taking her hand in mine.

"Yes?" She warily replied, trying to decide what she'd tolerate to receive a decent tip.

I gave her a long and steady stare, tracing the veins in her eyes. When I spoke, my voice was low and gritty.
"We stand on the edge of a cliff, you and I, overlooking the end of all we know. The leap is uncertain but to stay is to die. The ground is above and below us the sky."

And for some reason, that happened to exceed her tolerance. (She obviously didn't know who I was.)

She jerked her hand away and pretended to check a watch-less wrist.
"Oh, look at that--it's my lunch break."

"It's 10PM." I noted helpfully.

"Food service personnel keep a different schedule." She replied. "Bruce is going to finish you up."

"I don't suppose you'd reconsider Ma'am, if you knew how much I'd prefer not to be finished up by Bruce?"

But she was already walking away.

Bruce sure seemed to know who I was.
"I know who you are." He said with a glower, massaging his fist with the other hand.

"You know I'm Latigo Flint, the quickest quickdraw the world has ever known?" I beamed. "How splendid. It's always nice to meet a fan. Do you know it's been said that I draw, aim and fire a six-gun so fast that Aaron Copland is inspired to compose again... from beyond the frickin' grave?"

"You're the guy who likes to grab waitresses and say to them creepy things." Bruce continued, as if I hadn't spoke.

"Hmm, yes, an unfortunate side-effect, steeped as I am in the romance of the Squinty-eyed American West." I acknowledged with a sigh.

"Creepy, hand-grabbing customers piss me off." Bruce pointed out, cracking his knuckles against the table.

"And rightfully so." I agreed. "But creepy is subjective and you should know that a hundred and fifty years ago, that advance would definitely have been met with a blush and a dowry."

He thought about that for a bit, and decided to punch me anyway. I decided I didn't like being punched by him, and when he tried it again I shot him.

(With the paper sleeve of a straw... got 'im right in the eye too. He required over a dozen stitches. Not so much from the paper sleeve, though that couldn't have felt all that good--but more from the metal napkin dispenser, which I followed up with a boot.)


At 6:29 AM, Blogger Isaac said...

The Legend of Latigo Flint is spreading! In cafes, in Starbucks, in any place where men and women gather, the name Latigo Flint is being nervously whispered. The already stupendous deeds grow larger with each telling. By the time of your tragically stupid death, not a man, woman or child will have not heard the name “Latigo Flint.” Katie Couric will report your passing with a tear in her eye. “The man know only as Latigo Flint died stupidly this day,” she will bemoan. “I will always regret never having the opportunity to violently reject his advances. The man was a hero, by any measure.” And although she is too professional to burst into tears, you will be able to tell that she wanted to.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Do you need time off for an annual holiday Latigo? if so I think you may have found the ideal stand in in Isaac, (temporary of course, no one could fill in for Latigo Flint forever.)

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

I think this is the first time you've told a story of your advances on a woman that ended with some one other than yourself in the hospital.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Splich said...

Latigo Flint is my most favoritest quickest quickdraw in the whole wide world.

Just so you know.

Free drink at Starbucks tavern on me, whenever we meet again. XD

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I'm glad to read Bruce got his comeuppance.

Thou Shalt Not Give LF A lick of Crap. The lost 11th Commandment.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Ari said...

At first, I thought there wouldn't be blood.

But soon enough, you remedied that.

And I rejoiced in a napkin holder slitting flesh.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

But creepy is subjective...

In my brain, which is a bit pickled by New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, I read that as "but creepy is subjunctive". And my brain went all grammatically M.C. Escher trying to sort that out.

I'm glad you shot that guy though.

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Perhaps you need to find a socially ostracised doctor with a time machine.

Then you could go back to the old west and cement your legend like a San Felipe sidewalk.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I hope this happened in Dodge, so you could get out of it.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Francis Marion Tarwater said...

He deserved it with a name like Bruce.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger ThePaula said...

I'd give you a blush and a dowry any day

(Please ignore that my dowry is $20,000 in student loans)

At 2:36 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

That is beautiful Isaac! I regret only that I shall not be around to see it... what with having stupidly perished just a short time before. Can't have it all though I guess.

Isaac writes better than I do Peter. Temporarily replacing yourself with a superior mind is not a good idea--not a good idea at all.

Do you begrudge me this one tiny, tiny kindness in a maelstrom of despair Trevor Record?

But, dear Splich, there is only one quickest quickdraw in the world. So isn't that something like parents telling their only child he's their favorite?

It's true, I have an edge LBB. Thank you for recognizing it.

There's always blood Ari. Even when it seems like there isn't, it's there.

I Drew Hands once Amandarama... I ended up screaming until dawn.

Hello Ultra Toast. I've heard of you. Is Biff going to be there by the way?

It happened in Burbank Old Hoss. It's a little like Dodge, except that it's entirely not. (They want to know what my favorite meal is.)

I agree Solace Layfield.

I was kinda hoping for cattle, a bag of gold dust and pawn-able silverware Paula... but throw a lock of your hair and an iron-clad guarantee you'll bear me nothing but sturdy sons on top of that negative $20K and I might come around.


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