He fumbled with the adult-sized handset as he used his five-year-old hand to lift it from the cradle. Then he reached with the other hand and dialed O like he’d seen countless people do on TV. When Roy brought the earpiece to his ear, the mouthpiece hovered a few inches from his pie-hole.
After two rings, a female identified herself: “Operator.”
Roy used both hands to hike the phone up so he could speak into the mouthpiece. “There’s been a moedoe an’ Janies all hopped up on goofballs.”
* * *
The suicide-blond cocktail waitress appeared just as Mr. Bailey tilted back his head and downed the last of his bourbon.
She asked, “Can I get you folks a refill?”
Her nickel-a-gallon perfume triggered a demure cough from Mrs. Bailey. She tried to mask her hostility toward the waitress with a distorted smile. “Not quite yet thank you.”
The waitress ignored Mrs. Bailey and instead heeded Mr. Bailey as he smirked, enthusiastically nodded and gave her his empty glass.
The waitress winked, grabbed the glass and disappeared. Mrs. Bailey leaned across the table and scowled while she urgently hissed, “Haven’t you had enough? Are you going to embarrass me like that time at the Palooski’s?”
Mr. Bailey didn’t immediately respond; he cracked a goofy smile and gawked at the waitress’s disappearing ass—saddlebag cellulite really revved his engine. When the waitress vanished, he abruptly faced his wife, adopted a serious expression and cleared his throat as he assured her, “You’re so right Fran.”
“Well my goodness!” Mrs. Bailey sighed. “You weren’t even listening to me! That’s the second time tonight!” When she leaned back in her chair the waitress returned with Mr. Bailey’s drink balanced on her tray. It seemed to Mrs. Bailey that the waitress bought Mr. Bailey’s bourbon—at least three shots—much too quickly.
The goofy smile returned to Mr. Bailey’s face. He gazed up at the suicide-blond as she placed the glass with a napkin stuck to the bottom on the table in front of him. She purred at Mr. Bailey as if he was alone: “By the way sugar, my name’s Kitty. Just holler if you need anything.” Mr. Bailey unabashedly followed her with his eyes as she strolled to the next table.
Mrs. Bailey bitterly chuckled. “She’s obviously fishing for tips.”
Mr. Bailey gulped his bourbon, then defensively countered: “Did it ever occur to you that she might just be friendly?”
“I’ve a good mind to report her. Can you just imagine? Being so forward and calling you ‘sugar’ and telling you her name.”
“Well after all, it’s called the hospitality industry.” He took another healthy swig.
“God and I wish you would slow down.”
He drained his glass, then surveyed the room. The dippy smile resurfaced when he found Kitty. He flourished the empty glass and she winked.
Kitty approached their table and retreived Mr. Bailey’s glass. Mrs. Bailey informed the waitress: “I’d like another orange juice please.” Kitty maintained eye contact with Mr. Bailey while she mutely collected Mrs. Bailey’s empty glass.
When Kitty was out of earshot Mrs. Bailey blurted, “So you’re going to get drunk and embarrass me like you did at the Palooski’s?”
Mr. Bailey rolled his eyes. “Jesus Fran, willya give it a rest?”
“Please don’t swear at me. I’m just saying you’re lucky that Frank didn’t punch you in the mouth.”
He was starting to slur his words. “But Betty was obviously flirting with me. Did you notice how she begged me to be her bridge partner?”
“Still, you should have kept your trousers on and that horrid mouth shut.”
Kitty arrived and presented Mr. Bailey with a fresh drink—again at least three shots. She apparently had forgotten the orange juice. Mrs. Bailey used a polite but cold tone to remind Kitty of her drink.
Kitty’s sight was fixed on Mr. Bailey as she distractedly answered, “Orange juice? Oh yeah. Right away.”
The waitress started to leave but Mr. Bailey grabbed her arm.
“Lemmee tell you something Kitty.”
Kitty giggled and leaned forward.
Mr. Bailey also giggled as he indicated Mrs. Bailey with a jerk of his head. “Every word that comes out of that woman’s mouth is like a turd in my whiskey.” He maniacally cackled.
Mrs. Bailey silently stood and calmly walked away.
Mr. Bailey looked up at Kitty and, through sputtering laughter, managed to ask, “Where do you think she went?”
Kitty still giggled. “Probably the sandbox to powder her nose—you know how us ladies are. Listen sweetheart, you just let me know when you need another drink.”