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Frozen Jingle Bells ... Shotgun Divorce ... Panameno

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Yet another retrospect from Culrik's "Filth Column". Published straight to a tire fire, according to the man himself.


I heard the sound of loud violence being done to somebody. I decided I'd already had enough of the day that I could ignore it because it wasn't in my line of sight. This is the way these people were celebrating Christmas; from the look of them when I walked in and ordered my drinks, they'd probably made it into tradition to celebrate Christmas like this, and I wasn't one to disturb traditions. I'm culturally sensitive, you see.

I'm also sensitive to migraines, and making me calculate my decisions didn't help that. Maybe in my pocket... Bingo. Ear plugs.

A sip of vodka cranberry, floated with cigarette smoke, calmed my nerves, or made them bother with something else. The whole month had been a load of wet dogshit, and how bad of a choice of words that was wasn't lost on me. December weather is always the least good part of Christmas, and now the day itself had been nothing short of perfunctory, and with that in mind, going around buying people their presents had scarfed down a good chu... I popped out the ear plugs again.

"And LOOK, what I'm saying is that if this knobhead doesn't have a new gosh-darn boat out at the docks, then he at least needs to swallow his pride and tell it like it is that his stupid-arse sunk the damn craft." I didn't like the guy's accent, but I couldn't help but interest myself in the story now that they weren't spinning their wheels over my brainskull. The bartender was waving around a long-barrel shotgun at the ceiling looking between the two, and he had shit for trigger discipline, so that's probably why they'd calmed down, or pretended to.

"I'M NOT PAYING FOR THE BOAT THAT YOU GADDANG SUNK YOU PIECE OF" Never mind. I stuck a finger in my ear and waited for the bartender to do something dumb, which didn't come, but tapping the stock on the counter like a gavel was enough to get him to calm down. At least nobody lived on the floor above.

"Look, I weren't in the damn boat, plain and simple. I don't have any money, and you're telling me all of this baloney trying to scam me out of money on Christmas!"

The guy was pulling low blows, down to the groin. Christmas is when you keep the peace, so it's the perfect time to start doing stuff that isn't peaceful. I hadn't decided on the angle yet, whether the defendant was trying to pull a fast one, or whether the accuser thought he had a fool-proof blackmail going. I figured the fucker who spoke American was probably in the right, because no fraud with any self-respect would run from what he did and then just say he wasn't there; that is, unless this fucker was really stupid or smart as hell, and I don't have an IQ test on me, so I'm not in a position to tell. The slug went off.

Half the bar ran out, though that was maybe three people. I didn't want to deal with this place any longer, so I snuck away from my tab along with them. Not the place to spend christmas eve. Maybe if I made a quick round of door knocks, I could hear about some regular customers for delivery. If I toughed it through the night I could sell them some hangover relief.

"Fuck me, who am I. My Dad? Amaldor?" I hated thinking about business when I didn't want to.

I rubbed my forehead so hard I could feel it tug at my skin, and sighed with enough drool in my throat that it sounded like I was boiling spaghetti down there.

"I need a holiday", I said, out loud to myself, because I felt I'd earned the right to monologue.
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