Monday, September 27, 2010

The Bubble Bath, Part 11

  Editor’s Note:  In a sad moment of mortification, I have stupidly unrolled the still-damp legs of my jeans, not realizing that the ocean detritus trapped in the folds would create an alarming seascape under my chair as we sat in a swanky bar…

  I try informing my drink mates of the developing real estate.

  Terry and Bubbles don’t care. They are in the midst of reliving some high school incident wherein they liberated a fake cow. They are greatly enjoying the memories. Any needs that I might have at this point are truly secondary in the scheme of things.

  Fine. I’ll just people-watch until someone cares enough to check on my emotional status.

  Almost immediately, my pain is distracted by the arrival of a quartet of people who promptly proceed to the exclusive “high rollers” roped-off section of the bar. Oh? What’s this? Do I get to see Big Money in action? This could be fun.

  Three of the four are clearly quests, sporting those enormous grins that indicate aggressive alcohol consumption. There’s some stumbling, although, to be fair, they may have just tripped over the pile of broken seashells I had unknowingly transported from the beach. The three, two men and a woman, arrange themselves comfortably on the decadent seating in the “I’m much better than you” area. The fourth member of the party is clearly another hostess, sporting a clingy outfit similar to the attire of our own hostess.

  And Hostess #1 is none too impressed with the co-worker invading her assigned territory. She glares at the evil invader with enough fury that her facial muscles actually fight off the Botox injections and create an expression. Why are you here? If you don’t leave soon, I will cut you.

  The new hostess couldn’t care less. There’s money to be made, and she will do it wherever she needs to do it. She continues pampering the trio, ensuring that the seat cushions are pleasing and that snacky bits have been placed in the crystal bowl on the table. She also bends over a lot, making it easier for those who glance and care to realize that there has been a Brazilian wax in her recent past. We can see so much more than France.

  Our hostess gets fed up. Heaving a dramatic sigh, she and her immobile breasts stomp to the back of the room, slipping through a previously artfully-concealed door. She is most likely on a mission to find and berate employees with a lesser social standing than she, just because it feels good. I can imagine an innocent cleaning person, caught in Boobles’ wrath, cowering in a dimly-lit service corridor, clutching her rosary and sending up prayers to St. Housekeepia. Please protect me from the unnatural cleavage.

  Back at our table, Bubbles: “Are you blogging in your head?”

  Me: “What?” Feigned total innocence is always the best reaction. Always.

  Bubbles: “Quit blogging! We talked about this. When we are drinking or eating you must pay attention to ME. Only me.”

  I just sigh, too tired to argue. I reach for my drink, completely forgetting that I have already sucked it dry with aerodynamic precision. There’s not a drop of moisture left. This saddens me to an incredible degree, and I just don’t know if I can go on with life.

  Bubbles sighs as well. She shoves her nearly-full drink at me. “Take this. I don’t really want it anymore.” I make a very feeble protest, out of sheer politeness, and then lunge. I have nectar again. I light a cigarette to inform the world that I am once again in the throes of a subtle orgasm. I now love Bubbles more than anything in the world. At least until I need another drink.

  “So, anyway,” says Bubbles, continuing her conversation with Terry, the subject of which I had lost somewhere about the time beaver had been exposed to my left, “we need to go to New York City.”

  “Now?” I ask, stupidly. I normally know better than to submit queries when I haven’t been following the topic on the floor, but I erred. Blame the free cocktail. I hugged the glass closer to me. It was my only real friend. The rest of these people didn’t understand me.

  “No,” scoffed Bubbles. “We can go in the morning.”

  Terry made only a very slight noise of possible dissatisfaction.

  Bubbles whirled on him with lightning speed, because any contradiction of her decrees was subject to severe and painful punishment. “I want to go to New York City! I hate Philly!”

  Terry, trying to be sweet: “But we came to Philly to see Philly. Not New York City.”

  Bubbles: “You came to see ME.”

  And that right there, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the defining keystone in the architecture of the Planet Bubbles. A two-letter word that trumps any other thoughts, feelings or suggestions:  ME. If you can accept this, and act accordingly, you might be allowed to live.

  Terry knows this, has known for a very long time, since back in the day when they were still in high-school and Bubbles was just beginning to formulate her plans for world domination. But he had been drinking cocktails as well, and very nearly slid into the Pool of Damnation with another blasphemous contradiction. “But I…”

  Bubbles cut him short. “I can find other husbands!”

  Well, this was a considerable threat to our social standing in the Bubbles’ Dominion, and could result in very serious consequences. If we fell out of favor with Bubbles, there was no telling how heinous our lives might become. We could be living under a bridge within a week, forced to make friends with people who hadn’t bathed since Bill Gates was poor.

  Just then, I noticed a well-coiffed older lady at the bar, discreetly leaning our way, trying to get more details on this “plural usage of the word husband” thing. Her eyes were alight with the tantalizing possibility of multiple husbands and the boost to her personal inventory that this might entail. I quickly caught her eye, and made the universal hand signal for “oh, sweetie, you really don’t want to know, get out while there’s still time”. The woman looked crestfallen, but she understood, and turned back to her gin and tonic.

  I was just about to rejoin the conversation at our table, despite my hesitance and fear of losing a limb, when there came a drunken cackle from the fancy high-roller area. I glanced at the party of three, which had now become the party of two, with the lone woman (girlfriend, wife, whatever) having been summarily banished, leaving just the two men. Two apparently horny men. They were flirting up a storm with Hostess #2, and she was along for the ride because a good tip is a good tip. In fact, she was flashing her chi-chi’s with such rapidity you’d think she was sending a Morse Code telegram. Dot-dot, flash-flash.

  I really wasn’t in the mood for that.

  “Say,” I said to Terry and Bubbles, interrupting their glare-fest. “It’s still early. Why don’t we head back to Philly, get some beer, and just spend the evening talking? Then we can get up tomorrow and go do whatever.” I left tomorrow’s options vague on purpose, because I had only known these two for 10 years. They had known each other for decades, and that made me the most expendable. I knew my place.

  They stared at me for a second, not sure if my proffered option was viable. After all, they were in the midst of a heated disagreement, full of blood-lust and vengeance, and the only truly satisfying way to calm such emotions is if somebody dies. No one was dead yet. Ergo, an issue.

  But, happily, the fury in their eyes dimmed, and all agreed that it was time to motor. We gathered up our things, and marched out of the bar. Just before I slipped around the corner, I think I saw and heard a woman dropping to her knees near my vacated chair, convinced that she had just seen Jesus in the pile of sand. That’s nice. Glad I could at least provide someone with spiritual guidance, however inadvertent.

  Once in the parking lot, we hoisted our belongings into Bubbles’ car, securing items for what was sure to be an exciting and zippy journey. As I closed the door, I’m fairly certain I spotted the government helicopter flying overhead and racing into the night, intent on evacuating the city of Philadelphia before we got there….

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment