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Legend of The Bottomless Flask
Tao of Tony Rooster

Bill and Kathy had been friends for the better part of 30 years. They both started dump trucking around the same time, and worked on the same paving jobs most summers. Grandma Blanchard could still work circles around most men, and Bill always joked that he'd be helping her up into the cab when she was 80. Tonight, they were sitting around Bill's apartment, drinking a couple of six-packs, like they did every now and then.

"So, my youngest son, ya know, his fiancé told him she used to be a dancer. He don't know what to think about that." Kathy looked at Bill, hoping for some male wisdom. "Like a ballet dancer?", Bill asked.

"No, you idiot, a titty dancer! Why would he care if she was a ballet dancer?" Bill thought for a second and said "That makes sense. Your son don't seem classy enough for a ballerina. I'm surprised he made it away from his video games long enough to get laid." Bill disliked Kathy's son. So did Kathy.

"Not only that dear, but she told him that she even sold her body a couple of times. He doesn't know if he can marry her now." Kathy laughed, not knowing why.

Bill took a swig of Rainer, and told her "Look. If every girl who ever turned a trick had a light bulb floating over her head, General Electric would go out of business." Kathy shot back, "Your electric bill be would be a lot cheaper, that's for sure. Say, what did the doctor tell you about those tests?" She didn't want to bring it up, but did anyway.

"Brain cancer. But god cured me." He smiled, knowing she wouldn't believe him.

"Ok dear, I know you're not that drunk yet. Give me the real scoop." Sometimes Bill was hard to talk to.

"Last Tuesday they called and said they had the results. Wanted me to come in and talk about it. The doc said it was a brain tumor, a big one, and, 'cause of where it was, I didn't have long. Six months, maybe, a year if I was lucky. I was in shock a little bit. When I walked out of the office, I didn't know what to do. For some reason, I just decided to go to a baseball game. I hadn't been to one since I was kid, with my dad at the old stadium. Anyway, around the fourth inning, I look behind me, and I see god. He's sitting two rows back, wearing a Yankees hat, white beard, and he's double fisting stadium beers."

Kathy looked at him with concern and said "Ok dear, let's hear your story."

"During the seventh inning stretch, I walk over to talk to him. Tell him I got cancer, and I want him to cure me, can he help me out, ya know? He was half drunk, and annoyed that I was bothering him, he acted like he didn't even know who I was, just told me to pray, and leave him alone so he can watch the game. Said he'd look into it later. After I walked away, I look back and see the old derelict hitting his flask....You want another beer?" Bill was already to the fridge when Kathy said "Save yourself a trip and bring me two, dear."

Bill sat back down and continued "I started getting pissed off, ya know, and came up with a plan. After the game, I followed god into the parking lot, and he was stumbling, three sheets to the wind. I whacked him in the head with my tire thumper. Threw him in the trunk of my old grey Chrysler. Drove him back to the east side and told him 'Either fix this cancer I got, or you're getting wrapped up in a green blanket and thrown in the goddamn river'. I was a desperate man. This is my life we're talking about." Kathy was only half listening at this point, not believing a word. "So what did god do then?"

Bill was starting to slur, "He said that, kinda like how the president isn't the most powerful man in America, god wasn't the most powerful thing in world either. Something about the sum total of the laws of the universe, and that WE actually created HIM, a lot of bullshit. After awhile, he asked what time it was, and I told him it was 12:30. He got mad, and said he wanted out of the trunk before last, we made a deal. He told me I was fixed, and I let him go. It was instant. The buzzing and the headaches went away. He was true to his word. I could go get tested again, but why? I already know." Kathy was already sick of hearing this bullshit story, and told him "You know Bill, if you did half the shit you said you did, you'd be a hundred fuckin' years old. My word." Bill smiled again and told her "If you had half as many pricks stickin' out of you as you've had stuck in you, you'd look like a damn porcupine." They both smiled now, and Bill showed her the flask. "Found it in my trunk. I haven't tried it yet, but I bet the man upstairs probably drinks some good shit." Kathy grabbed it, unscrewed it and took a hit. "Mmmm. Tastes like Irish whiskey. Jameson's?" Bill took the flask and drank a little, then said, "Nope. Tullamore Dew, I think."

Books by James LaFond

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