Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Never Trust a Woman in a Mask: Part 2

The man shook his head, his finger going to his lips. “I’m sorry,” he said, as he wrote something on a pad of paper. “I think you have the wrong person.”

“But, Meredith-“ I began, only to stop at his glare.

He held up the paper, showing me a crude drawing of a dog, or possibly a donkey, farting. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

I pointed at the drawing and shrugged. He looked at it, his eyebrow going up at what he saw. He rotated the page 180 degrees and held it up again.

The drawing was now a sentence. ‘Careful,’ it read. ‘It might be listening.’

“Oh, that’s okay.” I said. “I stunned it with a double-bean burrito with extra sour cream at lunch.”

“Good. You’re smarter than you look.” He tossed the page to one side and ran a hand through his thinning black hair. “Gall bladders are tough,” he said. “This ain’t going to be cheap.”

“I’ve got a hundred bucks, an unused lottery ticket from 1993, and this chair.”

He chuckled. “Not even close. If it goes wrong, your gall bladder’ll come after me.”

“You afraid of a gall bladder?”

He sneered and reached down to pull up his pant leg, revealing a shiny, plastic artificial leg. “Lost that fifteen years ago.” He tapped it, letting the hollow sound reverberate through the office. “I’d taken out three gall bladders, thought I knew it all. I got cocky. Didn’t take precautions. I lost my leg. Smitty lost his life.”

He fell silent. The beauty mark landed on one of the Seventeen magazines, right on the model’s cheek. Outside, a bird warbled, sounding just like the guitar solo from ‘Teen Spirit.’

“Who was Smitty?”

He looked away. “He was my second cousin, once removed. Great kisser. He drowned in a vat of salsa twenty years ago.”

“The gall bladder got him?”

“Nah. He just didn’t listen to the tour guide.”

“So his death is totally irrelevant to the story?”

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “It sounds better when I add that in.”

I leaned on the chair on my lap. Somewhere in the building, a clock chimed four and a half times.

“I could go one-twenty and I’ll throw in a set of floor mats for an ’87 LeBaron.”

He shook his head. “No. I don’t tussle with gall bladders anymore. You got an appendix you want bumped off, I’m your man. Tonsils? No problem. Electrolysis? Well, I know a lady, but no gall bladders. Not anymore.”

“Guess I am in the wrong place,” I said, as I slipped off the examination table. “I was looking for a professional.” I brushed past him. “Thanks for the chair,” I said, as I opened the door.

I was halfway down the hall when he called out.


Next week: Part 3


Anonymous said...

This type of blog post makes me miss Art!


Anonymous said...

(Bursts into tears.)


Jason Janicki said...

Sorry, BubbaB :(

On a more positive note: Art's getting reviewed by an Agent right now, so keep your fingers crossed :)