Friday, January 29, 2010

8/4/76 - 14

Jenny had not returned. I turned to Jim.

"We should go or something."

Rick was mesmerized by the set-break show. A W. C. Fields short played now. The ornery man's tiny eyes peered out at us from his pale, bulbous face and a ludicrous top hat teetered on the edge of his head. I couldn't bear to look.

"Rick," I said.

No response.



"Dontcha wanna go find Jenny?"

"Jenny," he repeated airily, his eyes gravitating back to the screen.

"Let's just go," Jim said to me.

"Yeah, let's go. Let's get up and go."

Jim and I stood up.

"Rick, up. Up, man. Up," said Jim.

Very slowly, without losing sight of the movie, Rick uncrossed his legs and got up.

"What about the fucking beers?" I asked.

"Drink 'em," said Jim. "Chug 'em."

There were nine beers left. We started drinking as fast as we could. Onstage the movie ended and the lights came on. There appeared a man holding the hand of a tuxedo-clad chimp. He introduced him as Mr. Jiggs. There was a pitiable crackle of applause. Mr. Jiggs scampered around on roller skates, knocking heedlessly into mic stands and monitors.

I hiccuped and opened up another can. "This is pretty weird," I said.

Mr. Jiggs lit a cigarette. Some in the crowd laughed. Others booed. He blew smoke into his master's face. Then he got on a little motorcycle and rode around in circles. A venomous roar erupted from the audience. Finally Mr. Jiggs mixed himself a martini and gulped it down at once.

"Get out! Go home!" someone shouted. Man and chimp were rained on by glow sticks and change.

"They hate the chimp," Rick said hollowly. "They really hate him."

"Ready to go?" said Jim. "Let's go."

We took our last beers with us and headed out the back of the field.