Uncle Sal bent down and tied the lace of the red and orange wingtip on his right foot. He raised his highball glass and sipped his bourbon and soda as he watched the Wombats game on the television. Alice sipped her greyhound and asked about the game.
"That was a strike," Uncle Sal said. he had explained baseball to her so many times, he could hardly stand it. But still, she positively refused to to understand the grand old game.
"So he's out?"
"No. That's only strike two. Now, just watch the game. It's the eighth inning. I don't wanna miss anything." Just then Uncle Sal looked at the door. "Oh no!"
"What? Is the man out now?"
"I dunno. Look who just walked in." Uncle Sal pointed to Harley Gooch.
"What's wrong with him?"
"What's wrong with him? Holy muskrats! What's not wrong with him? The guy is a nuisance. He's got a story for everything, and I mean everything. Why, to hear him tell it, he's climbed Mount Everest twice. Blindfolded. I just hope he don't sit here next to me."
Moments later, the stool next to Uncle Sal was occupied by the girth of Harley Gooch. One stool was barely enough to contain him. His shoulder brushed Uncle Sal's, causing Uncle Sal to move closer to Alice.
"HEY THERE, SAL? HOW'VE YOU BEEN?" Alice jumped at the man's voice which was far too loud and booming to be contained by any building. "YOU KNOW ME. BUSY AS EVER. I'VE BEEN WORKING ON MY DODGE SWINGER. THING RUNS LIKE A DREAM, EVEN THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER IT WAS MADE." After ordering a boilermaker, Harley said, "BEEN FISHING LATELY?"
Uncle Sal looked like a man suffering severe indigestion. He squirmed on his stool and said, "No, Harley. I ain't been fishing in a while."
"HAD SOME GOOD TRIPS MYSELF. WENT UP TO IDAHO AND DID SOME FISHING THERE. BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. CAUGHT SOME OF THE BEST LARGEMOUTH YOU EVER SEEN. SAY, SPEAKING OF BASS...DID YOU KNOW..."
Uncle Sal nearly ground his molars to dust. He wanted to catch the end of the game, but not if it meant sitting next to Gooch. He looked at his wrist, and though he wasn't wearing a watch, he said, "Look at the time! Gee, it sure was swell to see ya, Harley. We gotta movie to catch." He left some money on the bar, took Alice's hand and dashed to the door.
"What is the matter with you, Sal? That man was right in the middle of talking to you."
"Oh no he wasn't. He was just getting started."
"That doesn't make it OK to just get up and leave."
Uncle Sal rolled his eyes and said, "What was I supposed to do? The guy was gettin' 'round to bass facts."
This episode featured:
Vito Varner as Uncle Sal
Fannie Call as Alice
Fred Goff as Harley Gooch
Jellybean Merengue as the highball glass
Tune in next week when Uncle Sal says, "It takes a wise man to make it without working."
[13 May 2008]