Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Old Ways New Chapter One

The Old Ways New

By PallidBust

Chapter One

The Banquet of the Damned

Jack Hent, of the Hents, sat on a coach made from the leather of beer fed, daily massaged Japanese cows. He worked on his Japanese made PDA to close a deal with, appropriately, a Japanese supermarket chain so Japanese people could fuel themselves on baked pumpkin seeds for the energy to make more PDAs and to massaged cows. The Circle of Modern Life. Before him, ignored, raged an elite charity function, millionaires or richer only. A monthly ball.

Along came a beautiful fem,

to sit

along down beside him.

‘Jack.’ Brusque and cool, she sat down her empty martini with expertise, closed her eyes, and sunk back into the ill fated cow. Her anemic form made a mere dent. ‘Must be years.’

He kept his eyes on his PDA. ‘Lyz. I saw you on that talk show last week. How did they get you awake so early?’

‘The party from the night before was winding down so I took a shower, changed my clothes, and hailed a cab. I showed up early. My agent was amazed.’

‘When do you sleep?’

‘I don’t have bedtimes. I pass out when I pass out.’


‘Ha! Hey, how’d I look on the show?’

‘Good. Better than you have in years. Course, the camera adds ten pounds…’

Her hand covered her eyes, she opened her mouth but didn’t make a noise. She laughed like when she was a kid.

‘Jack, you’re always so mean to me. Why am I nice to you?’

‘Because I’m the only person whose ever been honest with you. Probably why it’s been years.’

‘Honest? Ha! Honestly, isn’t it about time you stopped hitting girls you like at recess?’

‘You like honesty as much as you like food, but you still need it.’ Deal closed, Jack put the ball and chain PDA away and leaned back himself. A week of working thirty hour days with few breaks. He fell into the couch, creating a sink hole which absorbed the dent made by the Lyz’s little head, just as sleep deprived. Her head rolled down hill to come to rest on his shoulder. She nuzzled into a comfortable niche.

The youngsters lay there catching their breath for five minutes, but eventually something had to be said.

‘Nice tux. Soft. So, you’ve finally broke down and come to a decadent ball with your dad? Sigh, where have all the cowboys gone?’

‘I’m here on my own.’

‘What rot.’ Snide now.

‘Bought in last week.’

She opened her eyes, which happened to already point up and right; right at Jack’s face, his eyes closed. Some new lines there, stronger looking at 30, but the same face from childhood.

‘With pumpkin seeds?’

‘I sold 51% of the stock to Bostitch Foods, retained royalty concessions for seven years, and several of my investments have done well. New kind of fiber optic. Some other things. A finder’s fee from time to time.’

‘You got royalties from Ted Bostitch for seven years? That penny pinching lobster? Not to mention ass. He’s strong for a man in his seventies. My bruises last a week after the Derby last. Seven years? What,’ She laughed. ‘you have a photo of him naked with another man?’

‘No.’ Jack still laughed in his words instead of grunts. No “ha” or “Hee Hee!” or any non-words. Just that down turned smile, a word inflected, and that was it. Lyz smiled at him.

‘Wait. Jack Hent, of the Hents, is a self-made millionaire? How am I only now learning this? Facebook is not what it used to be since they let state students in.’

‘Not that you graduated…’

‘I attended! That’s all you need for the Ivy. Answer, sir, the question.’

‘I’m not famous like you. TV, the runway, movies… have you been in a movie yet where your character isn’t brutally murdered in her underwear?’

‘Yeah.’ Lyz rolled over, putting her face higher on Jack’s shoulder, and her hands along his arm. ‘A Skinamax sorority comedy with Maxim’s name on it somewhere. I end up learning the true meaning of love I think, I’m not sure. I haven’t watched it and we shot four different endings. Maxim is always nice to me, unlike you.’

‘In any case, you beat me to it. The millionaire ranks, I mean. I’ve read the books for this… club. You joined three months ago. Independent of your parents, I mean.’

