Conversation in a bar

God walks into a bar. Says to the barkeep, “Whiskey please.”

The bartender turns to God and says, “Can’t serve booze on Sunday.”

“Who came up with that dumb idea?” God wants to know.

The barkeep says, “I think You did.”

“What do you mean I did?” God has about had it with the guy behind the bar.

“Isn’t it one of the Big Ten? Something about remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy.”

“Oh, that one. Maybe My way of keeping the Sabbath day holy is to have a drink. What do you think about that?”

The bartender ain’t giving an inch. “You can drink all you want. Just do it in somebody else’s place. I ain’t about to lose my license. Even if You are the Almighty.”

“Look, if I say it’s okay, it’s okay. Why do you think I came up with the 613 laws in Leviticus?”

“Don’t know,” the bartender says.

“Technicalities. I put enough ifs, ands and buts in there that you can drive a camel through that sucker, if you’re a liking to. Now give Me that drink.”

“No can do,” the bartender says firmly. “And if You keep pestering me, I am calling the cops.”

“You would call the cops on God?” the Almighty asks. He is getting very frustrated.

“Darn tooting I would.”

“Well, I’ll be—” God says.

“Hey. No taking the Lord’s Name in vain.”

“I was just going to say son of a bitch,” God says.

“And none of that either,” the bartender says. “This is a family establishment.”

“Did anybody ever tell you that you’re acting like a lawyer?”

“I’d take that as a compliment. I have a Doctor of Jurisprudence. I just can’t practice at the bar in this state.”

“What do you think you’re doing here? Practicing at the bar.” God laughs.

“Oh, get off it.”

“Look,” God says. “I’ve had a long week and this is my only day off.”

“At least, you get a day off. I haven’t had a day off in a month of Sundays. Trying to pay off my Student loans.”

“Well, it was one heaven of a week,” God gets going. “If you know what I mean. Monday I made the heavens and the earth and separated the dark from the light. Tuesday, I had to get the water where I wanted it. It was all over the place. Thought I would never get the Pacific to play along and shape up. Wednesday, I started growing plants and trees and stuff. That was hard to pull off since I do not have the best of green thumbs. Along comes Thursday and that’s when I give everybody a starry night. Friday, birds and fishes. Then Saturday, it was the animals. I should have left well-enough alone and stopped there. But no, I had to go and screw everything up. And I was having such a good time too.”

By this time, the bartender is leaning on the bar, looking into God’s sky blues, listening. He asks, “What’d you do?”

“I made a man.”

“You didn’t?” The bartender is taken aback.

“I did. Worst mistake of My life. First thing the guy starts off, asking questions. Like I have all the answers.”

“You don’t?”

“I most assuredly do not,” God says emphatically.

“Thought they taught you all the answers in God School.”

“They do,” God says. “But I CLEPed out. I figured I already had all the answers so I just tested and they gave Me My diploma. Little did I know.”

“I see what You mean. Don’t take the easy way out. That’s always been my motto.”

“Before I know, the guy goes on a naming spree. Can you imagine calling a thing a dog and not a wolf. How he can tell the two apart I will never know. I was happy just calling them thing-a-majigs and whatchamacallits. And you want to know the worst part?”

“What’s that?” The excitement is killing the bartender metaphorically speaking.

“He wanted a wife.”

“He didn’t.” Barkeep can’t believe his ears. “Why would he want to go and do a dumb fool thing like that?”

“Beats me,” God says, shaking his head.

“So what did You do?”

“Figured he wanted her that bad, he should get what he deserved. I gave him what he wanted. Lilith. She was nice. I should get First Prize for that creation. You know what happened next?”

“Haven’t a clue.” The bartender is in suspense.

“The dumb ass goes and cheats on her. Some girl from Eden name of Eve. Lilith was royally pissed. I had to give her a divorce. I offered marriage counseling. But she wasn’t having none of that. So it was a divorce. He didn’t sign a pre-nup either,” God smiles. “I must say I am kind of proud of her. She took him to the cleaners. Then I had a good talking with Adam. Told him that he was in big trouble if he did it again. Breaking one of the Big Ten. Adultery. Can you imagine?’

“I can’t.” The bartender shakes his head at the gall of the guy. “I been with the same woman for thirty years now and we have the best of marriages. Oh, sure. She gets on my nerves and I get on her nerves from time to time. That’s to be expected. That’s why I go off on my hunting trips and she goes on one of them Napa Valley Wine Tours.”

