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Tom, Jerry, Sylvester
At the Chicago Junction Union Station Ticket Bar with a Babe and three Characters: Saturday, April 30 2022
© 2022 James LaFond
SEP/29/22
written from memory in Baltimore, MD 5/10/2022
The seating area for my 6:40 train was packed at 3:00. So I went upstairs to the Amtrak food court. The Chick Fillet seemed the least vile venue and as I passed the ticket bar I heard the barmaid say, “No, we don't serve food here. But as long as you are drinking with us you can bring in food.”
She had a clear, sisterly voice that rang in my soul and made me want to relax under her watch.
At the food line staffed by harried, young black folks, very polite and much mistreated by the occasional neurotic woman [ for 1 in 20 of the lone Amtrak female passengers are clearly insane], I decided on chicken nuggets. I was behind an insane bitch of my age and race who was ranting and raging about evil companies and needed to know if the Doctor Pepper was made in Texas or not. She stops and looks at my Teamster's swag and says, “Teamster, huh! So what have the Teamsters done for their members?”
The black man and his wife in front of her looked to me with worry and pity and I say, “They take their money.”
“And what do they do in return!?!”
“They occasionally commit acts of violence upon those who need violated.”
[The man laughs]
“Exactly, another corrupt organization! So why did you join?”
“Oh, I'm not a teamster, miss. I'm a bum. A young teamster named Sean who is my size, is now pleasuring middle aged women for a living and donated these clothes to my hopeless cause.”
She looked at me in horror and said, “They say I'm middle aged, but it feels worse than that. I think they're addled.”
She cuts ahead of the black couple and they are glad to let her by and the man says, “Man, I like the way you handled that.”
A rant about the evil of Starbucks and Doctor Pepper being a Texan conspiracy ignites as I depart with my nuggets for the ticket bar.
Beer wine and shots are served by the one very pretty to handsome babe with Italian looks, straight black hair, a big bucket of a butt and tits that I wish were bigger, and a commanding feminine voice. 25 ounce cans are available for the $8 price for premium 12 ounce beer on the train, and you can take these beers onto the train, hence its a ticket bar. Michelobe Ultra Light is on tap and I drink that for $4.50 a pint. Her business is still less than half of pre-Covid levels. She has done this for 10 years and before that worked at the baseball stadium concession stands.
People from the train mix with light rail commuters relaxing to enjoy a beer or three before heading home to domestic infamy. A tall bald man of 50 on his computer and drinking with his nice wife sees me and asks, “Where are you from?”
“I'm homeless. I live out of this backpack,” which occupied the tall bar chair that I backed into as I stand at the end of the bar and leave an open space for people to access the bar for orders by pulling the backpack's chair to the end.
Conversation ended there.
They eventually leave. After two beers the barmaid asks if I'm closing out and I look at the time of 4:00 and ask, “Depends, is there a bathroom I can use nearby?” for the two largest sections of the bar, the loft and the den, are roped off.
She points out the men's room by the Chick Fillet and we are in business. I keep drinking 1 draft per half hour as an old fellow tries to befriend me with complaints about young folks and city people and I smile to him and do not answer as I salute with the beer and he moves off.
The crazy woman is here now and I'm not trying to generate any stories to write about as I want to finish my novel.
Fat Man shows up, a regular who drinks pints and Crown Royal double shots on his way home to his wife from his Saturday job doing something. He is pale and 60 and discusses the whether. He is The Regular.
His friend, Italian, trim-bearded, super handsome and wise-cracking and smooth talking—a guy that looks like Sean the jigalo [tried to spell it 5 ways]—shows up and is good friends with Apex Regular.
Soon, a tall, fit, bald 55-year-old black man shows up and the barmaid crones, “The gang's all here. Please take it easy on my newbies!”
They laugh, discuss the sky-blackening storm that shut down their light rail—tragedy! They will be getting home late to their wives!—and the black guy, hence forth Dark Tanyin, suggests a date with the barmaid and she says, “Oh, I thought you were gay—with all of your talk about penis fencing!”
The others laugh as he declares that the man with the mightiest sword should fence and the Italian guy objects, “Bro, I bought you a drink and you're going to talk like that. Come on!”
laughter
The Italian turns to me, “Teamster's, cool. Local 162, where is that?”
[As a man who has never read shirts, not even my own, it amazes how much people read branded clothing.]
“Portland, Oregon.”
“A long way from home—a real long way. Safe travels man. Where to?”
“Baltimore.”
“Jesus! Why not Detroit and Philly too—make the shithole trifecta!”
We chuckle and salute and Dark Tanyin starts up about their recent crime, which is narrated by each man, and then corrected by the bar maid who watched the entire thing. I will summarize in her words, as the four-way rendition of this August event took a full half hour with time out for laughter.