‘Did I?’

‘Your accountant signed you up. Tax reasons, I should think.’


A waiter extended a tray holding two martinis and a bourbon on ice.

‘About time.’ Lyz downed one, returned it, and took the other martini to sip. Jack took his drink, hushing out a “thank you” in his quite voice, looking down. Lyz smiled, her smile cutting her face almost completely in two. He still used his quite voice when dealing with odd servants. It wasn’t meek, but it resided right on the meek/humble border. It was just hushed, like he was begging the stranger not to answer and just go away please I don’t want any trouble.

‘Yeah, I guess I’m self-made, too. Making girls neurotic about dress size and giving lonely boys with internet access “relief” is faster and easier than pumpkin seeds.’

‘Give me that drink.’


‘Lysistrada Able, give me that drink. Self-mockery is your drinking stage right before psychotic breakdown.’

‘Bah!’ Her hand was a kitten paw on Jack’s chest.

‘It was in Cosmo.’

‘Relax! We’re at a party.’

‘Charity event.’

The young lions studied the crowd of tuxes and dresses, Rolexes and patrons showing off their artistic pets, cloyed pallets shoveling Beluga caviar, voluble marriages, and the stentorian laugher of the damned.

‘Looks like a party to me.’

‘Yeah, I’ve noticed that.’

‘You never were any good at a party. Dour Jack. We have shared some times, though. Heard the chimes at midnight and all that. I haven’t forgotten you saved my life. You still look sad around the eyes when you think nobody’s watching you. Hmmm… No, it’s permanent now. Sad, but undefeated.’ Sip. ‘Hey, why’d we stop hanging out?’

‘You discovered parties.’

Patronizing look. ‘Mean, mean, mean. Sigh. But right.’

Lysistrada Able, of the Ables, arose to wobbling feet due to her blood alcohol level and ridiculous shoes. Her “dress” was even worse. ‘Jack is always right, but never happy. Lysistrada is always indifferent, but never stressed. What does that tell you?’

‘You know, Lyz, at least partially covering your body creates a mysterious charm that enamors men more than, well, the gossamer you have on.’

Jack didn’t know anybody with a more condescending smile. ‘If you excuse me, I’m going to go cling on a Kennedy so my picture will be in the New York Times and Drudge tomorrow.’

‘I’ve never met a 27 year old girl begged for a spanking like you.’

‘Spanking? Ha! Foolish boy, the Fifties are long dead. Long live the Sexual Revolution! Spanking is sixties soft core and John Wayne atavism turned kink. Spankings are light fun now; passé. I don’t want the people to want me spanked. I want the people to want me flogged.’ She downed the rest of her martini, and tossed the glass aside to meet its doom on the ballroom floor. ‘And the people want someone to be flogged. That’s me. I have a role to play that needs to be played, and I’m very good at it..’ She smiled, all the girl gone except the insanity. ‘Now, having burned that sexy image into your brain, the image of me tied up, naked, and writhing from stroke after well deserved stroke of the whip in Time Square, the masses cheering at the justice of a spoiled brat getting her come-up-ens, I say to you, Sir Self-Made Millionaire: see ya in another two years.’

She turned, she walked.

‘Three years.’ Jack muttered. ‘It’s been three years.’

Jack studied her back and lack of dress, keeping his eyes above the waist. He didn’t need any imagination; in fact, he mused, the minx could be both spanked and flogged as clothed without damaging her attire. Not that she’d wear anything twice.

‘Flogging the decadent.’ Jack took a sip, squinting as he did when concentrating on a problem. ‘We almost forgot.’


The charity event spared few from utter disaster. One spared demographic was the media. The media didn’t have a field day. Field days are merely fun. The media, with the splendor of a tantra-like 24 hour orgasm, had the Moon Landing all over again. Jack Hent, of the Hents, brought down the aristocracy with the brutality of France’s Reign of Terror, but with a lot less blood spilt. Some blood, but just a little-little.

