Trick Or Treat, Mr Goodbar
by Cheryl O'Donovan
Soon, I'm off, kissing the dog and tossing a treat to my husband. By eight-thirty, I park outside the hot new club, Studio Code Blue, which caters to those heavily in denial. I enter, startled.
The blinding fluorescent lights ensure no
tripping. In the corner is a triage unit. EXIT signs in
large E-Z type. Gray-haired men don't gaze across the
room with smoldering alpha male intent. They squint
helplessly, hoping whoever comes in range has health
insurance. The sizzling disco beat of 'Do the Hustle,'
has been replaced 'Do the Walker.'
My eyes sweep the festive interior, looking for Linda, my gal pal for twenty-five years. She is my confidant, the 'Shirl' to my Laverne, the pistol-packing Louise to my frosted-lipsticked Thelma. We went from halter tops to elastic waists together. I'd lay down my ATM access code for her.
Now, two divorces, five children and several free plastic surgery consultations later, Linda is in the gooey stage of infatuation. Newly single, she's just met a guy on GeezerMates.com. She wants me to meet him.
Which is why I am here. It's crowded and I've misplaced my reading glasses. I sense a guy checking me out. Oh. It's the doorman asking me for the cover fee. His crooked toupee and nose ring don't really mesh, but what the hey. His wheezing adds to the ambience. I feel adventurous, getting a whiff of my glory days as an '80s single girl, when I wore gigantic shoulder pads and draped myself in silk magenta. Ah, for those heady carefree days before heels could put me into traction!
Near the bar, Linda waves frantically. I saunter over. Next to her is stooped over man in spectacles. 'This is Thadley Disarming,' she says. 'Thad for short.'
The male bartender takes our order. No longer do I
whisper the names of cutesy beverages with umbrellas or
ooze suggestiveness with risqu'-sounding drinks like
'Sex on the Beach.' My cocktail's spiked with the gritty
tang of Metamucil. It's 'Convalesce on the Cot.'
Eventually, Linda excuses herself to the powder room, leaving me alone with Thad. Almost instantly, I catch him measuring the longitude and curve-itude of the female bartender's backside tattoo, winking like he's got a peanut shell lodged in his eye.
'I dig young chicks,' he growls, popping Levitras like they're breath mints.
My jaw tightens with anger. Linda must know the truth.
Politely excusing myself, I casually lock a leg around Thad's bar stool, harness my superpowers and send him flying, where he shorts out the neon Schlitz sign. Sparks crackle and flutter. A slumped over drunk mutters that the Fourth must be starting early.
Weaving my way around tables, I intercept Linda in the cramped rest room.
'Linda.' I pat her hand gently. 'I have something to tell you about Thad.'
'Isn't he dreamy?'
I close my eyes. Bursting her rose-colored bubble will be hard. But this isn't anything lasting. Real love is the grim history my husband and I have. Real love is when your man knows the results of your colonoscopy.
I tell her what happened. Thad's a cad, and should be a cadaver.
She drops her lip gloss. 'No!'
'He even asked the St. Pauli's Girl for her number.'
'He did not,' Linda says.
'I saw him talking to the poster.'
'Well, I'm not listening. He's cultured. Literate. Finally, I meet a man who Thomas Wolfe is.'
'Linda. He said read 'Bon Jovi of the Vanities.''
I exhale slowly. 'So is an air show, but you don't see us flying inside the plane. 'Cause there could be a crash.'
'He's Mister Right!'
'He's Mister Whipple.' I crack open the door and peek outside. Thad is trying to pinch Miss AARP.
Again, the bathroom door creaks. Linda takes a look. I hear outraged choking, a sob and strong expletives. Ahh. Relief. I won't need to arrange an intervention.
'Too bad Lorena Bobbitt is in semi-retirement.'
'Oh, let's get out of here.' Linda stuffs make-up containers into her purse. 'I want chocolate and some trans fats. Interested?'
'Add some salt and artery clogging, and I'm in. What about Thad?'
'That little bartender out there. Remember the surprise scene in 'The Crying Game?' Well, Thad will be crying later.'
We slide out the back exit and head to Denny's, for their $5.99 Chocoholic Platter. A cup of de-caf, a few laughs at Thad's expense, and I should be home before Nancy Grace.
About the Author:
Cheryl O'Donovan is a humorist and cartoonist who lives near Chicago, IL (USA). She is happily married and has two kids and an Airedale terrier. Her successful humor book, 'The Estrogen Underground,' is geared for women over forty. Visit the web site at: www.estrogenunderground.com