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Kelly's Bar

KELLY’S BAR

 

Seemly Sex Story

by

BobbyB

This story, like all Seemly Sex Stories, is pure fiction, an imaginary concoction of the seemly but mischievous mind of BobbyB. Any resemblance to any actual person or situation is completely coincidental.

Published by seemlybobbyb at Shakespir

Copyright 2017 seemlybobbyb

 

 

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Kelly’s is a workingman’s hangout and lunch bar. It’s located in the middle of the industrial area of town, surrounded by the city’s road maintenance garage and facilities, various trucking companies, repair garages for such companies’ over-the-road tractors, small manufacturing plants and such similar kinds of businesses. It’s clientele is drawn from the men (mostly) and women who work in these businesses.

Few people today know why the place is called Kelly’s. The owner is not an Irishman though most of its customers call him Kelly, even those who know his real name is Philip Lefevre. Overwhelmingly, customers don’t give a thought to the name of the place. But if anyone asks, the congenial owner explains that his grandfather immigrated from Quebec around the time prohibition started and bought Kelly’s from its founder, one Michael Patrick Kelly, who assumed that the new US liquor laws would make it impossible for him to continue operating an Irish pub. Grandpa Lefevre turned the pub into a lunch cafe for the people working near it. He also did something else which his grandson usually omits mentioning. Grandpa turned the backroom and basement into a warehouse and transit point for certain liquid goods clandestinely brought from Quebec for surreptitious distribution to various places of entertainment throughout the country.

When prohibition was repealed in the early 1930’s Grandpa Lefevre got a liquor license. He intended to continue ownership of Kelly’s only long enough to legitimately sell off the remaining undistributed product in the backroom and basement. But to his surprise and delight he found that with a liquor license Kelly’s became a profitable lunch bar. So he kept it as such. When the stock in the backroom was all sold, Grandpa Lefevre removed the partition between the bar and the back room and had three pool tables installed in the space that before repeal had stored contraband. Since that time Kelly’s has been a workingman’s hangout and lunch bar.

Kelly’s is open six days a week, Sundays excluded, from ten-thirty in the morning until right after suppertime at six-thirty. There never has been any possibility of adequate business earlier than this opening hour, but a couple of times, once when Philip’s grandfather was still running the place and once when his father was, they tried to stay open after six-thirty. But on neither occasion did they ever get enough business in the after suppertime hours to justify the staffing and operational problems the evening hours created. Most of the workers who are Kelly’s regular customers are at home after supper, so they didn’t come in. Also, the industrial part of town is dim and dismal at night, so the usual after dinner crowd would not venture into their locale. But worst of all, those who did so venture tended to be drunks, barflies, pimps and prostitutes, troublemakers who created more problems than profits. So for decades Kelly’s has closed after the supper hour.

II

Kelly’s business hours enable it to operate with minimal staff. Lefevre himself is the manager-bartender-bouncer-cashier-bookkeeper. He has only one full time employee, Chico, who quite literally is the chief cook and bottle washer. These two are able to handle all Kelly’s business except during lunchtime. For that Lefevre hires a part-time waitress-helper. She comes in at opening time and helps Chico get everything in the kitchen set up and ready to go for the lunch hour rush. Then as lunch customers start arriving she transitions from helper to waitress. At the peak of the lunch hour Lefevre himself has to scurry around as assistant busboy-waiter. Then as the lunch rush wanes the waitress transitions back from waitress to helper, assisting Chico run the dishes through the washer and clean the kitchen. She continues in this capacity till everything is cleaned up from the lunch hour, usually around two PM. After that business slacks off so much Lefevre and Chico can easily handle things till closing time, so the part-time waitress-helper’s workday ends.

As is the nature of part-time, the person serving as Kelly’s waitress-helper changes not infrequently. Mostly the position has been held by the wife of one or another of their customers, women who are looking to supplement the family income a bit while the kids are at school. None of these ladies has held the job for more than a year or two. Changing family circumstances, a pregnancy or a new job for her husband always leads these women to move on after a while.

Chico, on the other hand, has been at Kelly’s for a decade and a half. He’s almost as much a fixture at the place as Lefevre himself. His name isn’t really Chico. He uses it because his real name, Jesús, although a mark of devotion in the Hispanic culture from which he comes, is considered religiously inappropriate, even blasphemous by many Anglos.

