a bunch of the boys were hanging out in the back room of old ben budge’s billiard parlor and general store..
a big storm was brewing in the mountains.
a battered old buick pulled up in front of the billiard parlor.
a city slicker with a waxed mustache, wearing a bearskin coat, got out of the buick.
a blonde bombshell made herself comfortable in the back seat.
sure you don’t want to come inside? the city slicker asked her.
no thank you. i have better things to do than get ogled by a bunch of yokels. and whistled at by a lot of werewolves and catcalled by cavemen and zicked on by zombies.
suit yourself. i thought you might like to get out and stretch your legs.
that’s all i am to you, isn’t it, just a pair of legs? just a pair of legs to whistle at that you can show off to the boys in the back room.
all right, if that is the way you feel. you want something to drink? a sasparilla, maybe, or an ice cold coca cola?
a mrs barker’s old fashioned root beer would be nice.
all right, i will see if they have one. and with that, the city slicker turned and went into the store.
the city slicker, whose name was bradley barrington iii, decided to take his time palavering in the store, to give the blonde bombshell time to get out of the car and start hitchhiking up the road or down the road or wherever she wanted too go.
he had picked her up in tallahassee on his way to waycross georgia. he had never thought she would
stick with him as far as richmond or baltimore, let alone all the way up to these dark hills where the apocalypse was about to unfold.
the blonde bombshell, whose name was betty bolanski, watched bradley barrington iii enter the store. she opened her purse and took out a small but sleekly molded pearl handled revolver and checked to see if it was loaded, even though she knew it was.
i will give him a few minutes she thought, to get palavering with his pals.
bradley entered the billiard parlor door. the billiard parlor was deserted, but he could hear voices in the back room. the door to the back room was open and he walked in.
ben and the boys were sitting around the old stove, which was unlit. the cracker barrel glowered from a corner, with an ice chest setting peaceably beside it.
what can we do for you, mister? old ben budge asked him.
well, i was just passing through, and i wondered where this road went?
it don’t go nowhere, it stays right where it is.
i guess i will stay on it then, bradley smiled. say, are they any zombies in these parts?
no, sir, we know how to treat them in these parts. we take proper care of our business. you got no worries on that score.
i like that coat, mister, bob dobie said. you shoot that bear yourself?
why, yes, i did, as a matter of fact. i had some help, though.
you had some help.
yes, a bunch of us fellows from beta omega pi went on a shoot in siberia -
what kind of pie was that again? blueberry possum pie?
- and i was lucky enough to bag one - one big enough for all five of us to make coats . of course, we had a native guide and he was a splendid fellow and did most of the work.
i think it was a hard thing, mister, bob dobie said, that you shot that bear yourself instead of giving a poor man work.
yes, bradley agreed. but we did not actually sew up the coats ourselves so there was some work there, you know.
this is all well and good, mister, old ben budge said, but this is a store after all. did you want to buy something?
yes, i would like an ice cold coca cola, if you have one.
a nice cold coca cola?
no, an ice cold coca cola - ice, as in, there was ice on the windshield because use it was thirty below zero.
not, nice, like, that gal has got nice legs?
well, mister, ice or nice, either way, if you just give me a nickel you can help yourself from that ice chest over there, which as you can see says coca-cola right on it.
barrington made his escape with the green bottle of coca-cola, which was, in fact, quite cold. he had nothing to complain of there.
what a pack of neanderthals, he thought. hopefully the apocalypse will wash them all away.
the sky had gotten noticeably darker in the short time he had been in the store.
as he had hoped, betty bolanski was gone. with a sigh of relief, he got into the buick and turned it around and got back on the highway.
a flash of lightning split the sky.