All agreed. Fox and CNN, Drudge and Daily Kos, Rush and Air America, Ann Coulter and Tina Fey, even Hannity and Colmes—all agreed something had to be done about these pseudo-altruistic rich people, because Jack squeezed all of the timocracy’s toothpaste out, and there wasn’t any painless way to but the paste back in the tube. Pain would be required, and in spades. Like the old ways.

In short, the cat was out of the bag and on American Idle.

A clip of Jack on stage addressing the wealthy, a clip that everybody, every human with working sensory organs, all day saw on TV, read in the newspaper, heard on the radio, and linked to Youtube: ‘Thank you, thank you. Last week I joined the most famous, most ubiquitous charity in the United States of America.’ Cheers and congratulations! ‘Having recently joined the charity, and comparing the accounts to other charities, I have concluded, definitively, that while most other charities channel 90% of all donated funds to the people the charities purport to help, our charity uses 90% of donated funds on limousines and lavish feasts for parties such as this, awards to members who do no actual work for the charity, inflate a bureaucracy of suspiciously single and good looking young college dropouts, and advertise to sucker more and more people of modest means to donate more and more money they themselves could use. This is, of course, not only criminal fraud, but evil. 85% of all funds donated to this charity are donated by non-premium members, which is to say, people who work for a living; people who don’t have money to spare, yet still donate money due to the altruism native to the average American’s heart. Further, Gregory Thales, a billionaire here in the audience, owns limousine services in New York, Washington, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, and L.A., yet never loans a single car to serve in any event. For this event, the charity paid full price for the 48 hour rental of thirty-three limousines, four of which have hot tubs. The charity always pays for the expensive vehicles which in no way contribute to the stated purpose of the charity. That is one example of the hubris endemic in this organization. I have listed hundreds of other examples on my website,, along with the evidence that proves the accusations sufficient to preempt any suit of liable. It is manifest that this charity exists to boast the false graciousness and twisted ego of the millionaire members, not to aid the people in this world that struggle to exist, to improve, to excel. Most millionaires give to charity for the sake of charity, of progress. Most are good people. None of them are members here. There are many honest and effective charities. This charity is a sick fraud, so I quit. Thank you.’

The rabble of millionaires booed and excoriated Jack with vulgar words and baseless accusations. They even threw caviar and exotic fruits at Jack as he made his way down the stage, ruining his rented and expensive tux and the food which was even more expensive. He made a minimum effort to shield himself from the confections as he existed at a steady gate.

The next morning Jack filed suit against the charity for the cost of the tux. The tux rental store filed suit to interpose against Jack, and fought bitterly with Jack, remonstrating that it would refuse the money from such a brave man who had given them international advertising one couldn’t buy (indeed, they did quite well that year during prom season for that very reason), but Jack would not hear of it. That anecdote dominated page four of the New York Times.

Page one?

Jack snuck in many cameras disguised as porcelain horses, earning Jack the nickname “Jack the Greek”. It was hotly debated who or what coined the nickname, as over a hundred news organizations received a DVD copy of Jack’s speech and drunken mob opprobrium.

However, the government of Greece, spurned on by the people of Greece, officially made Jack Hent an honorary citizen of Greece. China, Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela celebrated Jack for exposing the hypocrisy of capitalism, conveniently ignoring the fact that Jack was, himself, a capitalist of growing success. Russia requested Jack explore and sort out its accounts, as did the State of Louisiana. The Queen had Jack’s lineage traced to a knight who fought and died fighting at Agincourt, and the Pope granted Jack an indulgence to lessen his time in Purgatory which could come in pretty handy because Jack was a Unitarian. A business ethics building was named after Jack in universities in both Israel and Palestine, each claiming the other stole the idea. Ireland announced the drinks would always be on them should Jack visit across the Pond, and New Zealand named their latest X-treme sport the “Jack Hent Hullabaloo” (“the Jack H Deuce, cobber!”). The sport consists mostly of holding a bowling ball and jumping off of a mountain into shark infested waters while blindfolded and drunk. Even France said nothing bad about Jack, which is the best you can get from the French.

