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I love bar conversations. Filled with inaccuracies and urban legends and spoken with absolute confidence, they have provided me with a lot of material. In my newest short story TC, Rocco and the two Jerries are at again.

Like many bar discussions there’s a shread, well, actually a tiny sliver of truth and reality being kicked around. Everyone is an expert, everyone joins in and everyone is right. that’s how these discussions go. Never mind that you don’t know the topic bar goers feel the need to join and let their voices heard. My guys, the Fearsome Foursome have been at it nightly for years.

Here’s an excerpt from DUFFY TO THE RESCUE featuring the bar regulars discussing David Caradine’s death.

It was the guy from Fondue,” TC said confidently.

“What?” Jerry Number One said.

“That show about karate. Fondue.” TC said.

I had just gotten in to AJ’s after sparring. I got hit a lot and my head had that unpleasant dull ache. Sometimes getting hit made your head kind of warm and lightly pulsating, which I kind of liked. This wasn’t one of those times.

“There used to be this blind old Chinese guy and he would make the grasshopper snatch the pebbles,” TC said.

“That grasshopper must’ve been on steroids,” Jerry Number Two managed to say in between Cosmo sips.

I held the cold Schlitz to my forehead and it felt wonderful. I debated whether to join the Foursome conversation. I always did. Their conversations often became a vortex that could suck you in and drain the intelligence right out of you.

“Kung Fu.” I said “The fucking show was called ‘Kung Fu’ and it starred David Carradine.” I probably could’ve done without the vulgar expletive but my head hurt.

“You sure, Duff?” TC said. “That doesn’t sound right.”

“But a TV show named after a melted dairy product does?” Rocco said. He sounded annoyed. Rocco lived life annoyed.

“Nevertheless the show was cheesy,” Jerry Number Two said.

“Anyways, the karate guy in the show killed himself in an act of autoapixalation,” TC said.

AJ’s Tavern went silent. The TV, set on Sportscenter and the loud ice maker, created the only sounds. The two Jerry’s, Rocco and AJ the bartender stared at TC.

“Autopixalation. It’s when guys try to whack off by hanging themselves.” TC said.

Silence.

“Autoeroticism.” Jerry Number Two said.

Silence.
“If you hang yourself or cut off oxygen to your brain you get a really intense orgasm. The trick is stopping the asphyxiation before death”.
Silence.

“How freakin’ lazy can ya be?” Rocco said.

“Autoeroticism? I think I did that on prom night. Made a mess in my brother’s Dodge Dart.” TC said.

I slid my empty in front of me and AJ replaced it. I rubbed
my eyebrows with my thumb and forefinger and tried to get the visual of a pubescent TC on prom night soiling his brother’s Dodge Dart out of my head. I tried to think of Aaron Boone’s home run, Elvis’s Hawaii concert and Notre Dame beating Miami. Nothing worked.