Fiction Funny

“Hey, Wayne,” I say as I take a seat at the bar.

“Josh,” Wayne says spreading his hands out on the bar in front of me.

“Lucy at it again,” I ask, noticing the local party girl dancing away by the juke box.

“Oh yeah. All it takes is two beers and for someone to play Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ and she’s off.”

“Well, the girl sure can dance,” I say as I watch the young lady weave her body to the floor and back up again.

“She’s a provocative little thing. Guys will be on her like flies in a minute. What can I get you?”

“Just a draft. Michelob. I’m glad my days of chasing tail are over.”

“You and me both,” Wayne says as he fills a mug. “Those were some frustrating times. So, how was the date with the wife.”

Wayne slides the beer over to me and I take a hearty swig. “The night started off good. I was loading up my pockets when Ashley opened the bathroom door and stood in the doorway wearing a low cut, black, form fitting dress with a slit up the side, her hair up, looking amazing. I told her she looked amazing. She said, ‘Who, little old me,’ and does this Betty Boop bounce that gets me a little riled up. So, I suggest a little, you know.”

“Oh yeah, I know,” Wayne says with a chuckle and a wink of the eye.

“She laughed boisterously and said, ‘You have no idea how much work I put into looking this good. There’s no way I’m letting you mess it up.’ I do a two step and twirl like I’m Michael Jackson, my jacket flaring in the breeze, and meet her face-to-face.”


“I take her by the hips, pull her close, and we begin to sway. I say, ‘How about now,’ with a wiggle of the old eyebrows. She slaps me on the chest with a giggle and tells me I’m so bad sometimes.”

“You did have a way with charming the ladies. Although we’re all still wondering how you bagged a girl like Ashley. She’s way out of your league.”

I take a drink from my beer and say, “Yeah, that’s why I put a ring on it.”

“Lucy! Damn it. Jimmy, get her off the table!” Wayne turns his attention back to me, shaking his head. “That girl is going to break her neck one day and I’ll be liable. I’m sorry. The date.”

“Right. So, you know how Ashley gets. She has the enthusiasm of a child. We get on the road, and she starts gushing over how she can’t believe her folks got us tickets to Fidelio.”

“Fidelio? What’s that?”

“It’s an opera.”

You went to an opera,” Wayne says with eyes full of surprise.

“Yes, it’s Ashley’s favorite. She did a paper on it for a humanities class in college and fell in love with it.”

“Okay, fair enough.”

I take another drink and wipe my mouth. “I asked her what I should expect from this opera, like will I be able to understand what they are saying.”

“Legitimate question.”

“She said, ‘No, it’s in German, accompanied by beautiful, emotional music, unlike your heavy metal.’ So, I asked her, ‘Then how am I going to know what is going on?’ She said, ‘I’ll tell you.’ Now, have you ever had a kid tell you a story?”

“Yeah, with the sound effects and hand gestures,” Wayne says, flailing his hands.

“Precisely. That’s Ashley when she gets excited. I know this night is a big deal to her because she starts telling me what the story is about with that kind of enthusiasm. She was like, ‘Okay, it starts with a young woman named Leonore who is searching for her husband, Florestan, who has been missing for two years.’ She puts an emphasis on two years and throws up two fingers like I needed to count them in order to understand. Then she lowers her voice like she’s telling me some big secret and said, ‘So, Leonore goes to the prison where her husband was last known to be, investigating the crimes of the prison’s governor, Pizarro, disguised as a young man. There she asks the jailer, Rocco, for work and starts working at the prison.’ Then, returning to her normal tone of voice, she said, ‘Jumping to the end…”

“Lucy! Play a different song or I’m unplugging that blasted machine!” Wayne looks back at me and says, “I’m sorry. You were saying?”

“Ashley said, ‘Jumping to the end, Pizarro hears that Minister Fernando is coming for a surprise inspection, and he can’t be found holding Florestan unjustly. So, Pizarro has Rocco and Fidelio, who is really Leonore,’ she said slapping my dashboard at the big reveal, ‘to dig Florestan’s grave. As they are digging, Pizarro arrives to kill Florestan, but Fidelio jumps between them, revealing that he is actually Leonore. Pizarro pulls a knife and Leonore pulls a pistol,’ Ashley’s left-hand mimics pulling a knife while her right-hand pretends to pull a gun as she said, ‘just as a trumpet sounds announcing the arrival of the minister who grants Leonore the honor of freeing her husband.”

