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May 27

At The Supper Club

There was a supper club right on the Ocean. The kind of place that we would never be able to get into on our own. What happened was, we found some very fancy evening attire while dumpster diving behind the TGI Fridays.

“Look at this gown!” she said, it was emerald green and only partially slathered with spinach dip, so you couldn’t even tell.

“Wow, what a fine tuxedo!” I said. The seat of the pants was plastered with baby back ribs and barbecue sauce, but the front looked perfect.

“Holy smokes!” I said, inspecting the pockets. “Travelers checks! A VIP car wash card with nine punch holes in it (one more and you get a free wash) and two tickets to Jim Mcmoone’s supper club for tonight!”

Since we now had travelers checks and fine evening wear and nothing to do on a Saturday night, it was easily resolved that we were going to a fancy ass dinner on the ocean…in a freshly washed Pontiac Sunfire no less.

We showed up and the valet refused to take our car. He said he didn’t want to get barbecue sauce all over his white pants by sitting in my seat. I told him rather cordially that I would park the car myself and then I was going to gently cave the side of his head in with a marble ashtray. I pointed at the marble ashtray which we had also found in the TGI Fridays dumpster. Our guess was it weighted about fifteen pounds and was worth anywhere from five to seven dollars on EBay.

He nodded gravely understanding the seriousness of the situation and came back with a drop cloth, draped it over the seat, sat down and drove the car five feet to it’s parking spot next to the fountain.

Inside, we were the best dressed people there. Covered in garbage residue, sure, but still the best dressed. Most of the other slouches didn’t even have jackets that matched their pants.

The women? I saw one in a fucking sundress. My girl was in a full regalia ballroom gown. Beat that.

We presented our tickets to the hostess who seemed reluctant to seat us (jealous). We were led to a table near the front of the restaurant but jammed all the way to the side. Right next to a tall amplifier cabinet. That was the other thing about the supper club, they usually brought in entertainment. There was a stage complete with high tech lighting and sound equipment.

We sat down at our table, soaking in the scenery. I was worried about our position in such direct line of fire from the massive amplifier cabinet. I looked from her to the amplifier cabinet from her to the amplifier cabinet. Her head was right next to it.

“We better hope Megadeath isn’t playing the supper club.” I said nervously.

“Why?”

She had such a pretty head. A pretty face. I pointed behind her at the speaker cabinet. She hadn’t noticed it, now she was concerned. “That thing will blow my head right apart!”

I flagged down our waiter, a horrible puke of a boy. Soft as they come. I first asked if we could have a different table but he pointed out that the other tables were full, and scanning around, it was true, they were- they were really packing them in.

“It’s a big night.” he said, “Mr. Mcmoone is coming here to play.” Mcmoone. The owner. Supper club owner/ jazz scumbag, god knows what else.

“Play?”

“Yes. Jazz Clarinet.”

“Oh, fuck. Good. So just some light jazz? No Megadeath?”

“No Megadeath.” He assured me.

Light Jazz, how much damage could that do to her beautiful skull? Not much I surmised. Then our lives changed. We ordered fancy cocktails concocted with liquids that I had never even considered. We pulled appetizers from the menu with relentless abandon, goat cheese and pear salad, raw bar spreads, oysters, mussels. Some kind of soup flown in from the Netherlands.

Even the rolls were different. They didn’t taste like rolls that could have been made by humans. Angels were back there. Making rolls.

I unrolled my utensils and saw that there was five forks. I counted then twice. “five forks?” I said, “this is great! Do you know what this means?”

“Nice place. Salad. Appetizers. Couple for the meal. Extra in case you drop one…”

“Nice place, sure…we only need one fork. Our whole lives we’ve survived through meals with just one fork.” they were very fancy forks. Embellishments galore all over them. Thick. Heavy. I left one fork on the table. I took four of them put them in my tuxedo pocket.

“Give me your extra forks.” I said to her.

She handed them over. They were nice forks, would sell for easily a dollar a piece on eBay…and we had just scored eight of them.

We devoured our salads and Norwegian soup and raw not even slimy seafood. Fresh seafood. We had never encountered it before. Often we had weighed the merits of not being human while still remaining on the top of the food chain. Considered how our lives would be better as wolves or lions or bald eagles. All the fun, all the security, none of the rent and car insurance. Eating this seafood It made being a shark seem even better. You’re on the top of the food chain and you get to eat this delicious raw seafood all the time. Sign me up, being human doesn’t seem so swell. I’d rather be a great white. She’d be a mako.

Our puke softy waiter came by with new drinks. We placed our orders. Surf n’ turf for me. Bread crumb tilapia for her. Guys in suits were coming out onto the stage from behind the curtain, beginning to set up the instruments and microphone stands.

The crowd in the restaurant mumbled amongst themselves. You could hear the din and chime of forks on plates and glasses against teeth. It was much more agreeable in there than Applebees or Burgerland. What this supper club lacked in a dollar menu, they more than compensated with atmosphere, lighting and sophisticated conversation.

It was just then that a couple seated at the table next to us began to bother us with questions. two drunken society women who found us amusing began to grill us.

