10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


They had been the hellraisers of their graduating class, although the be-pink-mohawked waitress assigned to them would probably not believe it. Said be-pink-mohawked waitress was currently ignoring them in favor of the teenagers three booths down. They were wearing approximately enough black leather to re-cover the cow.

Herb and Tricia had come off the worst from the last forty years, really. Tricia had wound up a born-again kindergarten teacher with diabetes, who looked the first two and wouldn't quit talking about the third. Herb -- "H.B." back in those days, thank you, "Herbert Bloom" was his father and the old man was a square -- had done a bout with cocaine in the 80s, done another one with cancer in the 90s, and now mainly sat there nodding his head constantly. Lorraine didn't think he was actually agreeing with anything; she was pretty sure he just couldn't help it.

Jerry had always been the creative mind of their group, the one who came up with the really good gags. Gluing the mackerel to their English teacher's windows had been his idea -- fifty pounds of expired fish, salvaged from behind the butcher's shop, carefully arranged in smelly lines across the windowpanes and stuck fast with industrial-strength adhesive swiped from his dad, all while the old woman slept. Or Lorraine's personal favorite, swapping the mayor's wife's prized terrier with another one they'd found by the train tracks, and dumping the "missing" pet in the yard of a woman suspected of being the mayor's bit on the side. That'd been good for a month's worth of laughs. Jerry had probably aged the best of any of them; and as if to prove it, he was wearing his sunglasses even in the dim restaurant, and somehow managing to pull it off.

As for herself, Lorraine supposed she had done all right. No drastic personality changes like Tricia, no drug problems like Herb (at least not after the 70s, and not so much that you could really call it a problem)... she hadn't managed to make her living as a free-wheeling poet, despite all her youthful plans, but being an art historian wasn't bad either. It certainly let her visit a lot of museums, where she could reflect on the past and how many, many stupid decisions it held.

Suddenly Jerry grinned. "Remember the time we filled the principal's trunk with limburger?"

"In the middle of July!" Lorraine replied, laughing. "You and Tricia were so mad about having to go to summer school."

Tricia's mouth turned down. "What little monsters we were back then. Shameful, really." Herb nodded vaguely, staring in no particular direction.

"So we pooled our money together -- " Jerry continued.

Lorraine snorted. "Sure, 'our' money in that we acquired it somehow -- "

"Bought out the town's entire supply, I think -- "

"And Herb jimmied open the trunk with a paper clip!"

Lorraine and Jerry both laughed. Tricia tweaked at the cross hanging around her neck, muttering something about forgiveness; Herb scratched his arm vaguely.

One of the teenagers three booths down leaned over to yell past the be-pink-mohawked waitress. "Howzabout you shut up, huh, y'old geezers? Go talk about your bingo or whatever somewhere else." Then the waitress said something, and the entire group of teenagers erupted into unkind laughter.

Jerry looked at Lorraine again, and there was a hard light in his eyes. He ignored Herb and Tricia completely. "There's a cheese shop a block away, and I saw which car those kids came in. What say we go for Stinking Bishop this time?"

If you think about it, the principal would've had to have his "new '39 Ford" some sixty-nine years ago. Assuming these folks were all early bloomers, and already in high school at a mere ten years old, that would still make them older than John McCain.

They've actually aged remarkably well.

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