Friday, July 16, 2010


The goddamn hi-def TV in the dark bar was hurting my eyes.

In fact, can I just say that do we really need hi-def? At what point is good enough, good enough? Anyway, some player was making some play for some team. I didn't care. It was the kind of day I was having.

I scoffed at the TV and the barkeep Ralphie saw me. "What'sa matter? You have a bet down?"

"Nah," I answered shaking my head and pointing to the newscaster. "There's nothing more annoying than mildly attractive women talking about sports."

Ralphie smiled. "You fuckin' gay? She's hot."

"She has a snout," I said.

Ralphie studied her face and bit his lip nodding. "She does have a snout. I think I like her more. Got that hot soccer mom thing goin' on."

"I dunno, man. She looks like a fuckin' monkey."

"Lemme tell you something," Ralphie said. He eased in towards me and pointed to the TV. "If that girl came in here at closing, sat next to you and did so much as even smile -- there's no way you're not letting her get a little stink on your down-low."

Ralphie knew me too well and I raised my eyebrows. "Yeah, so?"

"You're 34, right? When are you gonna get real?" he said.

I played with the ice in my drink that needed a refill and humored him. "Meaning?"

He got mildly irritated. "Meaning ... You and every other idiot in here think there's only two kinds of women that exist -- goddess or guttersnipe."

"What the fuck is a guttersnipe?" It sounded disgusting, but I guess that's the point he was trying to make. Ralphie walked away. "Seriously, Ralph, what's a frikkin' guttersnipe?"

Wiping the bar, He shook his head, made a tsk-tsk sound and headed over to the softball team who needed another Miller Light pitcher.

# # # #

I had a car on the lift the next day. It was a big job so I took my time and thought about what Ralphie said. I guess he had a point but I still couldn't get past how I felt. I liked who I liked. It was black or white.

The Old Man in the office broke my concentration and called us grease monkeys in to see him. All four of us threw down our tools and wandered into the office. We were down one guy for about a month so there wasn't exactly time to listen to his usual hemming and hawwing.

"I want you all to meet your new technician for Bay Number 5," he said. "Charlie..."

We didn't say anything. We just stared at our new mechanic, unsure of his decision.

"I'm super excited to come on board. This is a really well-respected shop," Charlie said, extending hand.

Did the Old Man lose his marbles? Was he serious? Did he actually want us to get any work done?

I shook her hand. It was smoothe and she smelled like a vacation. Ralphie's words kept repeating in my head. Goddess or guttersnipe...

The heavens were fucking with me. Here I had my goddess but did I want her in my workplace where I needed to be on my game?

Walking back to my bay, I kept asking myself, "Why couldn't she be medicore like the sportscaster chick on TV? The one with the snout..."

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  1. Good one. This pretty much sums men up.

  2. Hehehe, you men are all the same. :)

    Just kidding. The voice is great in this one.

    Good story, Ant.

  3. Anthony ... you do spin a great story ... you bring an incredible level of believability to everything you write.

  4. You do know the voice of the working man... I hope he survives.

  5. The dialog here is awesome. Very smooth transition from one scene to another too. Believable characters all around. Just a great job.

  6. I agree - your dialogue is always brilliantly written Anthony. Great, fun story. I love the line "...smelled like a vacation." Those few words paint such a vivid picutre I could smell the cocount.

    Second "serves him right" story I read this morning. Thanks for the laughs!

  7. same way I feel about ann coulter - the minute she opens her mouth I wannna punch her out..good spin ant..

  8. *shaking my head*
    Don't be showing Dave that pix of the goddess checking the plugs - he'll have her up in his bay in no time.
    Great story, Anthony. Blue collar macho fun.

  9. Everyone in their place, hey. Heh.

  10. You define noir. And you are brilliant at dialogue. Hear me?

    Who needs hi-def? I do, I can't see a gd thing. Peace...

  11. Guttersnipe. Now there's a word I haven't heard in a while. Underused in my opinion.

    Great dialogue, as always.

  12. Your characters always have punch, Anthony.

    I've always been irritated by female, cheerleaders, but worse - however, female mechanics are the bomb.

  13. "Seriously, Ralph, what's a frikkin' guttersnipe?"

    "99% of all women. Duh."

    Then he was flayed alive!

  14. Great dialogue, Ant! Guttersnipe...I agree with Laurita, underused word.

  15. As usual, a the character has perfect voice, sir. I liked this line the best: "I shook her hand. It was smoothe and she smelled like a vacation." He'd better give his head a shake and move in for the kill...

  16. I sorta got stuck on "stink on your low down"... let's just say good thing I wasn't drinking a beverage cause liquid would definitely been shooting out my nose.

    Voice, pacing, imagery--it always works. There's slice of life, then there's Ant and Slice of Real Life.

    Stay cool.

  17. I'm with Alan, that line is fantastic. And as usual, you capture modern life in such a classic voice.

  18. Your writing voice is gritty. I like it. :)

    Before your MC even commented on Charlie, I knew she was a woman from the way you phrased her dialogue and her reaction. Nicely written!


  19. HA! Too bad, guy, there she is. I bet she kicks his ass too...

    Let me live in my dream world, Anthony ;-)

    Another great story.

  20. Men! Gods or gudgeons? (Ha! Bet you had to look it up, just like I had to look up "guttersnipe.")

    As always, Anthony, I greatly enjoyed your story.

  21. Sometimes getting what we want is a real pain in the ass. The ironies!

    I loved this line

    "I shook her hand. It was smoothe and she smelled like a vacation." Mmmm... life is in the yummy details.

    ps On an off note, I can't agree more about hi def tvs or photos. I like the old cameras, where the lightening was just a tad off, and the picture just a bit fuzzy. Or even old black and white pictures (or movies).It was real. I really don't care to see every pore on a person's skin or that white fake glow of bleached teeth just speaks of unauthenticity. Okay- rant over.

    Great work as always, Ant!

  22. great stuff. man, you should see the chicks in the bar i go to...all none of them.

  23. Awesome dialogue! "get a little stink on your down-low." is a great phrase and "she smelled like a vacation" really made me laugh. I feel for that poor guy.


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