As I was trying to look upon the one
whom they had pierced, a short man in a dark beard walked up and
grabbed my arm.
“Come along,” he said, trying to
jostle me away from the crowd, “there's nothing to see here.”
“No, I think there actually is
something to see here,” I protested.
“Come on,” he said, “let's go and
get a nice drink and a basket of onion rings. My treat.”
Who, I ask you, could reasonably turn
down a free drink and onion rings? Not me, certainly. We walked
over to Limpy's place and went inside. I shot a knowing glance at
Limpy and lifted two fingers and made a retching motion with my face
and throat (not easy to do inconspicuously, mind you). This was our
special, secret sign for ordering a martini and a basket of onion
rings. Limpy smiled, nodded knowingly, and limped off to the kitchen
to drop my rings in the fryer. The short bearded man and I perched
ourselves on a couple of barstools.
“So what do you have planned for the
day, friend?” he asked.
“Friend?” I asked.
“What do you have planned for the
“Well,” I said, “I have this sack
of sheep dung out back, and I was looking for some faces upon which
to smear it.”
“Is that supposed to be some kind of
symbolism?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “That's just it.
There is no symbolism whatever. It's just sheep dung that I hope to
smear on someone's face. No symbolism. No hidden meaning.”
The short man with the dark beard was
getting sweaty and his face would flush red and then get pale white
and then flush red again. He began to look like a neon sign in
Vegas. “Wayne Newton. One Night Only.”
“Look, friend,” he said, pulling a
small coin purse out of his jacket pocket, “why don't you just stay
here and eat onion rings. All day. On me.” He held out the coin
purse, offering it to me.
“I think you tried this once before,”
I said. “No thanks. But thank you for the onion rings and
martini.” I got up and called out to Limpy, “give those o-rings
to Scabby Duane over in the corner, Limpy. I'll come back for the
martini later on tonight.”
I leapt like a calf out of the stall as
I left the bar. Sheep dung can work wonders on a guy, you know.