Chuck, an overweight man in a Hawaiian shirt, stupid sunglasses and straw hat is cheering for the band, sitting at the bar next to me at the Blood Mary Blues Club. The band is busy with slow blues as a sexy black girl passes the bar when returning from the toilet and nobody notices Chuck craning his fat neck to check her behind. Nobody but a half-ton MC Lion, who appears beside Chuck half a second later, shouting in his ear.
“What a nice piece of ass that was!!!”
MC Lion lights a long fat Cuban and we all disappear in the smoke for a while.
“How about a quick quiz? What would lion do if a pig stares at a lioness’s ass?”
Chuck is disoriented for a couple of seconds like a dumbass tourist taking photos of a sign at some stupid tourist spot: LA 2000 Km, NY 780 Km, London 4577 km, Sydney 17988, then Hell (arrow pointing down) 340 m clears from cigar smoke.
“Sorry, mate, I… just arrived in New York today…”
I can hear MC Lion’s breathing over the band while Chuck is fishing for an excuse.
“… Really… I won the ticket… Washer Repairmen’s Convention in Birmingham… I was the fastest to replace the drum on the front loading washer… I…”
Serves him right to suffer. Coming here dressed like an idiot, and even before the band started its first set, striking up a conversation with me explaining how coins and hairclips shorten the lifespan of the washers while totally ignoring my job description; lawyer in a major insurance firm specializing in deceiving consumers by planting traps in the fine print. MC Lion summarizes…
“Fat Pig won the washers Stanley Cup, bought nice shirt and hopped a plane to the Big Apple to check out the big ass of my girlfriend. What a splendid idea that was!”
I give myself thumbs up and two screens of smileys. MC Lion didn’t notice I patted that tart’s ass when she passed my barstool. Uh huh, I got away with it, I didn’t come here for two nights and wasn’t aware that that pussy is now MC Pussy. NY is fast, too fast sometimes. I order a shot of bourbon to celebrate, quietly enjoying Chuck’s doomsday.
“I said I am sorry… I didn’t know… it… it was your girlfriend…”
MC Lion knocks the opening of the Beethoven’s 5th on the bar.
“Two days ago even I didn’t know it. When she passed every one of us would stick a middle finger in her ass up to the second knuckle. But now, everybody fucking knows she is MC Lioness! Everybody except Mr. Pig!”
“I… I… didn’t know really… I repair washers…fat Chuck is gonna fix … fix it, as they say in Alabama… ”
I get a hard-on when somebody else is bathing in shit. Fuck; I get a hard-on also thinking about millions of consumers I screwed and they don’t even know it, at least not until they need to read life, car, household insurance policies properly. MC Lion goes…
“Mr.Pig didn’t know!? Should I nail the banner on the Empire State building or splash our engagement selfie across the front page in the Post? Would motherfucka Pig buy a copy? Pig should ask if it didn’t know!”
When I reach for the ashtray, the glint of MC Lion’s golden chains, fat diamond rings and bracelets blinds me for a short moment.
“Tell me, what would fat pig do if he insulted lion’s girlfriend? We were watching stupid National Geographic documentaries when we were little!!”
Chuck tries with comedy but there’s no audience.
“I guess pig would apologize… Cheers, man!”
“Would lion accept an apology? I have never seen lion accepting an apology from pig!”
Hope this Everest of Alabaman fat won’t hit my shoes when he starts pissing in his pants.
“Pig would run… run… run away…”
“That’s it. What would lion do?”
“Lion would c…c… chase the pig.”
I am privileged; this is better than watching public executions on YouTube, better than listening to my neighbor Maria pleading when her husband bangs on the door in the night. I can almost hear MC Lion’s lungs expanding as he inhales smoke deeply …
“Who is faster?”
“Correct, MC Lion would have time to finish his drink, put the cigar out, high-five everybody in the club and only then would he go out looking for fat Pig. What happens next?”
Fucking Christ, this is better than peeping on girls’ panties on the subway. I will come in my pants without touching myself. Chuck…
“Then lion catches… the… the pig…”
“Excellent answer. A+. Fat Pig isn’t stupid as he looks. Next?”
“And… and… then there is this… this… cloud of sand.”
MC Lion is served JD on the rocks.
“Yep! What do we see when the dust settles down?”
“We see pig’s balls… in…in… lion’s jaws…”
I guess I should feel sorry for Chuck. Do unto others what you wish to be done to you, says the Bible. But in my business we improved it to screw clients and run away before they find out what’s going on. MC Lion…
“Exactly! Now I’m asking you; do we need to run around like idiots a block or two down the avenue? We know the result, don’t we?”
“We…we…we… don’t have to run…”
“See, fat Pig is repairing some garbage, MC Lion is owner and managing director of Dope, Coke, & Meds LLP. In another circumstances we could be buddies. We could load crack and coke in your van and…”
I motion for a refill and in the corner of my eye notice the sweat on Chuck’s face suddenly flushing with light.
“We could repair washing machines!”
MC Lion sips his whiskey.
