Sunday, December 20, 2015

Roscoe
© By Jack Bogut

Roscoe Randell (emphasis on “DELL”) was a rather pretentious, odd looking, used car salesman. He resembled a groundhog; short, pudgy, given to waddling when he walked and rubbing his belly when he talked.  What he had gained in nose he’d lost in chin.  In fact, his lower lip appeared to start at his Adam's Apple. Why he insisted on wearing loud clothing that called attention to himself we didn't know. 
            He was sitting on the stool next to the wall closest to the kitchen in Big Sky Café when two “Working girls" came in.  The man sitting next to Roscoe was big as a house, so Crystal and B.J. didn’t see Roscoe when they came in.  Roscoe counted his blessings, because he knew they'd give him a bad time if they laid eyes on his latest outfit; a pink, electric blue, red and green, floppy sleeved, Hawaiian shirt, a white straw hat with a pheasant feather next to the golf tee in the band and the brim turned up all the way around, a pair of black, Buddy Holly sunglasses floating over a two week old mustache that looked like dark wooly-bugger with a hernia.  To complete the ensemble, Roscoe had chosen a pair of white and green plaid pants, with brown and white saddle oxfords. 
            Roscoe nervously wolfed down his food and laid too much money on the counter so he could get up and leave when the big guy next to him was done eating.  He thought he could walk behind him, hidden from the girls until he got out the door.  Fat chance! 
            There must have been a flash of color that caught the eye of one of them, because she stood up until she could see Roscoe and said,
            "Well, what in the world do we have here?  Crystal, look.  Isn't he cute?"
            "Oh my goodness, B.J.  He looks just like a two legged dessert.  What's your name sweetheart?"
            Roscoe was struck dumb and started to turn red like a thermometer in the sun, playing right into their hands.
            Then some bigmouth said, "Why that's Roscoe Randell.  Don't you girls know him?"
            A look of total surprise and delight came over B.J. and Crystal.
            "No. We haven't had the PLEASURE," they said with a grin, both stepping back and slinking toward a retreating Roscoe.
            "What was that name, again?"
            "Uh, Roscoe Randell," he mumbled.
            "Rosco? Randell?  Well, you are just about the cutest thing we've seen in this town," they said as they each took a hand and tried to get him to skip down the aisle.
            Roscoe looked was looking a little shaky when they asked, "Why don't you come home with us?"
            And then, because he didn't know what else to say, Roscoe blurted out the dumbest question he could have asked: "Where do you girls live?"
            I'll bet it took Sky and his people twenty minutes to clean up the mess.  Coffee was spilled; plates were pushed off the counter; water glasses toppled as waves of laughter rolled through B.S. Cafe like surf.  And with that, both girls leaned over and, one on each side, put a big, red, loud, indelible kiss on both sides of Roscoe's face.

            If embarrassment could have been terminal, the poor guy would have been dead on the spot.  The last we saw of Roscoe that day, he was headed down the street, wiping his cheeks with a paper napkin in each hand.




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