Ernie: Clearly Vomit is a master of the creative nonfiction genre. I've taken a few classes myself and while this doesn't have the sex angle his story did, you and your readers may enjoy it just the same. Joe
The girls on the barstools next to me are pretty drunk. Pretty and drunk, but that isn't unusual for Captain Curt's, where tourists can stumble back to their rental or call a free taxi when they've had a bit too much. I'm having a late lunch and a single glass of beer. I'm trying to mind my own business, but the furthest one from me, I'll call her Cutie, is showing her mother how to shoot Patron. “Mom, it's salt, Tequila, then lime,” she instructs. “I'm not going to live another year” she adds and I'm thinking “If you keep pounding Patron at that rate, you're not going to live another hour.” Drunken prattle. Soon they're in tears; the eye-watery type. Nothing unusual. When Cutie's distracted, mom tells me her daughter has a terminal brain tumor. She's known about it, but just got the news from her daughter that she'll be dead within the year. When Cutie stumbles across the bar to literally hang on some fellow drinkers, her mother interrupts our conversation with “Sorry, but she has seizures and I've got to keep an eye on her.”
They politely refuse my offer of a ride and a friend arrives to drive them home. She has a shot while Mom keeps watch across the bar. Chris, our baritone-voiced bartender, let's them know Cutie is cut off. It's 4:30 in the afternoon. When Mom isn't much fun at the two-step, Cutie drags me off my stool for some instruction. She's in her mid-twenties, beautiful smile, and has a lovely figure. She's a hell of a dancer for a drunk with no music playing and has me dip her three times. We earn a polite round of applause from the bar when she's through with me. I try to place her back on her barstool, but her spine has apparently turned to mush. I pour her into a nearby chair. She's having difficulty holding her head up. Spilling out of the chair and onto the concrete, mom's feared seizure arrives. Not the extremities-twitching mouth-foaming type; just an eye glaze and slump. A balding and bearded man barges onto the scene. “What's the matter with you people,” he bellows, “can't you see she needs a doctor?” “Please,“ Mom begs, “don't call. They'll take her to the hospital and she'll hate me for it.”
I gently attempt to explain to Mr. Helpful that our charge is merely drunk and terminally ill, but he's hearing none of it. He punches his cellphone with an indignant finger. So what if she dies? I can sure think of a lot worse ways to go than surrounded by my intoxicated friends and family and teaching strangers the two-step. How about bald and weak from chemotherapy? How about not eating and speaking for months like my mom before she died? How about like my graceful figure skating brother before his astrocytoma made him clumsy, hallucinatory, and dead at 48? No thanks, asshole; we got this. Even if she croaks. At Mom's behest, another patron carries Cutie to the car. I stall Driver at her door; I would like the rescue squad to take a look at her before she goes. Sirens. I'm gonna get my wish. Cutie's out of the seat and onto the blacktop again by the time they hook her up. She's spit up a little. They promise to not take her to the hospital if she cools off in the back of their truck. Sobbing softly, she agrees. Mr. Helpful starts barking over the fence between the bar and parking lot, upsetting Mom. I let him know I've heard all I'm going to hear from him today and he lets me know he's not afraid of a younger and much less drunk man than he is. Chris has heard enough from both of us. It's the closest I've come to a fistfight in 30 years.
I ask Chris for a bucket to clean up the blacktop after Cutie. “Just spit, no chunks,” I said. He fills it and says, “I got this.” Driver tells me Cutie's in the Navy. She kept having the seizures and they found her tumor with a subsequent MRI exam, and that's what I tell the folks at the bar when they ask. Mr. Helpful has wisely retreated. The squad pulls away and Driver follows, but they're apparently not going towards Cutie's condo. I'm walking down to the ice cream store to get a single dip chocolate brownie in a cake cone to eat on the way home. Its furious melting reminds me of a new friend.
This is, I believe, what happens when you teach firearm safety instead of wallowing in ignorance. So yes, if you own firearms and have children of shooting age, teach them how to safely handle a firearm. And if you trust them to handle themselves in am emergency situation alone, allow them access to your firearm safe. But remember, as the firearm owner it's your ass on the line if things go sideways.
Here's a... well... challenging photo challenge. I'd like to see if anyone can give me an idea what house might be for sale.
An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Since the date of the first Sunday of Advent varies, falling between November 27 and December 3 inclusive, the Advent calendar usually begins on December 1, although many include the previous few days that are part of the season. The Advent calendar was first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries but is now ubiquitous among adherents of many Christian denominations. Many Advent calendars take the form of a large rectangular card with windows or pockets, of which there are usually 24, one for each day of December leading up to and including Christmas Eve. Me? I'd prever the Ginvent Calendar myself.