“Yeah… if you want it that way. We could repair every fucking washing machine from Alabama to Manhattan. We would be kings.”
Hope shines in Chuck’s eyes. Hope of the doomed! For fuck’s sake, these eternally optimistic rednecks never learn a lesson. Even if we were standing naked in the gas chamber, these guys would stare optimistically at the showerheads above us. Oh…oh… we will just take a shower. And then fuck it! No Christmas present. Zyklon B! MC Lion…
“But now it’s different situation, because Mr. Pig stared at MC Lioness’ ass and now dirty Pig needs to go to the loo.”
Chuck slides from his barstool.
“Easy… easy… man. Would I let you rip your balls off with bare hands? Am I such an animal? Are you mistaking me for O.J Simpson or ISIS or what?”
MC Lion hands Chuck a stiletto folding knife.
I watch Chuck’s soaked Hawaiian shirt heading for the toilet. Uh-huh… my pals will have a laugh tomorrow. I will be the star of the office when I tell them what happened here. I was still basking in the glow of tomorrow’s glory when I felt heavy hand on my shoulder.
“What does rat do?”
I freeze, unable to answer. The glow of the cigarette between my lips dies.
“Rat business. Sniffs around, hides, badmouths his colleagues, steals food, throws garbage all around the place and then points the finger at the weak, pregnant and old; sets traps, hits below the belt, shoots in the back, stirs up conflicts, wants to get dick wet without paying the price and then rushes into its rat hole, convinced nobody saw it. Then it sits arrogantly on top of the shit it produced and looks down on all the honest taxpayers while boasting about its wicked achievements.“
I am paralyzed like a rabbit in a python’s cage. My ears switch to MUTE mode except for MC Lion’s deep, slow voice.
“I saw you coming in this joint, but you never found time to talk to me. I thought you were an undercover cop spying on my business, but now I see you’re an undercover asshole. The cops know about my new girlfriend, don’t they?”
I can only manage some shallow breathing, inhaling his violet cologne.
“I suffered a second quarter loss, had cash flow issues and trouble with distribution network, but I never… ever… bothered you with my problems. And now you repay me with grabbing my girlfriend’s ass!”
MC Lion ashes cigar in my ashtray, holding me with his free hand.
“I can easily imagine growing us up together, watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. Tell me what happens?”
Erection long gone, I wet my pants without even feeling it. I hear somebody, maybe myself saying…
“Old Tom gets fucked.”
“Exactly! Is this correct, tell me? Tom Fatcat gets fucked instead of Rat Jerry. That’s why we have madhouses full of nuts wrapped in strait-jackets and a bit more fortunate millions walking around loaded with Prozac and tranquilizers. Why!? Because fucking Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer portrayed stuff way away from reality, serving us lies during the most tender years of our lives. We never see rats fucking cats on the street, do we? What is reality? Tell me.”
Reality TV with Kardashian family asses comes to mind, but I say nothing. I hear ice cubes in MC Lion’s JD crashing like icebergs when he stirs his glass.
“Reality is Fatcat Tom sees everything and never gets fucked. It’s time we exchange business cards, my son.”
Something inside me says, “I am Matevz”.
“Ah… a Pole! What a coincidence! Did you know that one of my best client’s Wall Street executives’ grandmothers was Portuguese!?”
I am not a Pole, but I don’t complain. The fate of my balls is sealed; even if I was the Sultan of Brunei or Queen Elizabeth II or U.S. Defense Secretary it wouldn’t make any difference. If only I was Godfather I, II or III, maybe I could help myself. Chuck staggers from the toilet, puts a bloody knife on the bar, and charges for the exit without looking at us. Suddenly I just want to get it over with. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do! Just do it!! I drain my bourbon and grab the knife when MC Lion stops me, holding my hand compassionately like only Oprah would.
“Listen, Matevz. Am I a savage beast or what? Are you mistaking me for Charles Manson or Freddy Krueger? Tell me.”
I have zero to tell…
“Could we at least expect that redneck to wash the scalpel after using it?”
I shake my head slightly; in fact I notice I am vibrating like a washing machine during the drying cycle.
“Would I let you cut your balls off with a dirty blade? What about Hepatitis B and C? Remote… but still possibility of transmitting HIV? Would I let my Pole bro get infected? Think about it. What would happen with good old mother Poland if all Poles cut their balls off with dirty knives?”
The bartender washes the blade clean under the tap before handing it back to us. And I am on my way to the toilet, feeling warm cigar smoke on my frozen neck.
“Good luck, my son. I always enjoyed doing business with Poles! Hey, why don’t you apply for a job with my firm? With that high-pitched voice you’ll be wonderful at scaring the shit out of my debtors.”
Matevž Honn lives in Shanghai. His short stories have been published in Structo, Haggard and Halloo Magazine, The Artillery of Words, Delivered, Bette Noire Magazine, Short Humour, The Underground Voices, Mush/Mum, and Rogue Particles Magazine. His short story, “The Perfect Day,” is included in the anthology Citizens of Nowhere, published by Bridge House Publishing.