It was one of those notoriously dark and stormy nights. Rain was pounding the windshield as Clyde and I pulled into the parking lot of a small dive in a shady side of town.
“What the heck… Are you nuts?” I yelled over the pounding rain.
“No. I just can’t drive in this downpour and saw the sign. We’ll have a couple and wait for it to die down.” He opened the door and slammed it shut racing to the door. I sat there not believing his choice. I followed quickly.
The inside was darker than out when the door closed behind me. My eyes began to sting in the smoky interior. I had to wait as my eyes adjusted. I heard Clyde whistle and followed the sound. He was speaking to the waitress when I found him. He’d claimed a back booth and I slid in across from him.
“And you, sir? Care to order?” she asked. I couldn’t get beyond the tight blouse barely containing those perfectly shaped globes.
“Uh…um..” My usual eloquent self.
“Up here, shorty. My eyes are up here.” And indeed they were.
“And beautiful eyes they are,” I stammered.
“Are you drinking or what?” she said, rolling those beautiful eyes toward the ceiling.
“Whatever he’s having,” I returned as my eyes dropped again to the mounds of flesh straining the fabric of her blouse.
“Give it up, nef,” Clyde said thumping a cigarette from his pack. The flame from his lighter looked blue in the haze all around. The waitress walked away leaving rivulets of blue smoke curling behind her.
“Have you been here before?” I asked looking around. There was quite a variety of patrons at this establishment. And, yet, I saw no one I knew. I was familiar with most of Clyde’s drinking buddies having spent many a drunken evening with them but there was no familiar face in the dimness surrounding us.
The waitress returned with our drinks. I considered the top button of that pinioned pair thinking it might put someone’s eye out when it finely gave into the pressure which was mounting as she bent over to place our drinks on the table. She smiled at Clyde, naturally. I was ignored as always when in his company. He slipped her a generous tip which she forced down her blouse. I hid my eyes behind my arm thinking this was the moment. But it must have been an elastic fabric because it took the extra cash with no problem. I was relieved and disappointed at the same time.
She walked back to the bar.
I raised my glass. “To…what day is this anyway?”
“Wednesday,” he said.
“Well, here’s to hump day.”
As soon as I said it the door flew open and lightning joined by a loud clap of thunder shook the table. Silhouetted in the door frame was the tallest most massive man I ever laid eyes on. The door slammed shut. He stood in the dark looking all around the room. After a moment he walked slowly and deliberately to the bar stopping behind a man on one of the stools. The man sitting must have felt the enormity of the man behind him because he slowly turned seeing him said, “Can I do something for you?”
The chatter had stopped. It was quiet like a tomb.
“Yeah, you can vacate my seat,” he said in a deep baritone.
The guy on the seat was big. He had been sitting alone brooding over the glass on the counter. No one had spoken to him the entire time we had been there.
He stood. Beside the new guy he could have been a member of the Lollipop Guild. His demeanor was belligerent until his eyes, rising on the form in front of him, stopped looking up at a forty-five degree angle.
“Uh, yeah,” he stammered. “I’m sorry man. I didn’t realize. Here. All yours.”
The mountain of flesh didn’t say a word but moved in toward the bar and sat. Even sitting he was taller than any man near.
“Bourbon,” he said. The bar tender poured it and slipped it in front of him.
“Clyde, did you see that?” I whispered in his direction.
“Yeah, we’ll just finish our drink and leave, rain or no rain.”
“Sounds good to me.”
We sat watching the brooding slab of humanity. He sat slowly sipping his drink.
As we started to get up and head out we heard a loud SPLAT!
The man on the stool grabbed the side of his head. He slowly moved his hand in front of his face. An object was in it.
He looked at it hard then the words came out like he was the giant from the beanstalk.
“A mayta. A MAYTA!” With those words he slowly stood up, looked around, squeezed the object in his hand until it was dripping onto the floor.
His words boomed across the room. “Who fling that mayta?”
The dark smoky room was dead silent.
Receiving no response the man sat back down and told the barman to give him another drink.
We had sat back down not wanting to garner attention our way. The time crawled by while everyone watched the angry behemoth drink his drink.
The chatter began again slowly until the room was once again close to rowdy. The tension had eased. He was once again brooding over his drink.
Clyde motioned for me to get up so we could leave. As I started to slide out of the booth there was an even louder more forceful SPLAT!!
The same movement by the angry giant at the bar placing his hand on the side of his face bringing the object in front of his eyes. He stood slowly and menacingly, eyes ablaze with fire and smoke.
“WHO FLING THAT MAYTA!” he roared into the darkness. Everyone ducked and covered cowering in the vibration of his wrath.
“I find out who fling that mata they gon’ be sorry they was ever born!” The anger in his voice rolled across the room like God on the mountaintop.
Not a soul in the place stirred for fear he might think it was them. I had slid back into my seat slowly so as not to attract attention. Clyde followed suit.
He stood looking slowly in all directions. Not a person spoke. Then, finally, he sat. The barman poured him another drink mumbling, “It’s on the house.”
He took it without a word. The chatter began small and grew to its normal volume since the crisis had, once again been avoided.
The man on the stool motioned to his glass. The barman poured another. He lifted it slowly to his lips but it never made it. A small round red projectile disintegrated into the side of his head jostling his drink and slamming him into the person sitting next to him.
He radiated heat from that bar stool. The anger built as he wiped the remains of the over ripe tomato from his head. There was an animal growl building in his chest as he slowly stood pronouncing each word with venomous hate.
“WHO…FLING…THAT…MAYTA?” His arms tightened showing the bulge of iron like flesh shredding his sleeves.
The quiet was disturbed in the darkest corner of the bar. Slowly a hulking massively muscled man stood. His mass moved the table in front of him. As he rose taller and taller his shadow blocked the light from the wall behind him. His head barely an inch from the ceiling and his arms tensed brushing the wall he spoke in a voice so deep and menacing all faces looked away.
“I…FLING…THAT…MAYTA. WHAT…YOU…GOT…TO…SAY ‘BOUT…THAT?” The grumble of it rattled the bottles behind the bar.
His target standing at his full height and width began to deflate before our eyes. His face once burdened with anger and flames broke out into a sheepish grin. His words rang across the bar.
“You show can fling a mayta. Yes sir. You show a mighty fine mayta flinger.”