Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cross-eyed Mona

With the Democratic primary underway, Harris Miller vs. Jim Webb, the polls are a little over three hours from closing. The results will be known soon. One candidate’s followers will head off to their favorite saloons in various towns to celebrate, the other group will being looking to drown their sorrows.

For those who like bars, like stories set in bars, here’s a short story I wrote some years ago. It is set in J.W. Rayle, a legendary mid-‘70s saloon/eatery in Richmond's Fan District. The story is fiction, the bar was real. It’s from a collection of stories called “Detached.”

This episode begins with the protagonist, Roscoe Swift, nursing a hangover. Click here to read the whole story. Here’s a little preview.

“...They were discussing the clues to the Paul-is-dead controversy, or scam,” said Sal. “Bake was stretched out on his back on the couch. His feet were on the coffee table, next to several beer cans, an ashtray, a bong, and a Coca-Cola bottle. Abruptly, the late Mr. Baker announced, ‘Watch this shot, boys. Swish!’”

Sal took up a matchbook and began acting out the part. “He pulled the last match out and whistled. Then he aimed it, man, squinting one eye. The he tossed it at the bottle, and ladies and gents, the match went straight into the Coke bottle like a guided missile. Voila!”

Illustration: F.T. Rea

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