Holy shit, this was something entirely different than what I had imagined. This is an incredibly seedy looking bar – with some kind of backwoods music blaring out of it. I was hoping maybe a cozy little tavern with dim romantic lighting, a place where two people could have a decent conversation and get to know each other – I mean discuss business.
Instead, I see drunks, pimps and hookers loitering about the parking lot. What was that? It sounded like a gunshot down the block. Damn, I didn’t bring my Glock either. Age reversal made me look like a 25-year-old, but my memory may still be that of an 82-year-old? I sure forget a lot of things. But that’s probably why they wanted me to install a consciousness implant into my brain, duh.
Damn it, here I was dreaming up this romantic and mysterious randevú - instead, I might get robbed, murdered and ground up into breakfast sausages and no one would ever be the wiser. Gee, he did say cash only, and to bring it only in hundred dollar bills, maybe I didn’t think this one out as well as I should have. So I must ask myself, should I be surprised, just another bitter disappointment heading my way.
How could I be so careless? I’m a Marine Colonel for Heaven's sake, was I completely mesmerized by his sexy voice over the phone? Okay, I plead guilty. But this just doesn’t add up, I mean didn’t sound like a primitive asshole. He sounded very polite and sweet. That’s why I brought the money with me. He sounded like he was really interested in taking on my mission. Even though I haven’t told him shit about it. I have to just move forward, see what happens.
Right now choices are running short anyway because about every climbing outfit I approached would start to roll their eyes when I explained to them what I wanted to do. They all said I was completely loony or a total moron. And despite my steadfast zeal in my quest, they’re haunting laughter still echoes through my mind. I’m sure you can hear it too, that feature is turned on I think. Hello are you there? Damn implant doesn’t seem to be responding again.
Anyhow, my explanation never went over very well – Not to mention they all thought it was utter suicide anyway. I would need special permission to just get a guided tour to only specific areas. If not, I would be met with deadly force by UN security forces if I tried to go it alone.
So here I am, outside of this sleazy joint called, "Shit Kicker Saloon." I wasn’t sure if that was a cigar or a turd rotating above that ridiculous sign. And look at this parking lot, it looks like a ladies of the night convention. And why are they all just staring at me?
Okay, it’s the outfit, I hope they don’t ask for a membership card. Well at least it’s one business that survived the economic crash. Even the sex bot industry barely put a dent in it. But look at the these women, many look ravaged by drug use and abuse by their pimps and johns. Well, I’m going to have to walk past them no matter what, remember no fighting.
“Who’s this bitch?” A scratchy voice from the bunch screams.
Wouldn’t you know it, there’s always one loudmouth in the crowd. Okay stay steady, keep walking, don’t make eye contact, just look straight ahead and walk right past her.
“Hey bitch, who said you can trick here?!” pointing her finger with the bad fake nail job. That thing looked like a sloth claw. Right now I wish she would just climb up some tree and go away.
Look, you’re almost there – keep going. And most importantly keep you’re mouth shut, come on, you can do it!
"Do you fucking hear me?!" She starts walking towards me. Oh my God, what kind of clown outfit is she wearing? Oh gee – her body is shaped like Mr. Peanut, and the leopard spandex leotard certainly highlights those skinny knobby legs. Is that George Washington’s wig she’s wearing? She aggressively gets into my face, I can see razor stubble on her chin, or should I say his chin.
“Listen bitch, this ain't no swap meet where anybody can just stroll on in. No independents can come in here, you got that?!” screaming with that foul smelling breath, I can see a lot of missing teeth going on in there too.
“This is Tomcat’s turf, so you need his permission to sell your monkey here!”
I finally have to turn away from this assault to my sense of smell. And I particularly don't need all this attention being drawn on to me right now. Have to shut this trouble maker down quickly. I know, I’ll head around the corner of the building, I quickly turn towards the alleyway – this should work again. I peek back, okay here comes the dumb ass following me like I had hoped.
“Where you going bitch? I ain’t done talking to you!” says Miss. Trans Peanut.