“Sounds kind of boring to me,” Wayne says as I take another drink. “I bet Ashley tells it much better.”

“Yeah, you should have seen how bright eyed and bouncy she was. It was like she was on her way to Disney Land. What’s a husband to do. We got there and I bought her those silly little binoculars they use because she implied it would ruin the entire experience if she didn’t have them. When we got to our seats, she was glowing with elegance.”

“Did you enjoy the show?”

“The prelude was good,” I said then took another drink, handing the empty glass back to Wayne. “I’ll take another.” As he’s filling, I continue the story. “When the singing started, she was right, I didn’t understand a word, but the tone of the singers and their body language communicated enough that you could grasp what was going on. However, it was like reading subtitles to a movie and I grew bored with it, so I sat back and just listened to the music. The next thing I know, I’m waking myself with my own snore.”

“You fell asleep,” Wayne exclaims with laughter. “That’s priceless. I bet she was angrier than a bobcat in a snare trap.”

“Oh, I wiped the drool from my mouth and noticed right away her daggers peering straight through my soul. I looked around and she was not the only one staring at me. I moved to the edge of my seat to give the show my full attention, and to get rid of that nasty look from Ash. My eyelids got heavy again and started to droop. I snapped them open and gave them a rub. Then I felt myself falling forward. I caught myself right before I banged heads with the lady in front of me. Ashley hissed at me through her teeth, ‘Sit back. The show is almost over. You can make it until then.’

“Did you?”

I put down my beer after another drink and shake my head. “Nope. She had to shake me awake once the lights were on and everyone was filing out. She powerwalked from there to the car. I stayed a couple steps behind her. I figured it was best to let her cool down before I attempted to apologize. The strange thing is, once I got outside, I was wide awake, revitalized. I don’t know why I couldn’t stay awake.”

“It was boring. Just admit it was boring,” Wayne says with a Cheshire cat-like smile.

“Alright, it was boring.”

“Hold on a second. Jimmy, where’s Lucy,” Wayne asks his bar hand.

“She’s in the back. Some guy is teaching her how to shoot pool.”

“She knows how to shoot pool. Tell her I said no playing for money. If she hustles any more of my customers, I’m going to ban her from this place.” Wayne shakes his head and looks at me, which is my cue to continue.

“I told Ashley I didn’t mean to fall asleep. She said, ‘One night, Josh. Just one night to do something I like to do. I always hang out at the bar with you. I always attend your football parties with you. I wanted one little night of culture, and not only did you not share it with me, but you also humiliate me in front of everyone there.’ I sat in silence for a moment then recommended we go to Julianne’s for dinner since it’s her favorite.”

“Oh, yeah? What did she say to that?”

“She said, ‘Oh, no, we’re getting fast-food and getting you straight to bed Mr. Sleepyhead,’ as condescendingly as she could.”

Wayne laughs as he wipes away the condensation from under my glass as I take a drink from my beer. “Tough night for you, buddy,” he says, shaking his head with a grin.

“That’s not the end of it. We got home, and she stormed into the bedroom, not even acknowledging the babysitter. I got the sitter squared away and mustered up the courage to join her in the bedroom. I go in there and she’s in bed playing on her phone. I get the stupid idea that I could lighten the mood by acting silly and suggesting a little, you know.”

“You didn’t,” Wayne says, cocking his head at me like I’m pathetic. “Do tell, how did that go over.”

“She threw my pillow in my face as hard as she could, saying, ‘Since you can sleep anywhere, sleep on the couch. You know where the blankets are.”

“Hi, Joshie,” Lucy says, propping her back up against the bar rail and giving me a big, flirtatious smile. “How are you?”

“I’m doing good, Lucy, how are you?”

“Never better,” she says as she spins around. “I’ll take a Jack and Coke, Wayne.”