“One of these days I am going to have to try one of them tours myself. I hear those California wines can compete with any of the Frenches.”

“I wouldn’t know about that,” the bartender says. “I’m not much for wine. Give me a brewski and I’m a happy man.”

“I’m not much of a connoisseur myself,” God says. “Other than turning water into wine occasionally. If you’re ever up for trying wine, the Cana Wine Tasters Association have a great weekend in the fall every year. They do the place up real nice. You and your lady would enjoy it. Give you a chance for a second honeymoon.”

“Maybe I’ll take you up on that,” the bartender says. He’d been thinking second honeymoon lately. Something special for their anniversary.

“Anyway back to the Garden of Eden,” God says. “I get the guy and this Eve fixed up and married and I am off taking a nap. Nothing like a good siesta to get the energy back up. I wake up and find out the two of them have gone and done it.”

“What’d they do?” the bartender wanted to know.

“They ate one of my apples. After all the work I put in on that apple tree, they just pluck one off the branches and take a big bite. I would have let them have one if they had asked nicely. But no, they had to go and take.”

The bartender was amazed. “Ain’t that the way with some. Take, take, take.”

“So I up and kicked their butts out of Eden. After all I have done for them. Now they’re on their own. Good riddance.”

“Good riddance.” The bartender can’t believe what happened. “You have had a tough week. You still want that drink?”

“You’re going to bend the rules for Moi?” God asks.

“After what you’ve been through.” The bartender reaches for a bottle of Johnny Red  behind the bar and pours a glass for God. He passes it over to the Man Upstairs.

God smiles. Then pulls out a badge and says, “I’m closing you down. No booze on Sunday means no booze on Sunday.”

“But-but-but.”

“No buts about it, Lucifer,” God says. “I’ve been trying to close this Purgatory Bar of yours down for millennia and finally I get to do it.”

God pushes the bartender out the front door, then padlocks the joint. He turns to Lucifer and says, “And you can tell that brother of yours, Beelzebub, I am going to close him down too. I am sick and tired of folks being sent off to his place every time they ask for directions. I ask them what happened and they say somebody directed them and said, ‘Go to Hell.’ I’m telling you his Hell Bar and Grill is going the way of the dinosaurs if I have anything to say about it.”

With that, God got in His new Mercedes and drove off, a huge smile on his face. It had indeed been a good Sabbath.

Short Story Wednesday: The Blue-Haired Boys

Short Story Prompt: “The Red-Headed League” by Arthur Conan Doyle

I sat in the apartment of Mr. Shyrlick Homes, watching the Great Detective admire himself. How did I know he was the Great Detective? He had business cards printed to prove it. As a reminder to me, he showed me his card every time I came to visit him in his boudoir.

I know the word “boudoir” applies to a woman’s private quarters. Unfortunately Homes insisted on calling his apartment his boudoir. When I objected, he said, “Tut, tut, tut. Now, D. R., one mustn’t abuse the language, you know. The word for my quarters is boudoir.”

Why did he call me D. R.? you ask. That too was a misunderstanding I had given up correcting. I have on my card “Dr. Henry Wotsun”. He mistook the Dr. for D. R.

“My dear fellow,” I would retort, “I think not. I think the OED is quite clear on the definition of the word ‘boudoir’.”

“I have taken up the matter with the Word Committee at OED. They assured me they will make the correction with the next edition. Until then, old chap, you will have to take my word for it, will you not?”

“Of course,” I answered, resigned to the absurdity.

Why did I choose to join Mr. Homes in his “boudoir”? It was a good way to while away the afternoon. I needed entertainment after a long morning of patient after patient wanting their buns tucked, their breasts syliconized, their lips botoxed. One more pouty mouth and I swear. Well, you get the photograph.

So there I was, observing Homes admire himself in the mirror for a good fifteen minutes. It was such amusement to watch him stroke his chin and make faces, then turn to his left side and give his face the eye. Then it was to the right and more eye. Finally it was a full face. He turned to me and asked, “I need your professional opinion on my appearance.” I am a plastic surgeon so I do have a certain expertise in these matters.

“Yes.” I knew that I should tred lightly in supplying an opinion on such a delicate matter as Mr. Homes’ face.

“I am thinking of having my hair dyed. What say you, old fellow?”

