PREMISE, SET-UP, PUNCHLINE - JIMMY CALLAWAY
They’re hanging around my car in the Denny’s parking lot, each practicing his hairy eyeball. Five of them.
And here I was worried I’d have nothing to do tonight.
I walk right up, grinning. “Last time I saw this many Mexicans around my car was at the car wash.”
Nary a chuckle. Tough crowd.
The big boy in the middle has an S.D. tattooed under his eye, the Padres logo. Must be a big fan. He says, “Mr. Bob Romano wants his money. Tonight.”
I nod. “Right, right. And how much was that again?”
I give a low whistle. Then I shrug. My hands are in my pockets, my shoulders slumped.
They all slightly relax, shift their weight. No action here: a big mouth, but hardly worth the effort, really.
“Let me ask you something, though,” I say.
S.D. raises his chin. “What?”
I point at my car. “How much do you figure to replace that rear passenger’s side window?”
He just looks at me. The other four are murmuring in Spanish to each other, and one giggles.
I say, “I mean, if I called a guy to replace that window, how much do you think—”
“I know what you’re saying, man.” S.D. looks at the window, at me. “I dunno. Sixty bucks?”
“So, let’s see...in that case, that’d be fifteen-hundred and forty. Right?”
“Huh?” S.D. says.
I grab him by the back of the head and put his face through the rear passenger window.
Well, the other four jumped me before the broken glass hit the ground, and let me tell you, they beat the living shit out of me.
Was it worth it?
Fuckin’-A right, it was.
BIO: As usual, Jimmy Callaway lives and works in San Diego, Calif. As usual, more hilarity is available at Attention Children. And as usual, credit for much needed revisions goes to Cameron Ashley and Josh Converse.
Launch: GRACE by Paul Lynch
1 hour ago