Earl walks through the door of the bar with a new found spring in his step. “Hi traveller,” I call to him. He makes his way to my table and pulls up a chair. “Welcome home Earl. While you were touring the red light districts of Asia your brother became the Father of twins. This makes you an Uncle, in stereo. Congratulations.”
“Thanks. Yeah, twins. My brother, he sticks it all the way in.”
“Okay,” I say resignedly, “Let me buy you a beer,”
This is another insight into Earl’s unique take on any and all things which cross his mind. Over time I learned two things. His middle name is Riddle and I reckon his parents’ choice of same was prophetic. Also it was a waste of breath to argue the point with him or put a different view. It’s easier to buy him a beer.
As we clink glasses I say, “Congratulations again. Be sure to pass on my congrats to your brother.”
“Yeah, my brother, he sticks it all the…”
“No,” I interrupt him. “It was bad the first time you said it. Don’t say it again.” It’s time to change the subject. “Tell me about your Oriental holiday.” This is going to be risky. I mean the guy’s email address starts, earlthelazystud.
“What do you want to know?”
“The kind of travel you did, it’s called sex tourism.”
“Cultural Exchange tourism.”
“Did you use condoms?” Earl nods slightly. “Condoms don’t count as culture. You shagged your way across the fleshpots of Asia. We both know it.”
“To promote understanding and co-operation between our great peoples,” states Earl grandiosely.
“Who told you that?”
“Per the time honoured, intimate, one-on-one model.”
“No you don’t. It’s all about you having a good time. Completely self-centred and selfish.”
“Had a shag for you.”
“How…how is that even humanly possible?”
“I made sure I didn’t enjoy it.”
Barry O’Farrell (@BarryO_Tweet) is an Australian actor who sometimes writes.
Barry’s stories have appeared in Cyclamens & Swords, The Flash Fiction Press, A Story In 100 Words, 101 Words, 50 Word Stories, Writers Grapevine and of course here in The Dirty Pool.