I was flabbergasted. “You have such a marvelous head of black hair. Why would you want to do such a villainous act?”

“I want to die my hair blue. What say you, old chap?”

“This is madness.”

“Will you do it?” he pressed.

There was no convincing my friend once he had set his mind on a thing. What choice did I have? “Yes, I will.”

Homes grabbed me and hugged me and raised me in the air, then spinning the two us. Finally his enthusiasm exhausted itself and he dropped the two of us to the floor.

“I will,” I said, “if you will share with me the reason.”

He looked at me with a deadly seriousness. “I am joining The Blue-Haired Boys.”

“The Blue-Haired Boys? No, Homes, you can’t. I won’t have it.”

“You have no choice.”

He was right. I had no choice.

“Why?” I asked. The Blue-Haired Boys were the most dangerous gang of thugs in London.

“I have been invited to join. I will have you know. And join I shall.”

“But why would you want to join that gang of thugs?” Every crime in the city of London since The Great War could one way or another be traced to the Blue-Haired Boys. That was what the newspapers said. That was what the police said.

“Now, now, now,” Homes said. “Their reputation is simply a matter of bad public relations. Which I shall rectify once I am a member in good standing.”

Finally I agreed to the dying of Homes’ beautiful hair. I gave him the full body treatment. Not one hair on his chinny-chin-chin would be another color. All the while thinking that once you’re true blue, you cannot return to your former tincture.

Several days later I visited Homes in his “boudoir”. Once again, he stood before the mirror. Once again he admired himself quite extensively.

Finally, he said to me in his cheerful way, “Well, D. R., I am off to the races. The game is indeed afoot.”

“What are you up to, Homes?” I was becoming concerned that my friend might be getting into deep water. I am speaking metaphorically here, of course. What I meant was that he might be getting in over his head.

“The Blue-Haired Boys have accepted me as one of them. I am indeed True Blue, as we say in the trade.”

“So what dastardly path are you about to set out upon?”

“I am bound and determined to show the world what nice fellows my new comrades-in-arms are. And I shall do this one alone.”

In the past, I had accompanied Mr. Shyrlick Homes on each and every investigation. I was actually the detective, solving the crimes he received credit for. I liked it that way. It kept me in the shadows in the public’s mind and gave me a certain ability to move about unchallenged. But now Homes had decided to do this one alone. His very life could be in danger. With this in mind, I followed my friend.

He walked to the waterfront and to a certain ship whose name shall be nameless. No use accusing a ship when it may very well be totally innocent. It was the Blue-Haired Boys headquarters. For many months, I suspected it. Now I had proof. Mr. Shyrlick Homes was taking his blue hair there.

I left the shadows and rushed to the nearest telephone. It was in a pub called the Rotten Smelling Egg. It was a smelly place if ever there was one.

Sergeant Roughed answered the line, “Scotland Yard at your service.”

“This is Wotsun,” I said to the Cop Shop. ” Dr. Henry Wotsun. Give me the Top Cop.”

“Wotsun, sir?”

“It is indeed.”

“And you say you want the Top Cop in the Cop Shop?” As you can see the sergeant was not the brightest bulb in the room. No wonder the Blue-Haired Boys had escaped so many times before. But not this time. I had them and I was not about to let them escape. Besides Homes might be in a bit of the way. His very life could be in danger.

“I do indeed want the Top Cop in the Cop Shop. And get on it chop-chop,” I said amazed at the slowness of the man’s brain.

“Did I hear you correctly, sir? Did you say that you were about to chop the Top Cop in the Cop Shop? That’s illegal, you know, sir. I will have to report you to my superiors.”

“Look, Pop, hop to it. Chop chop. Get the Top Cop in Cop Shop. And don’t slop, please.” My nerves were beginning to fray. What could I do to convince this dodo bird that my call was serious.

“Well, sir, if you insist,” the other end of the line said.

I looked at my watch. It said fifteen minutes till seven. Soon it would be six forty-five and the Blue-Haired Boys would be getting away.

The other end of the phone finally said, “Detective Scheister. May I help you.”

I related my story. Before you know, a battalion of London bobbies had arrived and arrested the world famous criminal, Blue Berry Pi, and his gang of Blue-Haired Boys.

And, of course, Mr. Shyrlick Homes got all the credit. But that is the way I want it. It is the way of we Incognitos.