James Early, Humor Columnist
Last Friday night I didn’t go streaking in the park or skinny-dipping in the dark. I also didn’t have a menage a trois, unless you consider both of one’s hands as separate entities, in which case I menage’d the hell outta my trois. No, I was awoken by the sudden opening of my cell door. A single diminutive figure struck a pose in the doorway, a dark silhouette surrounded by a glaring light. It was my Editor (May Her Name Be Praised!) and she was glorious. Mockingly, she tossed me a wad of cash and muttered something like, “Here are your back wages. (She snorted here, a divine sort of amused sound akin to the honking of fleeing geese) Not that they’ll do you much good down here.” I laughed, clutching the seemingly worthless bundle of paper, and continued to laugh as the door was slammed in my face.
Quickly, I took up my stony brother (a prize from my earlier debate with the opposite wall) and dashed him against the shackle that bound me. Once, twice, thrice I rallied him against the cursed iron bands and on that final blow I was released. Quicker still I dashed him through the small basement window and crawled up into the cold night’s air. I was free, and with my newfound monetary wealth, I was headed to the first place any escapee would head: Water Street.
My journey was straightforward and without incident. I avoided any police, for despite my predicament, I feared the paperwork that any pleas for help would yield. Worse still, I have heard drinking heavily in the local police headquarters is forbidden, directly violating my Hallow’s Eve plans. Water Street, paved with a thin film of underage vomit and lined with tottering sluts, beckoned me from a distance, and I ran barefoot and raggedly-dressed to greet it’s quite literally intoxicating embrace.
The first establishment I entered was overflowing with bros, biddies and the general assortment of minors one would expect in a college town bar. After spending what seemed like an eternity to jockey my way into position at the bar, I was waylaid by several giggling freshmen, all eager to guess what a handsome (albeit bedraggled and bearded) upperclassman was dressed up for this spooky Hallow’s Eve. “An Englishman,” one ventured, smacking away so loudly on a piece of chewing gum that it formed an accompaniment to the obnoxious bass of the music. “No, a prisoner or somethin’,” another butted in, pausing between words to suck down well vodka and mango rum. “Fuck all, I’m both, ladies. Now excuse me, but neither of you are remotely attractive yet. Try again in 30 minutes after I’ve had three…four more drinks,” I replied as genteel as I could.
Freed from their nattering, I managed to expend a fair few dollar on watered down alcohol before realizing that a pint-sized friend of mine had shuffled in next to me. Perched atop a bar stool (an epic feat for one so small, I should think), he offered to purchase me several drinks provided we relocated to a finer establishment just down the road. I thought to decline, since my father always insisted it was unwise to owe a hobbit (or a leprechaun, I cannot recall which) a single drink, let alone several. Of course, the smell of hair gel and shamelessness oozing off these crowded masses was more than enough to convince me to ignore the wisdom of my elders on this unique occasion.
So, with a deep breath and a steeling of will, I turned to face the crowds between me and the door. I let out a fierce and semi-erotic chattering sound, repeating it as I advanced forward. Biddies and brocks and even bouncers leapt out of my way, clearing a path. I felt as though I was a modern day Moses, parting the Red Sea, only that sea probably smelled a little less fishy than the patrons of that establishment.
A dimly-remembered jaunt later and we were at a place called Rail Benders. It was small yet roomy, quiet and somehow teeming with life. A quick glance explained these paradoxes; no freshmen clogged up the bars, no music blared overhead and the remaining patrons were there to drink, converse and forget. And I assure you, my readers, having spent too many months in the confines of my cell I desired nothing more than to do all three of those things in excess. And I did.
This is the sad part of my tale, my children. Upon waking the next morning, I felt rather confined. Newly installed bars cut apart the sun’s rays as they passed through my cell window. My ankle was cast again, this time in steel. My hands are now bound unless I am writing or attempting a “ménage a trois.” For your benefit, dear reader, I will end my adventure here, lest my tears become translated to text and your days become plagued with sorrow. Farewell until next time.