Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bar Napkin Trivia Wounds

Sometimes when Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, are having beer and chicken wings at their local chain restaurant, The Kid will overhear a trivia question read off a bar napkin list to which the answer he thinks he knows.

Last night for instance:

"Latty!" The Kid whispered, eyes lighting up. "Latty I know the answer to that trivia question!"

"Which trivia question Kid?" I asked.

"From the next booth over." Kid Relish replied. "They're all stumped but I know the answer... What should I do?"

"Nothing." I said, inching the ranch sauce closer, hoping it would distract him back to his wings. "It's their trivia game, not yours."

The Kid slowly chewed a chicken wing while he mulled this over. Incorrect guesses continued to ring out from the next booth.

"Latty I got it!" He blurted in mid-chew, coating my face with a chicken-flecked sheen of warm ranch sauce and beer. "What if one of them tags me in?"

Before I could stop him, he was up on his seat, desperately shrieking to be "tagged in."

"Don't do it." I tried to warn them, but startled and confused, one of them made the mistake of touching his outstretched hand.

I swore to myself and started signaling for the check.

With a joyous howl, Kid Relish vaulted the booth, landing on his knees in the center of their table. Fajitas and salsa and beer went flying. Somewhere a baby started to cry.

Kid Relish spread his arms, palms up, threw back his head and screamed:
"Ulysses S. Grant!!!"

Silence. The Kid started crossing himself and pointing to the sky, presumably thanking Jesus for the strength to answer the question right.

The holder of the napkin stared at him perplexed, thinking maybe Kid Relish had misunderstood.
"You're saying Ulysses S. Grant holds the NFL single season record for interceptions?"

Kid Relish nodded like a maniac and seemed to expect high-fives.

"Ulysses S. Grant--as in the Civil War General and eighteenth President of the United States?"
The man was going to get to the bottom of Kid's thinking, even if it cost him his life... which, as I tried to tell him, it very well might.

"That's right." The Kid agreed.

"And you're telling me he also holds the NFL single season record for interceptions?"

"With a hundred and forty-two." Kid Relish added, flexing and kissing his bicep.

"Please just agree with him." I implored, knowing this couldn't end well.

The man checked the answer again and slowly looked back at Kid Relish; almost awe-struck by him and everything that just transpired.

"No, I'm sorry." And he really did sound sorry. "In his rookie year with the Rams, Dick 'Night Train' Lane, set the NFL single season record for interceptions with 14."

The man reached out and patted The Kid on the knee.

"I don't think Ulysses S. Grant even played football."

"Lies!!!" The Kid screamed, and attacked him with a fajita skillet.

And so now I'm an accessory to attempted murder... again. And never allowed back in that restaurant.

I guess it could have been worse, the man could have died. And besides, their wings have always been a bit dry.

Much later in our holding cell, Kid Relish turned to me.
"That man was a liar." He whispered. "Ulysses S. Grant does hold the NFL single season record for interceptions."

"I know Kid, I know." The Kid was tired and close to tears.

"And Latty, he went to the Super Bowl four times--twice with Rams and twice with Cobras."

I didn't have the heart to tell him there's never been an NFL team named the Cobras. The Kid fell asleep with his head on my shoulder and another weekend ended in chains.


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Kid Relish said...

Hey you filthy liar Latigo!!! If there's never been an NFL team named the Cobras, then how did Ulysses S. Grant kick four hundred and fifty seven field goals in one season for them? Answer me that you shit-clod!!!

At 12:55 AM, Blogger greta said...

He does have a point, Latigo.

P.S. Do you think the Kid would mind if I said that calling someone a "shit-clod" was now my goal for the upcoming week?

At 7:42 AM, Blogger The Heir said...

Brilliant!! I gotta get me one of them titanium pimsticks, Go the Cobras!!

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I did have a pertinent comment to make at one point, but, in the course of reading of your misfortunes, my children have reenacted the civil wars of several different historical eras, complete with musket-fire and Florence Nightingale (me).

All I can muster at the moment is an impertinent comment. Back in a bit though, after I tend to the wounded. A third party arbitrator's work is never done.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry Latigo, but the Kid is right, but I am sure as pistol whippin gunslinger you probably don't follow football too much, but the Denver Broncos were originally called the Denver Mountain Cobras. Named after those peskies Moutain Cobras that killed hundreds of thousands of settlers trying to get accross those foothills know as the rockies.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Sharon said...

All right, I'm not getting into the commentator's discussions this time. I know nothing about football whatsoever.

This is what I want to know. How do the rest of us get written into your stories? :)

At 12:18 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, it's better than dying a painful death out on the lone prairie. I guess.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I have been a member of a team at Tuesday Night Trivia at our local bar, for nigh on these past 2 years. I wonder, occasionally, whether this might not be irreponsible parenting, because there are Tuesdays when I don't know if I'll make it out alive. We have a medic standing by, at all times, in the event an NFL question should be asked. Ordinarily mild-mannered adults will eyeball each other dangerously if 19th century American literature comes up, and teeth have been lost at the mere mention of SNL.

The pen is most certainly mightier than the sword, I've learnt, especially when stabbed into an accountant's temple.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

That last comment might suggest I take my loin-fruit to the bar. I am very, very old fashioned about never ever taking children to bars. They will have plenty of opportunities to see their parents get inebriated at various weddings, their kindergarten graduation ceremonies and then often again, 'til their juvenile hall hearings.

Bars are for grown-ups.

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

You're a piece of work Kid.

The Kid assures me he likes you very much Greta--the very worst you could expect would be a slight to moderate maiming.

Thanks The Heir. The Kid claims the Cobras have won the last nine Super Bowls. To disagree is akin to suicide. He swears their quarterback is Sam Elliott.
(Kid Relish is a very dangerous young man.)

Blood is thicker than water Sam, Problem Child Bride. A fact siblings never seem to tire of proving... mostly by splitting each other's foreheads open with blunt objects and tossing water balloons at the wounds.

Are you trying to tell me it's fate that Jake Plummer is now their quarterback Anonymous?
(I know you, don't I?)

Be just as savage as anyone can be Sharon... then double it. That's how Kid Relish came to be my relatively trusty sidekick.
Oh, and having your face eaten off by a cougar is also a pretty good way to make it into one of my stories.
(They'd call me a repetitive hack if they weren't so afraid of my response.)

What the hell are you talking about Old Hoss?!!! Nothing's better than dying a painful death out on the lonesome prairie!

You're a dangerous girl Sam. I'd probably fall in love with you if I weren't so afraid of being stabbed in the temple with a pen.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

If you guys were the guys in Of Mice and Men, The Kid would be the slower one.

But you'd both be loveable.


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