Thursday, November 22, 2007

CHAPTER EIGHT

First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving. Second and forermost, here's the eighthest chapter in The Ultimate Book:

VIII
John and Bill sat together in the Clark Bar. The Clark Bar was – wait for it – a bar, and it was owned by a man named Robert Clark. In his earlier days, Bob had been a successful poet, but a rare liver disease had forced him to retire to a quiet life of bartending and alcoholism.

There were many things that made the Clark Bar unique. For starters, the walls were adorned with scrolls featuring Bob’s best poetry, all of which were autographed. Twice. Then twice more on the back.

Bob, never having been professionally trained as a bartender, didn’t serve too many drinks; in fact, he only knew how to make one: beer. And he didn’t make it either; he just ordered it. But he never paid for his shipments. Some say the feds are still after him to this day.

John, in keeping with his policy of being slightly less cruel to Bill, had decided to invite his new friend for a few drinks. Unfortunately, it soon transpired that Bill had a very low tolerance for alcohol, and after half a beer, he was out cold, lying supine on the hard wood floor.

“I may owe him my life, but he’s really starting to piss me off,” said John to himself as he repeatedly hit Bill over the head with an empty mug.

Bill finally came to, very disoriented – even more so than usual. He spun around in circles for a few minutes, then sat down on the barstool and started chewing on autographed napkins.

“Are you all right, Bill?” asked John.

“All what?” asked Bill.

“Right.”

“Left! Hahaha, I win!”

John opened his mouth, then shut it, going back to his drink. He noticed that there was a TV in the corner of the room, but it was off.

“Barkeep!” yelled John. “Switch on that television; I want to watch the news.”

Bob, who was cleaning a pitcher with a very filthy, very autographed rag, stared directly into John’s eyes, a look of pure revulsion on his face.

“Who the HELL do you think you are, giving orders in my bar? If you want that TV turned on, then go on home right now – begone!” he rhymed, gesticulating at all the appropriate intervals.

Taken aback and unsure whether to be impressed or horrified, John apologized and, against all logic, decided to make another attempt to engage Bill in conversation. Bill, however, had passed out again, which was quite odd, as he hadn’t been drinking anything.

“Wake up, Bill! We’re leaving,” said John.

Bill woke up instantly and started reciting the alphabet – slowly and inaccurately. John waited impatiently for Bill to finish, but as he was doing so, he heard the unmistakable sound of a newscaster.

“You turned on the TV?” he asked Bob, wondering what could have convinced the barkeep to change his mind.

“I also like to watch the news; I watch it while I’m selling booze,” replied the bartender. “Let’s listen to the woman talk; I wish I could have sex with her.”

“That didn’t rhyme,” noticed John.

“I know it didn’t rhyme!”

By that time, Bill had only reached the letter d, so John, acquiescing to defeat, sat back down on his autographed barstool and began watching the news.

“ –death count is expected to be well into the millions. In other news, if you recently intercepted a letter addressed to the editor of Newsweek, please report to the office of Mischa Petrovitch for execution.”

John stood up abruptly, knocking his barstool to the ground. He grabbed Bill by the shoulder and shook him violently.

“BILL! Did you hear that?” he asked.

“No,” said Bill. “Why, was it funny? I like funny things. You’re funny, you know that John? I think you should be a comedian. Or a mailman. I wish I were a mailman. I remember a funny joke I heard –”

“This is no time for humor!” shouted John, who was now receiving hostile glares from every patron in the Clark Bar.

Bob, who was much more intelligent than he let on, had managed to put two and two together. He knew exactly what was happening. He set down the mug he was cleaning and turned to John, pointing at him authoritatively to get his attention.

“I’ve got no clue what’s happening here, but I think you’ve had too much beer. I’ll say this once, for I’m no mime: hurry up please, it’s time!”

“Actually, I think you’re right, barkeep. Come on Bill…we need to go,” said John quietly.

“Hurry up please, it’s time! Hurry up please, it’s time!” repeated Bob.

“Hahaha! He keeps saying it! Look John, I bet he’ll say it again!” said Bill, eagerly watching Bob.

But Bob, of course, was fully still; he started scowling right at Bill. As Bill was saddened by the glare, he followed John right out of there.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

You should write an entire epic ballad in Dr. Seuss rhymes. Maybe write a Beowulf translation that way.