“I love your gown, where did you get it?”

“I found it.” My girl said.

“Found it?”

“Where did you ever find a dress like that?”

“Well my husband and I both work in the morgue and this couple came in. Murdered. Beheaded. They had on these great outfits. Now we’ve got them.”

“Someone was murdered in that dress?”

“Jane Doe in the dress. Eddie Doe in the tux.”

“You mean John Doe?”

“No, that’s the funny thing. They were identified. Their real names were Jane and Eddie Doe.”

“That’s funny.” The women looked on the verge of vomit. Which was a shame. The food was far to good to just vomit back up.

“Enjoy your dinner.” I said.

Then the drunken old ladies flagged down the waiter and asked to be moved. He pointed out that the place was full to capacity. Any second now the fire Marshall was gonna show up and pitch a god damn fit.

Just as our food arrived the band came out onto the stage. They all wore matching suits. A very professional group of jazz scumbags.

“Which one do you think is Mcmoone?” I asked her.

She pointed to the seven foot tall three hundred pound man with a neck as thick as the bass drum of the percussion kit.

“That’s definitely him.” I said.

It sure was, he stomped his way to the microphone and said, “Hello. I hope you are all having a wonderful evening. Thank you for joining us here..”
Then they unveiled their instruments. They did not look like your standard jazz horns. They more closely resembled weapons of mass destruction. WMDs. For instance, Mcmoone’s fucking clarinet must have weighted about 150 pounds. The saxophone player had to have two people stand beside him and hold up his horn while he played. It was going to be ugly.

My stomach felt hollow. I was very worried now looking from the stage with the massive instruments to the speaker cabinet located directly in front of us…like a cannon. Enjoy your dinner while staring through this tunnel that a train may come through at any moment. Get the drift?

“I’m full.” I said. “You full?” We hadn’t even started to eat our dinners.

She nervously glanced back at the amplifier cabinet behind her head that was already sweating even though the band hadn’t even played a note yet. She nodded sickly. “I’m full. Let’s get outta here.”

I told the waiter that we would be at the bar in the back of the room and that we wanted our food wrapped to go.

The crowd was standing room only and there wasn’t very much room at the bar but we managed to get seats by simply sitting down on the edge of other people’s bar stools and since they were polite well dressed people who didn’t want to get barbecue sauce or spinach dip on themselves they quickly surrendered their seats with minimal complaints. We are what you call, active aggressive.

Up on stage the band was ready to kick things into gear. The drummer adjusted his seat and the stand up bass player cracked all his fingers. He was readying himself for quite a workout. The strings on his bass went from one inch thick at the lightest gauge to six inches thick at the heaviest.

“This is gonna be much deadlier than Megadeath.” I said. She nodded gravely. Swallowing in apprehension like a person led to the gallows.

Just as they hit the first note something horrible happened. The bus boys had descended on our table to clear the plates. When the first pounding wave of doom shot through the speaker cabinets it leveled the bus boys knocking them over like bowling pins into the table of drunken society women. The table itself was completely blown apart, splintering and shattering. The remaining silverware projectiled into the far wall behind the bar luckily missing everyone narrowly. The table linen floated in the air momentarily. Horribly wavering in the smoke and stink of gun powder.

The crowd loved it. They thought it was really something else.

“Now this is jazz…”

“That Mcmoone is a hell of a clarinetist.”

They were riffing the living fuck out of “Sunny Side of the Street”.

I grabbed her by the arm, told her that we had better just hit the road. She agreed whole heartedly.

On our way out, the hostess apologized for our table being exploded and our food being destroyed by the band. She gave us two complementary passes to dine again and told us if we would wait patiently at the bar we would be given new plates Fine. No problem. But it really wasn’t our scene so we told her we would wait outside We sat out by the fountain. It was a beautiful night. There was the occasional slight rumble of thunder and the apocalyptic rumble of Jim McMoones ensemble inside. They had transitioned into “He’s Got the Whole World in his Hat”. It sounded like the Battle of the Bulge.

After a little while our puke the waiter appeared with our doggie bags. He apologized for us almost being vaporized and assured us that the next time we dined there, it wouldn’t happen again.

I flagged down the valet. It was a different valet. Not the one I had threatened with the marble ashtray. He seemed to know me well. Like an old friend.

“One minute Sir!”

Sir? Wow that had never happened before.

Then he whipped around the corner in a black Mercedes Benz SLK. The machine purred like an over sexed cougar.

“Mary mother of God.” I said.

“Everything ok?” the valet asked.

“Everything’s fine.” Show up with a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire that the junkyard wouldn’t even take for scrap, leave with a $100,000+ Mercedes that could practically travel through time.

I casually helped my girl into the vehicle. We pulled out of there just as the clouds opened up and the lighting slit through the sky attacking the ocean.

I looked at her. She looked at me.

Our luck had turned around.

“Do you have any idea how much these doggie bag leftovers will sell for on EBay?”

“Alot.” she said.

Then I hit the gas.

Around 140 miles and hour I downshifted and the machine really took on a new life. Nothing could stop us at that velocity.

–Bud Smith

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