Twoscore Less a Finn

With apologies to Dr. H.S.T.

Just like every year, I’m at the bar. I’ve finished my Piper-Heidsieck cocktail, and I’m working on a Bombay Sapphire martini, rocks and olives, since it’ll probably be a while before I have the chance again. There’s the screech of tires out front and then the concussive glass-and-metal whump. Silence for a few seconds, and then a dim hubbub until I hear her braying: “I don’t care if you were parking, asshole; this is a one-way street! Do you see this? Do you know what this is? This is a Colt .50 caliber Desert Eagle — now move your vehicle, citizen!”

I look straight ahead when she storms in. She takes the stool next to mine, asks for a 30-year Laphroaig, straight up, and puts down a twenty. “So you’ve still got the license,” I venture.

“Course I do,” she says. She waves off the change.

“Did you actually brandish it?”

She takes a swallow of the scotch. “He’s the only one who saw it. So?”

“And the wreck?”

“Fucking sonofabitch is dumb enough to back up on a one-way street, course I’m gonna rearend him.” She sighs. “At least it was just the Mercedes.”

I don’t push it.

She checks me out in the bar mirror. My attorney is an intimidating woman: young, physically striking in that particularly Sicilian way, and petite, but she moves her shoulders like a hockey center. She’s wearing a suit, mostly because she favors a full-harness shoulder rig for the Eagle. She checks out the scalp, the jacket, the shirt. “Jesus,” she says. “Look at that head. Did you just give in, or what?”

“Don’t start,” I say, but I know that just gets her going.

“No, really: did you just decide that you started going bald five years ago, so you might as well try and disguise it by shaving it all off now?”

Well, yeah. I mean, she’s right, right?

“And let’s see: black chinos, untucked DKNY dress shirt — hey, I like the fabric there — and a sport coat — do you actually think you look cool?”

Well, no. I gave that up a few years back. I was mostly just hoping for looking not-stodgy.

The ma

Twoscore Less a Finn

4 thoughts on “Twoscore Less a Finn

  • November 2, 2004 at 7:00 am

    Happy birthday, Mike.

  • November 2, 2004 at 10:10 pm

    Like your story. Rings with a little false modesty contrasting your attorney/friend’s tough-gal attitude with you, underscoring your attributes with the biting humor, but hey, it’s your birthday! Time for indulgences!

    And I hope you had plenty. Here’s to less than forty.

  • November 2, 2004 at 11:06 pm

    Well, that’s me: wallowing in the false modesty. 🙂

    Thanks, y’all.

    (My attorney says she was pleased, too.)

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