I'd been a bit down in the dumps and Chuck, Dave and Ben decided that what I needed was to get out, have a few drinks and basically get over my funk and get on with my life.
They had a point and I knew it. It was time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself. The three of them picked me up and we drove into town. I was a little surprised when we pulled into the parking lot of the Landing Strip Lounge.
"Why here?" I asked.
"It is open mike night" Ben said, "And we think it is just what you need to drag yourself out of your shell."
I shrugged and we went inside, found a table and ordered drinks. Shari, the waitress, smiled when she saw me and asked:
"Where have you been Wally? We've missed you."
"Been busy Shari. Haven't had time for a night life."
Up on the band stand Bobby Denton was telling one of his blond jokes while his wife sat at a table in the back with some of her friends. She was a platinum blond and she hated blond jokes and I often wondered if Bobby got any pussy from her on open mike night.
He finished the joke and introduced a guy who wasn't all that good, but I still clapped for him for no other reason than it takes a lot of nerve to stand up there in front of lots of people and let it all hang out. After the guy finished Bobby told another blond joke and then said they were at that point in the evening when the mike was open for anyone who wanted to give it a try. Chuck, Dave and Ben were pushing me to get up and I figured what the hell, why not.
I stood up and Bobby saw me and said, "It looks like Wally Taylor is going to throw himself on your mercy" and as he handed me the mike he said, "Good to see you Wally. We've missed you."
I took the mike, looked out over the crowd, took a deep breath and then said:
"I was reading in the paper today about the increase in concealed carry permits being issued and I wondered about the love affair that men have with guns. Some even to the point that they preferred their thirty-eights to have steel jackets rather than bras. I thought about it for a bit and I came up with ten good reasons why some men prefer guns over women.
Number ten – You can trade and old 44 for a new 22.
Number nine – You can keep one gun at home and have another one to take with you on the road.
Number eight – If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so he will probably let you try it out a few times.
Number seven – Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for back up.
Number six – Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.
Number five – A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.
Number four – Guns function normally every day of the month.
Number three – A gun doesn't ask, "Do these new grips make me look fat?"
Number two – A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after using it.
And the number one reason why some men prefer guns over women is
You can buy a silencer for a gun."
I had gotten several small laughs for the numbers as I listed them, but got a really big laugh for the last one so I decided to hang in there for a while.
"Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days and frankly God was tired of listening to their bickering. Finally fed up God said:
"THAT"S IT!!! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours and from the results of that test I will judge who does the better job. So Satan and Jesus sat down at their keyboards and started typing.
They e-mailed with attachments.
Suddenly I stopped and stared at the back of the room where the door to the parking lot had opened and a couple had walked in. The crowd was wondering why I had stopped and you could hear the low voices asking each other what was going on. I took a deep breath and pulled myself together.
"Ladies and gentlemen" I said, "I apologize, but I have to stop at this point and get the hell out of here. My wife and the asshole she has been cheating on me with just walked in from the parking lot."
Heads turned to look toward the back of the room and I said:
"Wave to the nice people Julie so they can get a good look at what a lying cheating whore looks like. As I said I do apologize for this, but if I don't get the hell out of here I'll end up in jail for putting the whore's lover in the hospital."
I hesitated for a second or two and then said, "Fuck it! It will be worth going to jail over" and I jumped down from the bandstand and started toward Julie. The guy with her turned and hurried out the door leaving Julie standing there looking like a deer caught in the headlights of an on-coming car.
Chuck, Dave and Ben grabbed me and wrestled me into the kitchen and then out into the parking lot,
"Settle down Wally. They ain't worth it" Ben said. They got me in the car and Chuck drove us over to the Red Fox Inn. When we were inside and seated Chuck ordered our drinks and Dave told the waitress to make mine a double. Chuck said:
"Sorry Wally. I really thought a night out would do you some good. It was just dumb assed luck that the cunt picked tonight to show up at the Strip."
"She wasn't the problem" I said, "If she would have shown up alone I could have just ignored her, but she didn't show up alone. She showed up with him. I wish you hadn't stopped me. I fully intend to get that bastard one of these days."
"Maybe bud, but not in front of a hundred witnesses. Take your time and plan it out. Make sure that you do it with no witnesses around and make sure that we know when so we can all have our stories straight when we swear that you were playing cards with us when it happens. We can help you out bud. The asswipe doesn't know any of us and we can follow him around and see what his routine is and find out when would be the best time for you to do your thing."
As I sipped my Jack over ice I reflected on my choices. I'd made some damned good ones in choosing my friends, but a pretty bad one when it came to picking a wife. I knew what I was getting when I got Julie; I was just too stupidly in love to let what I knew get in the way.
I met Julie in our freshman year at State. We were in the same Introduction to Planning class and Reynolds had broken the class up into five person teams and assigned each team a project. Julie and I were put on the same team and ended up spending a lot of time together at the library doing research for our project.
To say that I was smitten would be to make a gross understatement. One look into those green eyes and the sexy redhead owned me. I asked her out and she accepted. Julie kissed me at the end of that first date and that first date led to several more and the kisses escalated into steamy make out sessions and on our seventh date we spent the night in room 122 at the Fantasy Isle Motel.
The next three months went by and Julie and I couldn't keep our hands off of each other. We were making love three and four nights a week and then one day near the end of those three months we got into an argument over something so vitally important that I can't even remember what it was. The upshot was that Julie told me that she didn't want to see me any more and she stomped off.
"Well fuck you!!!" I said to myself. The only problem was that over the course of the next couple of months I saw her with different guys and it ground on me. I was hung up on her and it was driving me crazy that she wasn't with me. I tried calling her several times, but never got in touch with her. I left messages with her roommate, but she never returned my calls.
Three months after she walked away from me she sat down across from me as I was having my lunch in the student cafeteria.
"Hi yourself Julie."
There was dead silence for a couple of beats and then she said, "I've missed you Wally" and just like that we were back together and couldn't keep our hands off of each other.
Four months later there was another argument and Julie stomped off and just like the first time I saw her around with different guys and it pissed me off, but there wasn't a thing I could do about it. Two months went by and then she approached me and told me again that she had missed me. Once again we were back together.
It happened four more times before we finished our senior year. Each time the separation lasted two or three months and then Julie would do the "I've missed you Wally" thing. Sooner or later I had to wise up to what was going on and I did. I caught on to the fact that some guy would catch Julie's eye and she would manufacturer an argument, storm off and date the guy and maybe one or two others and then she would come back and tell me she missed me and expect that I would welcome her back with open arms. Which is pretty much what I did.
There was a slight change to the program however. I started dating other girls and while I was relatively successful in getting my ashes hauled none of the girls I hooked up with made me want to get into a long-term relationship with. I was too hung up on Julie and I think Julie knew that which is why she never came running back when she saw me with other girls. I wasn't all that happy about the situation, but I did take some comfort in the fact that she always came back to me.
.... There is more of this story ...