Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rabbit Noir

It was a slow day, midweek. I'd spent the morning polishing glasses and drinking bourbon, when this dame sashayed in. She was two pints of trouble in a half-pint package. I looked at her from across the bar. She knew what she wanted. She knew I knew that she knew what she wanted.

Carrots, she asked for. I told her I wasn't in the vegetable business any more, not for twenty years, not since that lamentable business with the unlamented Jimmy the Greek and the Greengrocers Union.

She said carrots weren't a vegetable, they were a legume.

I told her not to confuse carrots with peanuts. I might not be President Carter, but I know a peanut when I see one and carrots - they ain't no peanut.

She said who's President Carter.

I said he was an anachronism, seeing as this is 1948, and not exactly germane to the discussion. And like I said before, I wasn't in the vegetable trade no more. I was out for good, and it suited me.

She asked me if I ever missed it.

Hell, of course I missed it, there wasn't a day I didn't wish I could be back on the street, chasing down a cauliflower smuggling ring or busting an illegal potato mash joint. But that's a young man's game, and once Harry the Plum had put a piece of lead in my spine, I didn't walk so tough. That was when I'd handed in my badge, looked for safer work, taken the job in this bar, polishing glasses and polishing off the liquor whenever I could.

She said she could see that. And then she asked me again about the carrots.

Lady, I told her, I'm out of this business. And as a word to the wise, the last guy to come in here asking about carrots ended up with hearing problems like you wouldn't believe.

I ain't no guy, she said. I could see that.

She said she could see that I could see that. So what was I going to do about it?


Avalanche said...

You must have had very bad wonton for lunch

Minnie Bus said...

Carrots are a legume?!?! (World implodes, Minnie runs off into distance screaming)

Mr Cushtie said...

Minnie, I think you might need to study the Barman's response to the leguminousity of carrots more carefully before panicking...

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