by Dennis Melancon
A hot night deserved a cold beer, so I rode out to my favorite watering hole called (surprisingly) ‘The Watering Hole’. Not much atmosphere, but the beer was cheap and cold. That was perfect, because I was hot and broke.
With just a few bikes out front, I knew it would be quiet inside. I parked my bike, swung off the saddle, and walked in. After a brief glance around, I settled on a barstool at the middle of the bar to think and drink.
Payday was almost a week away and I only had a few dollars to keep me until then. A free beer would have been perfect, but that would have taken a miracle.
And then a miracle happened.
The Barmaid was new here. She only nodded when I ordered, but smiled when she brought me the cold beer. She pointed toward my shoulder peeking out of my cutoff shirt and asked, “Where did you get that scar?”
A lightbulb went off in my head, a seed of an idea sprouted from the fertilizer of my imagination, and a blossom of hope bloomed. Maybe I could get a free beer, after all!
I had to think quickly, so I took a sip from the glass to collect my thoughts and to build a little suspense. Then I put the glass down and looked up into the greenest eyes I had ever seen. “This scar? That’s kind of a long story,” I answered. “Do you have time for it?”
Her smile turned from ‘Hello’ to ‘You got to be kidding’. “Look around. There’s just you and couple of other guys in here. Time? Man, I’m bored enough to even listen to a scar story!”
“Well, it’s kind of intense…” I started to say.
“Dude,” she threw back at me “If it’s good enough, I’ll pay for that beer you’re sucking on.”
A free beer? Hallelujah! That was all I needed to get started!
I took a deep breath and almost fell into those green eyes. Are those natural or tinted contacts? I thought to myself but I really didn’t care. I learned long ago never ask a woman if anything about her is real. Not if you want a free beer.
“Okay,” and then I started.
“A few years back, I was passing an alley when I heard yells and a scream from inside. Without thinking, I dove in. A few yards inside, three men looked like they were attacking a woman. I saw one of them yank her purse from her arms and start to go through it. Another guy held her by her shoulders, and the third was tearing at her blouse. Not a good scene at all.
“I yelled and jumped at the nearest guy, the one with the purse. He looked up then swung the purse at my face as quickly as he could. I couldn’t stop but I managed to twist around just enough to miss most of it. The purse just grazed my face. Still running, I knocked him to the ground. I paused just long enough to lift my foot and kick his chest as hard as I could. I knew he would stay down for a while.
“Now I faced the others. I didn’t think I could take on two guys at once, so I had to do something to scare them. The nearer asshole leaned towards me, but before he could move anymore, I screamed as loud as I could. This startled them both just long enough for me to dive into the first one, hitting his chest with my shoulder, knocking him off his feet. He was down but not out. Now I had to do something about the third guy.
“He was the one holding the woman. He tossed her to the side and came straight at me. I took one more step toward him and swung my right fist as hard as I could. I didn’t really hit him—it was more like he just ran into my hand. Either way, he was knocked back, stumbled, and fell.
“I turned to look back at the other two guys. The first one was still on his back, groaning a little. The second one was trying to stand up, but I must have knocked the wind out of him, because he was struggling to breathe. I turned back to the third guy; he was sitting up, leaning on one hand, shaking his head a bit to clear it. That gave me a chance to look at the woman.
“She wasn’t hurt and slowly came to her feet. She looked around at the three idiots, then focused on me. Then she screamed.”
“You shithead!” she yelled at me, “that’s my pimp you knocked out, and these two other pricks were my customers! I had it under control till you burst in! You just cost me a fortune!” Boy, talk about a surprise!
“I don’t know where she had it hidden, but she pulled out a small knife and swung it at me. I didn’t see it till the last moment. I tried to block it but she shoved it into my shoulder and sliced down. It wasn’t deep, but it burned like hell. I pushed her back and got out of there as fast as I could.
“My arm was bleeding but not too bad. I squeezed and held it until I got away. As soon as I could, I got it stitched up.
“The stitches came out, but the scar never went away. I tried to cover it with that tat, but you can still see it.”
I took a big swallow of my beer, looked up, and fell in love with those eyes again. “And that’s how I got the scar. Now, is that worth a beer?”
She just smiled and walked to the other end of the bar.
The scar story was pure BS, but it got me a free beer.