Everybody hates the arrogant rich, especially the modest rich. The charity ball erupted into an international class warfare hate-fest that would have made Karl Marx cry like the mother of the bride. As Howard Stern said on his XM radio program, “Jack ass-raped those elitist cocksuckers”, then proceeded to spank a stoned porn star, as is his want.

That was page one. Jack himself dominated page two of the New York Times. They put his story into ink. Jack left his wealthy family at the age of 18. His feuds with his father, Alcester Hent, were common gossip and entertainment at all levels of New York society. Servants and the gentry held no scrap of information from the other in the spirit of the universal brotherhood of the bored.

Liberated by age, Jack worked as a horseman on a east Texan cattle ranch for a year before the ranch owner discovered oil and reduced his herd and regular hands, so Jack joined the Marine Core. For two weeks after basic Jack served as a guard for the U.S. Embassy in Japan until he was hit by a drunk driver, leaving two fingers on his left hand partially paralyzed. Though he was a righty, he was honorably discharged from the Core, as a marine must be able to kill with every atom of his being.

But the Core takes care of their own, even if unhappy accidents cut a marine’s tour short. The GI Bill paid Jack’s tuition to the University of Kansas, where he studied for degrees in History and Physics, and worked alternatively as a tree farmer(black oak) and runner for a law firm, depending on the season. Living a Spartan lifestyle, Jack spent all his money and free time on pumpkin seed recipes. Halfway through his second semester he boasted four distinct flavors of roasted pumpkin seeds, each delightful to the tongue.

Jack invented Baron Ernst von Strassenhoffer, a 19th Century collage roommate of Otto von Bismarck. Ernst, an anemic due to three-hundred years of unbroken inbreeding, as Jack told it, traveled in the Americas in search of the tastiest treat that contained high levels of iron, as Ernst was convinced that the hemoglobin in his red blood cells, the iron that held the oxygen in his blood stream, would be greatly bolstered by a high iron diet. The Baron perfected the roasting of pumpkin seeds for human consumption, lived to be 98, and his false legacy strove even to Jack’s day, all the way to Kansas.

The Baron’s biography was posted on every bulletin board in all of Lawrence, Kansas, a collage town with bulletin boards on every vertical structure. Jack spent his free hours, while seeds baked in his studio apartment, sewing cheap little sacks out of the cotton strips left over from KU’s crafts department. He’d listen to educational tapes borrowed from the university’s library while filling the bags with the confections. Jack made deals with every supermarket, gas station, and movie rental store in the city of Lawrence. Then the county. Then the state. Not just college students, but everybody wanted a some of the Baron’s tasty, rich source of iron, invention.

But it got worse, the paper warned the reader. Jack, a child of privilege, had received rather large sums of money over his childhood years. Mutual Fund birthday presents from grandparents, mad money from an old aunt that doted on him as her favorite living male, tax shelters from his father, an uber-healthy allowance—where did it all go? Why was Jack working two jobs and creating a pumpkin seed empire in Kansas? Did Jack squander this birthright? Surely so, as Jack grew up in New York, and only Vegas can suck up a young man’s money faster and more thoroughly than New York. But it was not so.

No, all the money given to him as a child, every penny, went the very day to his mother, whom Jack’s father divorced so he could marry his mistress whom he has since divorced. Jack’s mother, the beauty queen of a neglected county in Mississippi, married young, lived uneducated though fond of English and French poetry, then lost her perfect figure creating Jack. Divorced, penniless, and cast out of New York in disgrace by Alcester Hent, with all his power and influence, she returned to her southern home where the simple community floated her until she scored a job as a teller at the bank. She was punctual, friendly, honest, and precise. She often won the “Employee of the Month” coffee mug, and her bake sale brownies earned enough money for hundreds of Baptist choir frocks, though she herself was a Deist/absurdist.

