Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Commerical Break

"Time for a commercial break."
He didn't let out the usual sigh as he'd seen this episode before. He already knew the ending, but it was worth a watch. It was an old movie with Hale Berry and George Clooney, the young cop....young enough not to be doing Gevalia coffee ads or owning a second home on Lago Di Como. Way before all that.

He got up to get another beer and heard the phone ring...."ahh...two birds with one stone." A beer and a phone call. He already knew who was calling. His life was as predictable as a rerun of Gilligan's Island. He trod on the can next to his foot. It got stuck and so he walked to the kitchen with a Budwiser shoe massaging the inside of his arch. He kicked it off and it scuttled across the lino next to the garbage bin. Close enough. He'd pick it up tomorrow...garbage day.

He cocked the phone between his shoulder and chin answering "ello" while snapping open another Bud. No use. She had heard it down the phone line. "You drinking before noon?"
"It's four o'clock."
"Noon--four o'clock...same thing."

It was Miss Arkansas. He called her Miss Arkansas. She had never been in a swimsuit line up, but she loved it. He had never been in a swim suit line up either despite his six-pack. He had been in other line ups though.
"What do you want? World Peace?"

No. She just wanted to chat and tell him how she'd just picked up a bed of plants from Walmart. She had enough for him too for his front yard. She was concerned about his front yard. It was not a gated community, but people did talk. A few odd flowers wouldn't go amiss. Hide the patch where his Harley had leaked oil and killed all the grass.  Hide the Harley? Probably not. He kept the Harley in the living room. Sometimes, it obscured the tv.

He had only moved it to watch the Miss USA Pageant. Miss Oklahoma was his favorite. She had picked the question..."Where would you like to live if you could live anywhere in the world?" She was caught.  To be diplomatic, she should say, "Oklahoma," and win all the votes from her small town, but she'd always hated it there. She wished she could have grown up in California. The state where people eat breakfast in swimsuits and are either on the way to the beach or coming back from the beach. That's how she saw it.

She answered truthfully and chose "a city near the sea." It was a nice compromise as she had not mentioned California and people could picture her on any coast they liked. She wondered where St. Tropez was. The MC had reeled off a few names of seaside resorts and towns. She chose St. Tropez as it was part of a jingle for tanning oil. In case it was a trick question, she knew it had to be on the sea. She sung the ad..."Bain De Soliel for the St. Tropez tan." With that, she scored points for geography and humor. "Miss USA would rather live in St. Tropez." were the headlines the next day next to the obituaries. It was her first commercial break.

He stared at the fridge magnet. It was a calendar from the local pizzeria holding up a snapshot of Miss Oklahoma from their high school days. She was the girl next door. She had moved several times since then. He thought he'd moved too...a little to the right, but he hadn't moved at all. His shirt was damp. "The beer must've slipped from his hand," said the coroner. "Looks like a steady diet of beer, cigarettes, and pizza." Miss Arkansas nodded. She had come over with the plants ready to cover up the bald patch in the front yard. 

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