Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CHAPTER THREE

III
Shamus Flanagan’s Mexican Munchies was the only Mexican restaurant in town, which explained how the proprietor got away with being Irish. It was an excellent dining establishment, with good food, good prices, and rainbow-colored menus.

Shamus himself was a retired boxer who at one point was on the Japanese Olympic boxing team (being an obsessive anime fan, he’d taken a pilgrimage to Japan that just happened to coincide with the time Olympic trials were held and figured he might as well go for it). He was a large, well-muscled man who knew very little about restaurant ownership yet still attracted an impressive crowd for some reason.

Bill and John walked into the restaurant and were quickly seated; the place was busy, but somehow, there were always seats available. John was trying to make polite small talk with his companion, to little avail; and he was most grateful when Shamus took their orders, granting him a small reprieve.

For a brief while, John and Bill sat around the shamrock-shaped table, waiting for their food. John was now sincerely regretting his decision to invite Bill to dinner.

“So then the teacher said it was for my own good. My bottom was really sore though. I couldn’t sit down for a week!” said Bill. “So how was your day, John?”

“Wait a minute: if she spanked you today, how could you possibly know how long it would be until you could sit down?” inquired John. “And for that matter, how could you have been in school today? You were working…well, in a manner of speaking...”

Bill grinned fatuously, then stood up and started doing jumping jacks. John buried his face in his hands, once again contemplating suicide.

Shamus (who in addition to owning the restaurant, cooked the food and waited on the customers) walked over to their table, two plates of food in hand. His eyes were a stunningly radiant green, though nobody knew for certain whether that color was natural – except for me, that is (it wasn’t).

“The Haggis Fiesta?” he asked.

“Right here!” exclaimed Bill, shooting his hand into the air excitedly. “That’s what I ordered!”

“And…the Shepherd’s Pie Tacos?”

“Well, obviously they’re for me; I’m the only other person sitting here,” explained John sardonically.

“You got a problem, laddie? I’ve been a restaurateur for nigh a month now, so if there be a problem, you can take it up with me and me boys here!” said Shamus, kissing his muscles just a tad too passionately.

“Just give me my food,” demanded John.

“All right then, enjoy your meals!” said Shamus, setting down the tacos and skipping away.

Bill and John ate in silence. Well, John did, anyway. Bill was, as usual, talking up a storm.

Literally.

“So then the power went out! I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t play my X-Box, I couldn’t have fun switching the lights on and off…it was real boring,” said Bill.

John resolutely kept focused on his tacos, a delightfully discordant fusion of Mexican and Irish cuisine. Soon, however, Bill’s incessant chatter got the best of him.

“Shut up, Bill! I can’t stand another minute of this vacuous piffle!” yelled John.

“Why? What’s wrong? Did they not cook it enough?” asked Bill.

John’s eyes widened as he shook his head slowly, then turned his attention back to his meal. The urge to kill himself was growing ever stronger.

Bill, of course, simply thought that John hadn’t heard him, so he repeated his question.

“That’s it, I’m out of here,” said John abruptly, tossing his napkin and $50 onto the table and making for the door. Bill stood up obediently.

“So am I!” he declared, marching proudly behind John.

John started walking faster, then broke into a run, jumping into his Honda and beginning to drive away without even closing the door. Through his mirror he could see Bill following him, panting and waving.

“John! You forgot me! Hey John! John? John!” he called, now completely out of breath. “Boy, he’s gonna feel stupid when he realizes I’m not there!”

Meanwhile, John was driving at top speed – on his way to commit suicide.

3 comments:

Saul said...

What a fantastic cliffhanger. Can't wait for the takeout.

Mmm... Shepard's Pie Tacos...

This might lead to a cookbook.

Jason Cohen said...

Everybody loves a good takeout!

Sandra said...

Irixican. Yuck.