She has since remarried, to a mailman, and it is reported that Jack gets along well with his step-father, as no interesting gossip could be found on the matter.

All of Jack’s boyhood money went by wire to his mother, and now all the women of America pulled their hair and screamed in agony. The self-starting, hush speaking, defiant, non-smoking, wounded marine, momma’s boy tortured the hearts of all the gentle sex of all ages. Tattoo bedecked feminists and Sunday School teaching daddy’s girls speculated together on Jack’s prowess. Had he learned the guitar, America would never have recovered from the mass, lovesick rash of suicides.

Still, Jack did not perfectly dominate the New York Times. The charity ball did. Page one for the speech, page two for Jack, page four for Jack’s rented clothing and the effects of global warming on tree frogs, but page three for Lysistrada Able, of the Ables. Lyz, as she was known among her friends and the members of her Fan website, daughter of the son of one of the world’s great airplane tycoons, after strip teasing(which proved her talent as it is hard to strip tease while wearing almost no clothing) on a banquet table to the delight of many hidden, professional cameras, was found and photographed in a closet with a married Kennedy (second term in the Massachusus State House of Representatives), the mistress of another Kennedy, the mistress’s roommate, and a busboy. The busboy escaped unharmed; indeed he was lauded by his fellow Frat brothers who named him “Dude of the Year!”

The Kennedys were not as lucky. He had to go into rehab for a three days before returning to public service. Lyz, immortalized in that closet covered only in the flesh of strangers and her own vomit, was destroyed. In the chaos of Jack’s wake, Lyz cut a cop with a butter knife. Only a little, little blood spelt. The cop recovered and wrote a book, briefly hitting the Best Sellers list, but still—nobody cuts a NY cop and gets away with it. Money and influence can mate with an Ebola infected porcupine: you cut one of New York’s Finest, you get shot to pieces or go to jail.

But little did the media know that a brat jabbing a cop with a butter knife set in motion the salvation of countless millions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tessy Plinkerton Saves Proper

Tessy Plinkerton Saves Proper

By PallidBust

Chapter One

Welcome, Adult, to Adulthood

My name is Tessy Plinkerton, and at the dawn of our meeting, I was having a rough 21st birthday. Your hero (that’s me, call me Tessy) was and am a diminutive, blonde, and innocent country girl in the small liberal arts college town of Proper, away for the first time from my home and loving family, yet everybody was beating on me like I was a red headed stepchild.

I yipped and eeped while sawhorsed over Busboy Greg’s knee in the kitchen of O’Shannon’s Bar and Grill, my place of vocation. The busboy grew up corn-fed and tall, and with his foot planted on a carton of booze as it was, I dangled in midair, my feet kicking a feckless three feet from terra firma. I was helpless and he knew it. Like rats can.



’19!’ the fry cooks and passing waitresses yelled out.




‘Damnit!’ Most of the line chefs and fry cooks had had their turn at my normally snow white and pert little 21-years and eleven hours old butt, and I had long lost count of the spanks I’d suffered. That’s 21 whacks times… a shit load of people plus a billion “to grow on” licks, equals the sorest ass I had ever had the pleasure of the introduction, and I had my gratuitous teenage rebellion years with a daddy that had an Honest to God woodshed with a razor strop. He’d only ever used it on me the one time, when I mouthed off to momma, but once was enough. Oh, the whipping didn’t make me perfect, but it made me perfect enough to make the woodshed gratuitous. The threat of its existence, along with lectures and extra chores and that horrible disappointed look he took on when I stooped below the categorical imperative, made me disciplined and virtuous enough to hide my vices.

My rebellion years ended in the Establishment’s total victory. I called him “sir”, still call him “sir”, and plan to call him “sir” until I’m collecting social security or have my ass surgically removed. Sometimes I call him “daddy” when I’m feeling low and want a hug.

