mark s kuhar


Fat Eddie's Celebrity Lounge

It was a banner evening at Fat Eddie's Celebrity Lounge, although for the 37th straight week, no celebrity showed up. In fact, no celebrity has showed up at Fat Eddie's Celebrity Lounge since Dick Goddard, the weather dude on Channel 3 or 8 or whatever stopped in one July evening to use the pay phone. I'm not sure Dick Goddard counts as a celebrity though. I mean, no one from Omaha would recognize him. But I guess he has his audience. So give him his due. Don't ask me why he didn't use his cell phone. How the hell should I know?

Anyway, it was a banner evening for a typical schmuck like me. Jackie Spitoon stumbled in at about a quarter past seven. He wanted Angelo to cash his paycheck for him. Angelo said he would, but not to make a habit of it. Spitoon said OK, and tossed a twenty dollar bill on the bar. Buy a round for everyone, he said. All five of us thanked him.

A little later, Sally the neighborhood slut pushed through the door. I'm not sure you count as the neighborhood slut when you're 57 years old and probably haven't been laid in, oh, four and a half years. But her reputation precedes her. Sally bellied up to the bar and ordered a bourbon and soda. She threw a wink my way. She still has all the right moves, but I'm not sure the parts work anymore. She eased onto a barstool, crossed her legs, and lit a cigarette. I asked her if she heard the one about O.J. and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, but she said she had. Sally has heard them all. Some twice.

Behind me, two biker types popped 50 cents into the pool table, and I heard the balls crash down. One asked the other if he wanted to break, the other said yes. I heard the crack of pool balls exploding together, and the one asked the other if he wanted to play for money.

Spitoon got up to leave. I hollered goodbye as he walked out the door. At about that time, someone I didn't know slipped in to talk to Angelo. They spoke real soft, and I couldn't hear what they were saying. Something about a car, or a bet or something.
I munched on popcorn from a plastic basket on the bar, and picked the remnants out of my teeth. I ordered another Bud.

The jukebox was on automatic pilot, playing some country song. The TV was on in the corner, but the sound was turned down. I think Wheel of Fortune was on. They looked like Vanna's tits from where I was sitting anyway. I got up to go to the john.

When I came back, I glanced out the window. It was raining, and the rain fell in wild patterns on the windowpane. No one was really saying anything and nothing was really happening.

Cigarette smoke hung in the air like a stinking cloud. Not a celebrity in sight, no one even remotely close.

The name of the joint cracks me up. It probably cracks up Fat Eddie too. He sold the joint about a year ago. Got a job working for one of the beer distributors. I don't know why they never bothered to change the name to something else. Good as the next name, I guess.