“They was more'n a 'ting dat' you all would wanna' save, dey was.” Hoplite Harry (long of tooth and short of brain) held up the tinny-tinny lunchbox. Rattled its contents and smiled, he did.
“Puttit down, shineboy!” cried out Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole. “Puttit down, 'cause you break it you buy it. That what the sign say, shineboy.”
“Don't calls me no shineboy, Bessie. I don't calls you no shinegirl, you know.”
“Jess puttit down, OK?”
Hoplite Harry shuffles down row after row of Hogan's Heroes lunchboxes and Schlitz beer pitchers and art-deco marital aids. Places a long, moist finger on the layer of dust covering the black bakelite telephone and draws the tip across, leaving a darker black mark.
“Can black be blacker den black?”
“Shaddup, now,” says Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole. “You always talkin' nonsense and I can't takes it no more, shineboy.”
“I sez not to calls me shineboy, you damn ole' hairy-mole-lip-witch.” Hoplite Harry says this and then shrinks, pulling his head inside his torso like a turtle.
“You stick your damn head out here dis' minnit!” Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole is livid and turns red in the face. Her mole pulsates, the little hairs doing a dance like few have ever seen.
Hoplite Harry sticks his head up, and draws a forearms across his face, defending against any potential blows. Wise move, it proves to be, as Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole grabs a martini shaker that is in arm's reach, hauls back and lets it fly. The shaker misses Hoplite Harry and strikes a set of small, felt-covered reindeer in a Christmas display. They topple over and fall to the floor. The shaker ricochets and bounces off a Hamm's Beer sign that shows an endlessly looping lake scene complete with canoe and campfire...over and over and over and over. You know the sign. I told you about it before.
“Crap-O! Whatchoo doin'?” shouts the hairy-navelled Pucker. Pucker runs his antique store with an iron fist. “Getda' helloutta' my store!”
Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole turns away from Hoplite Harry and makes for the door with fast little orthopedic shoes. Hoplite Harry wets himself and follows quickly behind, mumbling and mumbling.
“Dats' de' lasstime! An' stayout!” Pucker fumes, sits, smokes. Pucker spits, coughs, sips.
30th Street is busy and Hoplite Harry looks down at a wet patch on his faded jeans. Bessie-with-the-hairy-mole looks at him and shakes her head.
“I'll go buy us a sody-pop next door,” she tells him. “We'll pour half down your front so no one knows, and den' we drink de' rest.”