Something goes right – for a change


I always get things wrong.

Six feet four inches, 215-pounds of perpetual mistakes.

Everybody in high school assumed I would do well on the grid iron when I couldn’t make heads or tails of study.

I proved them wrong when I flubbed the big Thanksgiving Day game against Garfield and picked up the nickname “Wrong-Headed Joe.”

Eventually, I settled into a job I couldn’t screw up much loading trucks and lived in a rooming house where people tolerated by foibles even getting to like me some out of pity.

In the Red Baron, I get along well enough with the guys who kids me but don’t pick on me the way they used to in high school.

Women, unfortunately, bring out the worse in me.

I can’t speak right.

I can’t think.

And if I move an inch, I set things into motion that threaten to destroy the known universe.

So when the pretty blonde bomb shell named Michele sits next to me and asks me if I would like to buy her I drink, I foresee disaster, gripping the sides of my barstool, hoping I can ride out world’s end without hurting anybody.

As usual, my mouth won’t work.

When I reach for my beer to help lubricate my dry mouth, my cuff hits the pitcher sending a flood of foam into her lap.

Her expression changes so many times and displays so many emotions, for a minute I mistake her for a movie werewolf at full moon.

But she doesn’t speak. She just gets up and moves off to the ladies room to clean up.

Some of my friends laugh, but most look sad.

The pig-faced stand-in for Java the Hut laughs out right believing my clumsiness has improved his chances at scoring with the blonde – when nothing short of massive plastic surgery, a generous genie in a bottle and the sale of his first born to Satan would ever accomplish that.

The barmaid rushes over to repair the damage, an unsympathetic part time woman who sees me as something marginally less dangerous than the black plague. She wipes away the mess then bravely asks if I want a refill, her hopes dashed when I say yes.

I figure I’ll need something better than a keg to wash the humiliation out of me.

Why can’t I be normal, someone who gets over bad habits.

I’m normal in ever other respect, aching to get laid just like the next guy, but always managing to screw up the mating ritual with stunts like this.

When Michele comes back, she avoids me, Java the Hut, and the handful of other scumbags who leer at her from various corners of the bar.

She eventually settles down among my friend who make her laugh with the ludicrous tales of my life as I proceed to get drunk.

I’m drinking my way to oblivion when her hands settles on my shoulder a few beers later. She asks if I carried disaster insurance, then sighs when I think she is serious and I tell her sadly, I do not.

She tells me to come along, but that she’s driving.

When I ask her where, she makes a face and says the local motel, then mumbles something about hoping she survives

Me, too, I say, but I hurry after her, thinking maybe something might go right – for a change.


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