-Vermillion’s dead, he said, taking a worn wooden stool at the sidebar, pushed aside a fake fishing net and starfish that had come un-thumbtacked from the wall.
-Vermillion? He’s the one could fart a hurricane?
-That’s him. You drinkin’?
– Sure. He held up two fingers to the bartender. -I remember he ate burnt toast.
-He ever give a reason?
-Digestion. What he claimed, anyway. He took a long pull from the fresh mug that landed in front of him, wiped his white and black beard.
-There’s digestive crackers for that. Baking soda. And Charcoal, Beeno. Simethicone. That’s what they gave me after that woman rebuilt my asshole, simethicone. Said it was to keep me from blowing out their handiwork. Gave me a damn prescription for it. I took it in, handed it off and the Indian woman behind the counter, she got all pissy, took me out to where the Rolaids and Tums were at, folded her arms all ‘got it, dumbass?’
-Did it help?
-Some. You have to take that stuff in anticipation that you’re gonna fart to knock it back. You got a jalapeno sausage bloat workin’ you’re already gonna fart, it’s just gonna help you keep it moving and not cramp up.
-Vermillion would say, bein’ tighter’n a squirrel on a nut, everyone who spent money on antacids and all that ought to burn some toast. Fresh charcoal, best as there was for a fartin’ man.
-He would know.
-Yep. Burnt toast. He liked his eggs runny, too. Hell to eat breakfast with.
– To burnt toast and runny eggs. He lifted his mug. -Vermillion!
-That is like so totally mega gross. She’d silently appeared at the bar, taller than both of them, even if they’d been standing. White leotard, black velvet vest, white tights, a stiff tulle spinner skirt. -Runny eggs? Massive Ewwww factor. Did your mom ever make you eat poached eggs? The ones on a stand like an overgrown golf tee and you have to hit the baby chicken on the head with a spoon to open it and it’s all runny and completely I’m-calling-technicolor-yawn gross? Mine tried. No way, Jose.
-I heard. Burnt toast and runny eggs. Did he eat them off the golf tee? Mom said maybe dad should try them for golf, the little runny egg stands? Cause he sure cussed like a sailor, oh, sorr-eee, but he did. I know ‘cause I went with him sometimes until, well, they wouldn’t rent him one of those little cars if I was there. Talk about borrrrrr-ing. Ohmahgawd. I wanted to go with mom, but he said she and her friends played liquid golf and I’d be in the way. So…after too many beers, I like forget how many, no way dad could have hit that ball even like off the big yukky egg tee. I mean, he was like totally digging holes with that club thing and cussing me and the ball and God and… Would either of you, um, gentlemen, be pirates?
-Um…no. Miss, we’re –
-No. No, I don’t think –
–Dammit. She drummed her fingers on the bar. -Ohmawgawd, sorr-eeee. Next door, we’re like rehearsing in that warehouse? And, well, like the director and the choreographer are like going at it you know like divorce court on crack only they’re not married or anything, and, well because we were like standing around for-ever while they argued I said to everybody like screw this. We’re by the ocean, so somebody should know, right? So, they said like fine, Logan. Go next door to that ratty assed sailor bar, um, sorreee, but like it is, kinda, and find a goddam pirate and like ask him. But then they said all I’d find was alcoholics, but maybe that would be okay, too, just like come back with an answer. But…well, foo… She looked around the mostly empty bar. -I can’t like find a pirate or an alcoholic. I mean there’s the mega cheesy pirates at Disneyland. I know. I worked there for like, um…
-P’rhaps me auld matey mis spoke, lass. Aw doanae wan it oot among ‘em as wud ‘av me in gool, but if it’s a pirate yer seekin’ Awl be ‘im as yer lookin’ fer.
-Really? Ohmahgawd. You even like sound like a pirate!
-At yer service, lass. An whut wud ya ‘ave us give answer tae oon awl?
-Okay. Like, the dance, well the music… well, um, all of it, it’s like totally not what I’m used to. It’s like a pirate song. I think. With sound effects and a ship on the stage that rocks, you know, back and forth like when your gramma has taken her night-night pills and is still in the rocking chair? They’re like whipping each other, the ship dancer people, and I’m dancing a solo and there’s this like totally ginormous whoooooosh and that… And like I, well I’m a classical dancer and these people are like modern, which is okay, you know, I’m not like, um, prejudiced or anything, but in ballet we, well, my teachers always said like Logan, dear, you have to know what the fuck you’re doing next or someone will get hurt. So, um, like I have always been, you know, curious about next. And these people… Well, my friend that’s like doing the effects? He says it gets to that part and they don’t know whether to shit or wind their watch and, like, he’s totally right! So…
-Thur wasnae question in awl that oonless Aw missed ‘er.
Well, that’s the argument, see? The whips and the whoosh…What does blow the man down mean? I mean not in like a naughty way, like guys would think, but like for real.
-Aye. Thur’s tha one as thinks it’s sails oon ships oon another ‘as a mind tae whips?
-Wow… that is like so totally psychic! Yes! Like the big whoosh and the song is saying blow the man down and then there’s like all these dancer people on the ship only like in silhouette? With whips? And other dancer people are falling down…and, well like the whoosh… She bent her left knee, right leg out, toe down. -I’m in Battemont Fondu, right? She held it before bending at the waist, arms sweeping wide. -Then there’s like the whoosh. She bent backward, head almost touching the floor, her arms waved fluidly from wrist to wrist. She popped back up, elbow on the bar. -Someone is supposed to catch me there, being all like blown over and everything? But he was like too busy being whipped, you know, and the choreographer is like picking me up yelling at the director fuck the whips, Daphne, where’s fucking Bruce? And like my butt’s bruised and —
-Bloo the man doon?
-As daft wee pups we ‘erd oot as a whippin’ men took as thee wen tae sea. Didnae noo till later it was hoo a ship rigged oop wit awl ‘er sails oopen took a fookin’ goost a wind whut blowed ‘er o’er. Man-o-war blowed o’er, lass, as ‘at’s yer whoosh.
-Aye. Warship, lass. Cannons she’d ‘ave ‘ad a plenny. O’er on ‘er side oon she wouldnae float noo moor. Bloo tha man doon they’d say uv it.
–Like Captain Blood!?
-A wiser lass, I couldnae dream uh. Captain Blood. Aye. Didnae noo no bitter pirate as eever sailed. An oon again tae yer oon troubles, lass. It’s as both’em, yur answer. A wind blown foul –
–And the whips? Both? Oh. Mah. Gawwwwwwd! That is like so mega fantastically awesome. Everyone is happy! Like, um the beard, no way, and well… She blew the pirate a kiss… -Thank you!!!
They watched the tutu retreat.
-A pirate, huh?
-Aye, the other’s face wrinkled with silent laughter.
-And that happened when?
-I read an Irvine Welsh book once. All the pirate I’ll ever need.
-Are you sure Scotts is acceptable for pirate?
-Yoda want you, it is? Inside backwards out and? Think you not willing am I such to stoop.
-So, your pirates are always Scotts?
-Unless they’re not. Errol Flynn didn’t have an accent in Captain Blood.
-Accents are one of those quacks-like-a-duck things. Her imagination didn’t have to work in the movie. Without visuals, it needed a little help. And that’s all we need to give them. A gentle shove in the right direction.