“What’ll it be?” the bartender asked me. I looked around at the people surrounding me. A beautiful blonde. A tall good looking brunette. A guy with pecs that could crush me between them should I let my gaze linger too long.

“I’ll have a vodka cranberry.” I said.

Mr. pecs with a head started laughing. “Vodka cranberry? These girls are drinking stronger drinks than that.”

“Heavy on the cranberry,” I told the bartender.

Mr. pecs with a head grabbed his six-pack gut and started laughing and making jokes in an effort to draw more attention to my girly little drink.

The beautiful blonde turned to me, “that is pretty weak-sauce.”

I just looked at her. And smiled.

The bartender looked at me with eyebrows raised as if to say, you sure you want this? I can pour you a shot of knock-ya-dead right now to get these guys off your back.

I gave him a look that said, “there better not be too much vodka in that.”

He handed me the drink. I took a sip.

The tall brunette turned to me. “I think your drink is fine.”

I just looked at her. And smiled.

And then I went and sat with my friends at our table, anxious to start karaoke. Behind me I could hear Mr. pecs with a head demand the strongest drink the bartender had. I didn’t have to turn around to know that the bartender was smiling in anticipation of the torture he was about to dish out. And so was the blonde. She’d seen this show a time or two.

I sipped that vodka cranberry for the next 90 minutes. I was loose. I was comfortable. Loose and comfortable was all I wanted to be. In the middle of it all, I stood up and did the most amazing karaoke rendition of Bright Lights by Matchbox 20 this world has ever seen.

I was still thirsty, so I went back and ordered an ice water. The pretty blonde had moved over a few seats and now sat beside the tall brunette. Mr. pecs with a head was slouched over the bar, working on another drink, obviously about to lose his lunch.

“How’d that drink treat you?” the blonde asked in a friendly way, and then she laughed.

I looked at her. And smiled. “What can I say,” I replied back to her. “I happen to like fruity drinks. They go well with my just-below-normal-sized muscles.”

She started laughing harder. So did the brunette. Twenty minutes later they both were over at our table with us, laughing, planning out our next group karaoke number with us. I never did see what happened to Mr. pecs with a head. At some point he disappeared.

A week later I was at a friends house and the subject of guns came up between a couple of other guys. You should feel the kick on my bad-a-mother-gun-something-something the first guy said. It’ll knock you flat on your butt.

The other guy said, “that’s nothing man. I have a bad-a-mother-gun-something-something that could put a hole through three hippopotamuses (my words, not his).

They then argued about who’s bad-a-mother-gun-something-something was the most bad-a-mother-awesome-whatever-whatever. All the girls in the room were rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. It obviously wasn’t the first time these two had tangoed.

“Pearce, you have a gun?” one of them finally said, turning to me.

I looked at him and squinted my eyes, giving him a slight nod. “Hell yeah,” I said.

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