What We Talk About When We Talk About Broads
(an excerpt for In The Shadow Of His Nemesis)
Al Bruno III
"TIM! PUT THAT GOD-DAMNED CAT DOWN!" Warren Talbot shouted to be heard above the Cream CD thundering from the stereo.
"I'm just playin' with her!" Tim replied, pitching Princess from his rough grip, "Hey! I thought cats always landed on their feet."
Collin held his sides, quaking with laugher. Isobel had only been gone for an hour and a half but already the house was degenerating into chaos; two empty six packs worth of beer cans were stacked on top of the television, empty Burger Clown wrappers lay on the floor and the Lazy-Boy had been upended in Tim's attempts to 'pet' Princess.
Warren gave up and got himself a beer. Tim and Collin were his best buddies and thankfully old enough to buy alcohol but it seemed like all they wanted to do was get on his nerves at every opportunity.
Warren sipped his beer carefully, "Why don't we go out someplace?"
"I dunno. A nightclub maybe."
Collin rolled his eyes, “Oh please."
"What's the problem?" Warren asked.
"Even if we could get you in, we can’t have a good time with you along. You just sit at the bar and sulk."
Tim laughed evilly.
"I do not sulk!"
"Oh yes you do." Tim cackled.
"I just like to check out the ladies."
"Too bad none of 'em ever wanna check you out."
"You'll see, one of these nights the right one will come along."
Collin put the video on pause, "Warren, you can't go to a bar loaded with college girls getting drunk on their parents' money and expect to find love. It's like going to Burger Clown in search of a nutritious meal."
"Maybe I'm not as cynical as you are."
"Maybe you just haven't gotten burned enough times." Tim tossed the now empty beer at the pile on the TV, toppling them.
"I still believe in love." Warren said.
"I'll believe it when I see it."
"You're just not looking."
"Yeah. Right. Give me one example."
"Okay." Warren stared into space for a few moments and then turned his attention back to his two best friends, "There was this guy, I guess it was back around World War One, he was a lawyer, he had a girl waiting for him back home- the standard American dream stuff. He got hit with that poison gas the Germans were using, and somehow it gave him something like the Elephant Man's disease."
"Oh really?" Collin said, "And what color are the clouds on your world?"
"Shut up. So he comes back from the war and starts getting all deformed. Not gross like the real Elephant Man, he just turns all big and ugly. So his life falls apart, nobody wants to go to some freak lawyer and his girl dumps him for somebody normal."
"Translation," Tim snickered, "Nobody in the Talbot family."
Princess poked her head out from behind the couch, her whiskers quivering, her body low to the ground.
"So do you know what this guy does? He goes to Hollywood and becomes an actor. He does monster movies as 'the Creeper'. They bill him as the only actor in horror movies that doesn't need make-up. So while he's doin' these movies he meets this gorgeous actress and she falls for him. They end up getting married, the end."
"That's it?" Collin asked.
"What a stupid story!" Tim buried his face in his hands, "Of course this Creeper guy got a girl, he was a movie star!"
"Oh come on!"
"You said it yourself she was an actress. The bitch probably thought it was a good career move, maybe she wanted a part in his next movie."
Warren shook his finger, "You know you have a serious mental problem."
"Hey, I'm not the one who can't face reality."
"And what reality is that?"
Collin unpaused the video.
Tim spoke slowly, using the tone he reserved for slow witted children and officers, "The reality is that all this women's liberation stuff is crap. Women are only interested in one thing when it comes to long term relationships- money. They'll go for the best provider every time, just like they did in caveman days. And believe me that's the first thing they look for, they can sniff out cash like bloodhounds."
"Do you know how paranoid you sound?"
"That's why you can't get any! You gotta pretend you're rich, you gotta have rich attitude. They way you slouch and sulk, the chicks just know you're living with your parents."
Warren found himself trying not to slouch, "After hearing this I'm not in the least bit surprised that you've never been in a long term relationship."
"Maybe so." Tim stood and made his way back to the refrigerator, "But I've seen more pussy than you've dreamed about."
Ever on the lookout for unwanted hands, Princess crept beneath the endtable and laid down.
Warren threw up his arms in resignation, "OK, you're right, all women are moneygrubbing slime, all men are dogs. I guess I'm just different, and maybe someday I'll find a girl who's different."
"You say that now but after a few more years of teasing the weasel you'll go for anything that moves."
The Pink Lagoon had reached its sticky conclusion, Collin turned to them, "OK, I say we go a nightclub but Warren has to ask a girl to dance."
Warren blanched slightly, "What?"
"Yeah." Tim said poking him with a meaty finger, "And if ya don't I'll beat the shit out of you."
"Fine!" Warren snapped back, "And if you don't ask a girl to dance I'll..."
"You'll what cheesedog?" Tim raised a fist.
"Never mind." Warren backed down, "Let's just go. I’ll get my coat."