Three Guys in a Bar

“Now Lassie, you’ve got to pay attention to me when I’m trying to show you something.”

A middle-aged man, looking like he’d just walked down the gangplank of a Viking ship, nudged the young woman standing beside him.

“Lucy? Did you hear me?”

“I can’t help it Uncle Alistair. See that guy over there?” She motioned with a nod of her head, in the direction of the back corner. “He hasn’t said a word since he came in here and sat down.”

“Go talk to him, then.”

“He could be a gangster or a drug lord, for all we know. Why else would a guy walk into a bar unless he’s here to drink?”

She kept staring at the man, dressed all in black, hunched over the table, hands wrapped around the serviette dispenser. Once in a while, he’d let go, but just long enough to twist his wrist around, checking his watch for the time.

“It’s Christmas Eve,” Lucy said. “Why isn’t he at home?”

Alistair kept polishing the bar top with a checkered dish towel. “We get all types in here. We’re the watering hole for all the animals that strayed from their herd.”

The bell above the door tinkled as two other men walked in. One wore a crackled leather jacket and a scar across half of his face. The other made Fred Astaire look a few pounds overweight. He wore a tuxedo and top hat, twirling some sort of walking cane in his hand. They both sat down at the bar, leaving an empty seat between them.

Alistair asked them, “What can I get you gentlemen?”

Lucy stood in front of the man wearing the leather jacket. “Wow. How’d you get that scar?”

Scar Guy showed her a quicksilver smile. He glanced over at the man sitting a couple of stools over. “That cane of yours. It’s an Indian walking stick, right?”

Skinny Dude rubbed his grey chin. “Chief Crazy Yellow Feathers gave it to me. Knew him a long time ago. I saved his life.”

“Begging pardon sir,” Scar Guy said, “but you don’t seem like the hiking-across-the-wilderness type.”

“Can’t judge a book by its cover, especially when its wearing a disguise.” He flicked a speck of fluff from the rim of his hat.

Lucy shimmied on down to stand across from the Skinny Dude. “Why are you dressed like that?”

“I was supposed to join up with some old friends at a retirement home. They’re having some kind of black-tie bingo party.”

“Sounds like fun,” Scar Guy said.

“Not when all the widows consider me to be the most eligible bachelor. I’m eighty-two years old. Never been married and want to keep it that way.”

Scar Guy whistled. “You’re an endangered species my friend.”

“Did a lion do that to your face?” Lucy asked.

“No. Nothing so romantic as that.”

Alistair tapped Lucy on the shoulder and whispered in her ear. “Leave the man alone.”

“So, what happened?” Lucy asked.

The man in the corner leaned back in his chair and raised both of his arms in the air. “Maybe it’s none of your business.”

Skinny Dude said, “Now just a minute…”

Sombre Male approached the bar, waving his hands. “You’ll have to excuse me. I’ve been in a monastery. I took an oath of silence for three years.”

Alistair said, “Let me guess. Your time’s up, eh Laddie?”