While Wayne makes her drink, Lucy turns her attention back to me. “Where’s the ball and chain tonight?”

I take a chug of beer and tell her, “She’s at her sisters.”

“Hey Wayne, did you know Joshie and I use to have a whole lot of fun together before miss thang came along. Do you want to have fun again Joshie,” she asks, sticking out her chest and biting her lip.

Wayne slides her drink over.

“I’m happily married, Lucy, but I’m flattered.”

She inches closer. “She doesn’t have to know.”

Wayne runs his hand down his face in frustration and says, “Alright, Lucy, that’s enough. He said he’s married.”

“Aw, Wayne, I’m just playing,” she says as she grabs her drink and gives me a wink.

“Well, it’s time you find someone else to play with,” Wayne says with a sigh. Lucy gives me a wave with the wiggle of her fingertips and saunters off.

Shaking his head, Wayne says, “That girl is going o be the death of me.” Pouring me another beer, he asks, “Anyway, did you get out of the doghouse or are you still in it?”

“That night, sleep evaded me. I felt so bad I couldn’t stop thinking about ways to make it up to her. I finally gave up on trying to sleep and got out the laptop. I had several ideas brewing, but when I saw Les Misérables was in town, I became obsessed with finding last minute tickets. I found two together, five hundred each.”

Wayne whistles at the price and shakes his head as he wipes down the bar.

“Yeah, I cringed as I entered in my credit card info and hit submit. The night also included a dozen lilies and dinner at Julieann’s.”

“I should hope all that got you out of the doghouse.”

“Oh, it did, and then some.”

“So, you stayed awake this time.”

“I took a nap before leaving.”

“How was the show?”

“Not my thing. I find it hysterical when people burst into song for no reason. In this one, they sing every word. I have this problem where I imagine people doing that in real life. It cracks me up.”

“You didn’t start laughing, did you?”

“God no!”

My phone vibrates with a text message. I give it a read and tell Wayne, “That’s Ashley. She’s on her way home. I’m going to meet her there.”

I gulp down the last of my beer and throw some cash on the bar. “Good catching up with you, Josh.”

As I’m heading for the door, I hear Lucy call out, “Bye, Joshua. Are you sure you don’t want to give me a ride home?”

I turn and flash her the ring.

May 05, 2024 22:04

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Hannah Lynn
02:07 May 06, 2024

Happy wife, happy life. Sounds like he’s a good guy trying to keep his wife happy!


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Belladona Vulpa
17:53 May 17, 2024

It was a fun read, it felt like customers at that bar, observing what was happening. Vivid descriptions, and immersive storytelling. I like the bartender's attitude. It sounds like a nice guy to hand out with, with authentic expressions. I was laughing at some parts. The protagonist did a smart thing at the end with the tickets, as a gesture that he cared. Happy wife, happy life, like someone said.


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Trudy Jas
00:57 May 10, 2024

Ok, I admit don't know Def Leppard, Fidelio or Les Miserable (other than the book), but loved the story.


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Myranda Marie
21:04 May 06, 2024

First of all, Def Leppard on the jukebox was a total coincidence! Great minds? lol. This whole bar "scene" is completely believable. "Joshie" did the right thing, flashing that ring!


Ty Warmbrodt
22:03 May 06, 2024

lol- I chose Def Leppard because It didn't matter if it was on the river or at a bar, if women heard pour some sugar on me, they would all scream "this is my jam" and start dancing. For some reason that song could turn a funeral into a strip club.


Myranda Marie
23:29 May 06, 2024

So true! I thought of it as well, but swapped it out for Armageddon-It.


Ty Warmbrodt
00:07 May 07, 2024

Both are good songs. What an album that was.


Myranda Marie
00:26 May 07, 2024



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Alexis Araneta
16:31 May 06, 2024

Ha ! What a riot ! At least, Josh is trying. But also, yes, this is precisely why "Has to have things/interests in common with me" has always been a requirement for a man for me. Hahaha ! Fun story. Splendid one !


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Mary Bendickson
22:31 May 05, 2024

Ah, a little culture!


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