Lou and Karl and me

28 Dec

Lou and I found ourselves in a midtown bar at 3PM on Tuesday.  Actually, it wasn’t hard to find us, we had been there since noon.  It’s not that we didn’t want jobs, we just didn’t have jobs.

Instead, we did the next best thing: drink and wax philosophic.  Like Karl Marx after one or two (or five) beers.  By the time Lou returned from a trip to the restroom, I had figured out everything that was wrong with his life.  He didn’t even have to ask me.  Why are there no jobs like that?

Quite simply, Lou’s life contains too many one syllable words.  Moving to the outer boroughs has made him boring.  My scrutiny revealed that:

he drives a Ford.


Automatic or manual?  “Stick,” says Lou.

Color?  “Blue.

Married?  “Yup.”

To?  “Peg.”

Kids?  “Nope.”

Pets?  “Dog.”

Name?  “Mike.”

Breed?  “Mutt.”

Favorite food?  “Meat.”

Drink?  “Beer.”

Snack?  “Meat.”

Spice?  “Salt.”

Band?  “The Who.”

Sports?  “Mets, Jets and Knicks.”

And so on.

By the time we left the bar, it was dark out and we were hungry.

“If  I could just get Lou to utter more than one syllable,” I thought, “his life will change forever.”  Emboldened by drink, we stopped at a hot dog wagon- this was my chance:

“How many?”  I asked.

“Two,” he replied.

‘Ketchup or mustard?”

The curse of the Mono-Syllabic Man was about to be lifted.  No longer would Lou be saddled with a boring, non-conversational existence; he would engage and be engaging.  He and Peg would become the center of a social whirlwind that resulted in notoriety, opportunities and meaningful relationships.  All because of me.

“Lou- ketchup or mustard?” I implored.

“Both,” he replied.

We ate and then each took a train home.  Me to my basement apartment in Woodbridge, Lou to Queens.  As if you couldn’t tell.

2 Responses to “Lou and Karl and me”

  1. Norm Magnussonnorm December 28, 2011 at 11:37 am #


  2. Wandering Flatlander January 9, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Have you read Brautigan? If not you should.

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