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2004-07-21 - 5:26 p.m.

She won’t say anything. She just raises a brow and moves off to mix the drink. A bartender knows. Not that it takes a member of Mensa to note that a man who usually drowns himself in Heffaviesen and Zirin Ichiban (Tasty and oh so much fun to say.) plops down with ashen face and orders an opening round of:

“Black Bush Whiskey on the rocks.”

The effect is made doubly apparent as he does not used the previously discussed comic pronunciation of:

“Blak Boooosh…”

He takes the drink and grips it tight around the edges, trying to warm the ice. Hard alcohol may be required to lubricate the journey from day to night, but there’s no need to burrow a hole in his stomach lining over the affair.

The conversation trickles in around him, people laughing at a close captioned rerun the Simpsons. Lines are quoted a full commercial break before they appear on the screen.

He finds solace staring at the Liquor License pinned lopsided to the wall.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m just staring into this one spot, hoping I might bend the fabric of reality and unleash a small army of chickens that will overrun the white house, instituting a new age of peace and prosperity…and the end of all omelets.”

“Oh. Well, you keep at that.”

“I will.”

“All right.”

“Okay.”

“…I like chickens…”

“Yeah, me too.”

The fact remains, he could have gone home, and poured himself the same drink from a birthday bottle sitting atop his cupboard. Here he could have watched the Simpsons with the sound up, or had the mood caught him, Seinfeld.

Word travels up and down the bar, and a smoke break is declared. You could picture a whistle blowing as the denizens at the bar, drop napkins atop their drinks and march in unison out the front door.

At home, he could pour through an entire pack without squirming out of his comfortable, cushy, albeit ugly, couch.

After lighting up, one of the regulars, with his curfew quickly approaching, tries to call his girlfriend and ask for an extension. The reception is apparently low, as he ends up sticking his antenna in every which direction, eventually adopting the Tai Kwan Do stance: “Fucking T-Mobile.”

“I can’t believe I’m paying a hundred bucks a month for this shit.”

“You know Verizon just changed its motto from “Making progress every day” to “Verizon. We got your money.”

“2000 minutes? No, no…we said moments. Moments…”

Possible punk band names are discussed including, “Floyd”, “The Mullets Asunder”, “Floyd and the Mullets Asunder”, and “Overlord of the Underworld.”

After seeing a promo for “Trading Spouses”, everyone pipes up with their favorite exploitive reality show, “Who wants to marry a Midget?” or “The Swan” where plain jane type women are treated to plastic surgery, new wardrobes, and complete makeovers, only to be tossed into a beauty contest, thus allowing Fox to effectively say: “We made you as attractive as science and a team of stylists would allow, and you’re still a loser.”

Someone drops a glass down the way, and is greeted by a bellow from the bar.

“Opa!”

The friends squirm atop identical barstools leaping into an impromptu, and possibly offensive, approximation of a Greek dance.

“Barkeep? Another Blak Boooosh…”

Paying for a drink at the bar, you’re not really paying for the liquor. Sometimes you’re just paying for the company.

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