“Five young girls, twenty-one by a day, like their first time out drinking legally, sit at the table there. The lead bitch, she was too young to be as bitter bout her womanhood and as evil as all that—I give you that—she was a real bitch on wheels—another reason why you guys are guilty, because you could have pointed our man at one of the semi-nice bitches. This guy, he's maybe 45, depressed about something; either his dog died, his wife dumped him or he got fired off his job—right! Am I right?”
The Three Brewskiteer Chorus, generally chiming in from oldest to youngest, “Right, yep, fair enough.”
“This guy is not fat, not a stud, not rich, not poor—in other words, he's a ready made victim for you trouble makers.”
Chorus: “Boo, hiss, get out of here with your vaginal authority!”
“Oh, you three know its true. You set this man up—did him not Favor One!”
Chorus: “It wasn't like that, we good fellas, we were trying to cheer him up!”
“So, on top of his marginal prospects and the fact that these girls are, hot, half his age, and bitchy, this dude is autistic—an incell at least!”
Chorus: “He needed some confidence, we gave him hope, nothing ventured nothing gained!”
I am trying not to laugh and the Fat Man says, “Oh, our man here is getting his money's worth!”
Chorus: “One for all and all for one! A man down needz ta tap dat lap! He needed to break out of his shell.”
“Oh and now he ain't never coming back out of it—that shit I a Brazil nut now! On top of being too old, not socialized, depressed, probably considering suicide over a 4-Chan debate, this guy is so drunk I'm praying that the liquor board doesn't show up and cite me for over-serving him. And you have to send him over to ask out the prettiest and bitchiest one? Approach a group of younger women.”
I laugh and Fat Man says, “This guy is getting his money's worth!”
Italian Guy: “Wait a minute. It was done in good faith. If that girl was half human, she would have played along and given him a bogus phone number and gone back to socializing with her friends, and they could have smiled at him and made him feel good—but no!”
Shakes pretty head of hair and nods as she pours more Crown Royal for the Three Brewskiteers, “Sure, on Planet Gives-a-Shit, but not in Chicago! Granted, this bitch did not have to cut his balls off and then burn them on the scolding altar of her way out-sided femininity. She was a total bitch. But you guys been around, you had to know that that pussy there had teeth, sharp teeth!”
Dark Tanyin: “Oh, she was just disappointed that it wasn't me asking her out!”
“What so you could beat her over the head with your great wand of power! Please, your daughter is ten years older than that bitch.”
laughter
Fat Man: “She was more of a bitch then I thought she'd be.”
Extends hand and smiles accusingly, “Granted—my point, you all knew you were setting him up!”
Dark Tanyin: “Honestly, all joking aside, I was shocked how mean she was, how she tore into him and humiliated him and—and a white bitch yet. Neva knew you fellas had it so bad as all that.”
Italian Guy: “And would not let it go, hounded him out of the bar, like she was going to call the cops on him.”
“Right, it was terrible and it was of your making, you smart-ass troublemakers!”
Fat Guy: “I felt bad.”
“But here you sit laughing!”
Dark Tanyin: “I felt real bad!” as he cackled in laughter
“Exactly! And look at you still laughing!”
Italian Guy: “Look here, I have a take on this, a spiritual lesson, a parable if you will.”
Shakes her head, looking radiantly beautiful now in her accusatory mirth, “Let's hear it smart guy, the lesson of the day!”
Dark Tanyin: “The big brain is firing up—watch out, gas prices goin' through the roof!”
Italian Guy: “That vicious way of hers, she got results, built cred, drove a man to tears. That is going to become a habit. And when that bitch is his age, or even my age, that kind of talk will have gotten her life time companionship.”
Dark Tanyin: “Not with me!”
Fat Man: “What a nightmare wife!”
Babe: “Continue!”
“And when she comes home from the bar after work, and the horny cucks no longer call on the phone because she's hitting that age, she'll come through the door and say, 'Hi Tom, hi Jerry, hi Sylvester, how was your day—Mommy brought you all a new flavor of fancy feast!”
As the general laughter came to a roar, and my attempt not to laugh had me laughing to tears Fat Man said, “We take tips, friend! Glad to make you laugh.”
She closed me out as I finished my beer and signaled. Leaving the money on the bar, I backed into the ruck sack and hefted and clipped it and the three men said from eldest to youngest, “Jesus, oh, hell know, have safe a trip sir.”
I patted the Italian on the shoulder, “I'll never forget Tom, Jerry and Sylvester and he said, “Please tell me you have a dozen cats in there to throw at the bitches on the train to get them to shut up!”
Laughter followed me out, smiling towards the escalator down towards the meat chutes east.
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