Just as he turns the corner I plant one good right hook to the chin – he tips over like a board, just like in a cartoon. His eyes are glazed, but his damn mouth is still moving. Nothing coming out though, oh wait – he’s snoring. Okay he’ll be out for a while, enough time to get into the bar.
As I get to the entrance, the double doors burst open and some guy is thrown out into the parking lot. He rolls up to my feet and ends up face down in a muddy puddle. He smells like a brewery. Then some big brute with a tight black muscle t-shirt stalks out and tosses out a black cowboy hat into the parking lot, “And don’t come back till your sober asshole!” He wipes his hands clean and lumbers back in.
Obviously a bouncer just doing his job of clearing out the drunks. As I step over the unconscious guy I notice a gold band on the hat – oh shit! – exactly what Phillips said he was going to be wearing!
No – no – no! The guy’s face is submerged in a muddy puddle, bubbles seep up around his head. He’s totally out cold and quite possibly drowning in a five inch deep puddle. This can’t be him! Oh please don’t let this be him!
I lean over the drowning drunk and pull his head back by his hair, “Phillips?” He responds with some coughing than a snore. This guy was much older than I had imagined, 50'is I guess. He’s obviously one of the age reversal hold outs. Not everyone elected to use the life extension technology, different strokes for different folks I guess.
What the Hell am I going to do now? I’m stuck out at this disgusting meat market with all of this cash on me. Then some inebriated joker leaning against a parked car heads over and starts to rummage through the poor old fool’s pockets and slipping items into his own pockets – I think there’s a robbery in progress here. He rolls the guy over onto his back to search his front pockets. He opens up the saps wallet and finds no cash in it, he mumbles “No wonder they threw the bum out, he’s tapped out.”
Looking over at me, “You know him honey?”
“Nick Phillips,” I reply reluctantly.
He checks the drivers license.
He shakes his head, “Barney Bates, this ain’t your man!” handing me the wallet.
I begin thinking the worse as I examine the driver’s license. This could still be him, maybe he uses an alias. Barney Bates; 54 years old, 6' 1'' 185 pounds, Tulsa Oklahoma, he’s a long way from home. This is a class A license, so he’s a trucker. Thank God he’s a trucker! I’m so relieved this isn’t another dead end, there’s still hope. I hand the driver’s wallet back to the drunk robber, why I’m not sure. I wonder if this makes me an accomplice to a robbery?
The big bouncer pushes the door open for me with a grin, "Hey baby, are you coming in?
I beeline to the entrance, but he blocks the door with his huge body causing me to bounce off him.
“Not so fast baby, they’ll be 40 bucks for your sellers permit, cash only.”
"Huh? 40 bucks for my sellers permit? The jerk is looking me up and down like I’m just a piece of meat!
“Yeah, that's the standard to sell your wares in here. I don't remember seeing you hanging around here before. You must be new here. You’re pretty hot though, you’ll do real good in here.”
Like everyone else he thinks I'm a prostitute, and he's side hustling me to boot. Well you know what, that’s his freaking problem, what’s the old saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover,” he’s asking to end up with a higher voice octave for his stupid assumption, dumb ass!
Okay, calm down, I can’t start any more trouble out here, I need to get in there, just have to pay this jerk the money. I pull out a couple of twenties and slap them on his chest with utter contempt of course. His eyes open up with a bit of surprise, and slowly peels the money off while intensely glaring at me. Kind of like a bull before he gores you.
I screwed up, I'm not getting in, why couldn't I just of maintained myself? I realize I have some pent up anger towards men – I mean assholes in general.
But you know what, to my surprise, the serious scowl quickly turns into a light smile on the big ape! Something I bet few have ever seen on this guy, especially at 2 am closing time.
He pulls the door open for me and says, “That’s what I like, a babe with attitude, a pleasure doing business with you honey,” holy crap, I’m in shock, but you never know how something will play out. But I swear if he slaps my ass on the way in, I’ll have to kick a field goal with his balls.