Speaking of which. WHACK

Nfffff…’ I refused to call the Busbuy Greg “daddy”.


‘And one to grow on.’


‘One to grow on!’ Everyone yelled as everyone had a nice ’ol, grand, Bourbon Street, V-Day of a time. Greg let me fall a few Empire State Building’s to my feet, my cute Sunday clipperclapper shoes impacting on concrete, shattering the bones in my feet, and I can’t figure if my medical insurance covers for feet bone replacements because I can’t read the Latin written by Smurfs with nano-lasers at the bottom of the contract.

I bent over and rubbed my wounds. Sean O’Shannon knew how to use the silent promise of sex to attract business, so all the waitresses were college girls, and we all had to wear these tight, black blouses and matching in color and modesty little skirts which were, I now know, easily lifted for a spanking and a serious rub after that spanking. The female customers thought we were just adorable, and told us so. The male customers thought things not fit for family viewing, and told us so when their wives powdered their noses. It was not in the employee training video that girls are spanked by all employees upon achieving the magic 21 years-of-age so that we can tend bar and earn serious green.

It. Was. Not.

So, skirt easily lifted over the last few hours, my only remaining operational defense, funny enough, were my high school cheerleader red “spanky” panties, which the manufacturer claim provide “moderate rear coverage”, which means they cover half the ass. That’d be great, splendid, if they covered the right half. They shouldn’t be called “spanky” panties because they didn’t help a girl take a spanking. I suppose that moniker works if you were giving the birthday spanking, in which case they must be great for spanking because they framed that fat part of the butt into a perfect target, and the bright red coloring gave the spanker a good swatch for measuring the color of my flesh. However, I didn’t know any of this for sure because I’m just a girl, so I just get spanked. Damn sexiest gender constructs… my womyn’s studies professor Dr. Yielding is right! Society must change! Before my next birthday!

I bit my lip, rubbed, and collected myself until Greg pinched the back of my arm.


‘Forgot to wear—‘

‘Yeah I know! I’ve only been crabbed two-dozen times today.’ I rubbed my butt with my pinched arm and my pinched arm with my other arm and hopped from sore foot to sore foot and I looked just ridiculous.

He had a green clover necklace on because men in the city can wear jewelry even if it isn’t a Cross. I couldn’t pinch him back. He was pinch-immune by way of his magical rune.

He spoketh, ‘You’d think working at an Irish bar and grill, you’d remember to wear green on-‘

‘Go. Clean. Something. Greg.’ He was tall and a second string line backer, and usually a nice guy when he wasn’t whacking all the 20-year-old out of my 21-year-old ass with his freak giant hand, and as I’ve said, I’m small, but any hunter will tell you that the most dangerous kind if prey is wounded prey, so I channeled my inner spanked badger at him through my spanked badger eyes until he fled. Oh, and did he flee! Well, he fled so at an easy gate while laughing, but he only laughed to hide his fear, I say.

‘Can I take table 14 their food now, or would someone else like a go? Really?’ I lifted my skirt and poked out my money maker. That domain of my modesty firebombed all to Hell. ‘Here, there it is, carpe diem; I’m not just flesh and bone after all. I’m a punching bag, you superstitious, pagan practicing druid savages!’ They laughed at my mooning and scurrilous polemic (I didn’t have great grades in high school so I studied for the SAT verbal hard). Of course they laughed; it was a brilliant defense. I couldn’t very well be angry at them if they thought I was a good sport, could I? Everyone was so bummed that morning because we had to work on St. Patty’s Day while all their friends started drinking at sunrise—but now everyone whistled while they worked. Bastard polytheists (read multiculturalists). If I got real mad and made a real fuss and cried, I’d spread depression.

I bit my lip, smiled with my most beach bunny brain dead expression, and took one for Team Bastard.

I bit too hard and broke some skin against my bottom teeth. Nothing to be done about it, so I straightened my adorable and suggestive uniform, checked my pony tail, grabbed my trey which, loaded, equaled half my body weight, and got like the ant of parable.

‘Here you go, folks. How does everything look? OK, great. I’ll be back in a few minutes to check up on ya.’

The boss, a likely dyslexic, never turned music on in the back for us proles unless we were already so happy it put him in a good mood too. On my return, Junior Brown belted out “Highway Patrol” from the kitchen radio, everyone was joking and dancing while working, and felt I like an invincible baddass, so I opened the door to the empty storage room, waved away the illicit smoke, and screamed, ‘Jimmy, I need that Death And Damnation By Chocolate with low fat Vanilla Swirls, trademark, now; so if you could hurry up breaking the law in here, I’d appreciate it.’ I closed the door behind me and sprayed myself down with the anti-odor bottle the stoners kept on the nearby shelf, and ran my elfish-self into matching set of Long Island silver spoons: Kitchy Culpepper and Veronica Cul’ Demore. They were very tall, brunettes, and bled blue as Vulcans. The beamed at me as if I were a baby with spaghetti on her head.

I eyed them. Kitchy’s earrings were emeralds, real ones; and Veronica wore a green jewel bedecked necklace around her ankle. What’s that called? An anklet? Must be, because my spellchecker didn’t put a little red squiggly line under it like it did for “Kitchy”, so I guess Kitchy didn’t really exist and was just a psychosis in my addled brain.

But she appeared to exist.


‘Happy birthday,’ Kitchy said, literally bouncing with excitement, and grabbed my arms by the elbows to bounce me right along with her. She was taller than me, even without that tall horse, so a few of those bounces lifted me a good bit up and down, up and down, and up and down in my damn shoes.

I stamped my foot in protest! Then moaned. I needed to find a new form of civil disobedience, but all I could think of was a sit-in but that was out for at least three days.

‘Ohhhhhh,’ Kitchy said into my face. ‘You’re just like my waif of a pledge that left me to get married. Sniff. I miss having a little sister.’ She looked at me like I were a puppy to replace the family’s dead dog. It’s funny how an objective compliment can feel so freaking insulting.

‘OK, fine. Whose turn is it?’ I craned and looked from one beaming face to the other like I laid on my belly in the grass to watch a tennis game. I’m always looking up, you see, so I have strong neck muscles. Someday I’m moving to Japan.

They turned their smiles to each other, flashed their eyes in WASP Code, then turned back to me. Realization hit me center mass: they had, oh sweet God, an idea.

The Yankees jumped me!

I never stood a chance. Kitchy had my arms, so I was stuck as Veronica velociraptor-ed my flank. Before I knew it, I found myself bottoms up over both of their knees, Veronica’s left knee right along side Kitchy’s left, the assassins facing each other. Kitchy was left hand dominate, you see, so each had a dominate hand on my six. They braced their feet on a crate of tomatoes, so once again I dangled. Instead of “whose a jolly good fellow” I got regaled by raucous giggles. That’s right—raucous giggles. Don’t you question my syntax until you’ve survived this kind of absurdity.

‘We’re both trying to leave early, and our ride is almost here, so we’ll both claim our rights together to save time. Hold tight.’ And skirt up.

Kitchy beemed, ‘I’m a lefty!’ like it was an accomplishment. Horizontal, I noticed Jimmy stumble by, not too doped to miss a look at that less and less private end of my body.

‘Just hurry,’ I said, filtering the words with my clenched teeth. ‘Table Four needs its Death And Damnation By Chocolate with low fat Vanilla Swirls’ trademark. I looked up at the wall, inches from my face, and my face so hidden, allowed myself to express sorrow and great self-pity. I just didn’t want anyone to see how much I hurt. They seemed so happy. Then I remembered that both the girls were raised in country clubs, daily working on their tennis serves. My eyes tearing up, I hung my head and moaned.

‘And one!’

‘And one!’

‘And two!’

‘And two!’

And eternity…