Chico is a small man with a thick Mexican-Spanish accent, a remnant of the fact that, although a US citizen, he was raised in Mexico and spoke little English till he came to the US at eighteen to assume his citizenship, a status which resulted from a deliberate and calculated act of his mother. She lived in the north of Mexico from whence she could easily see the disparity of living standards and general prosperity on either side of the border. So when she was pregnant with her firstborn she patiently waited until her labor pains began. Then she snuck across the border at a secret crossing place and presented at a US hospital in frank labor, or “already dilated” as the maternity nurses say. They delivered her baby, Jesús, then shipped mother and infant back to Mexico. But the Mexican mother returned home with a born US citizen baby. At a not inconsiderable risk to herself, Chico’s mother had daringly won for her son a more abundant life than she could enjoy.

When teenage Chico arrived at an official border crossing eighteen years later with nothing more than his birth certificate, the border officials could see he needed help and they wanted to provide it, but didn’t know how they could. He was a legitimate citizen, but he had neither any place to go nor any family or friends in the US who could give him a place to stay. And his English was so bad it didn’t seem likely he’d be able to find his way around or get a job. Finally, one of the customs officers had the bright idea of directing Chico to the US Army recruiting office where a recruiting sergeant, anxious to meet his quota, eagerly enlisted him, spotty English and all.

Once in the Army, however, Chico’s inadequate English was a problem which had to be considered. The realistic noncom in charge of the new recruit decided that no matter how politely the affable young man asked, in a battle circumstance it would not be feasible to repeat every instruction to him slowly and carefully until he understood. So the sergeant got Chico sent to cooks’ school instead of making an infantryman of him. Both the Army and Chico profited from the assignment. Chico brought such a delectable Mexican flare to his cooking that upon completing cooks’ school he was assigned to the Officers’ Mess. And it was in the Officer’s Mess where the sergeant in charge, a Southern Baptist who wasn’t about to call anyone Jesús but Jesus, gave the young Mexican-American the name Chico.

Chico served two hitches in the Army. During the second he married, but his wife didn’t like Army life. Her uncle lives in the town where Kelly’s is located, works in a small manufacturing plant just a couple blocks away and is a regular Kelly’s customer. About the time Chico’s second hitch was due to end, Lefevre needed to replace his cook. The uncle informed Chico’s wife, and the couple came to town on a seventy-two hour pass, looked over Kelly’s, and in turn were looked over by Lefevre. Both parties liked what they saw, and Chico had the job before his enlistment ended. He left the Army one week and went to work at Kelly’s the next. He’s been there ever since.

III

Kelly’s clientele is an ordinary cross section of working folk. They are undistinguished in any way from any group of mostly men and the few women who might be found in any similar establishment. However, one customer who goes by the unique name of Stag is an exception. As Lefevre often says, there seems to be a law of nature that every bar must have at least one jerk customer. Stag fills that role at Kelly’s. But he is much more than an ordinary jackass. He goes way beyond that. Everyone who knows him thinks Stag is a pluperfect pain-in-the-ass.

There’s nothing about Stag’s appearance which would call anyone’s attention to him. He’s neither fat nor skinny; neither handsome nor homely. He is a couple inches taller than average and built accordingly. But he isn’t so big as to be noticeably so. In fact, if he weren’t always running off at the mouth, probably nobody would ever notice him at all.

Stag is always bragging. There’s nothing unusual about what he brags about: Sex. In any group of men, sex is bound to be a favorite topic. And in any male group there will be some men who claim to have more frequent sex than the others. Among these self-proclaimed frequent flyers there is always one or two who maintain they have a special aptitude for bedroom calisthenics. So any group of men should be inured to someone like Stag. The fact, therefore, that he is considered a pain-in-the-ass by all of Kelly’s other regular customers just goes to show how excessive Stag’s sexual boasting is.

Stag, of course, is a nickname, one he chose for himself. His name, he proudly tells everyone, reflects the fact that, above all, he is all man, a man so uniquely capable of fully and completely satisfying a woman’s every sexual desire that he has no need to seek out sexual partners. Once a woman has experienced his bedroom services, he claims to have her hooked for as long as he wants her. His assumed name also is intended to reflect Stag’s resolute bachelor status. Men who marry, he derisively charges, submit to a form of self-imposed slavery for the sole purpose of obtaining sex. Because he is so extraordinarily capable in bed, Stag arrogantly brags, he has no need for such self sacrifice. Any woman he ever bestows his favors upon, he conceitedly and repeatedly alleges, will forever come back begging for more. If any of Kelly’s married male customers ever should, in even the smallest way, complain about his wife in Stag’s presence, the braggart will condescendingly tell the complainer that he is only getting his just deserts for the sexual inadequacy which forced him into marriage.

Stag does claim a regular woman partner. But in keeping with his anti-marriage attitude, she only shacks up with him in his house. She works in the office of one of the nearby trucking firms, but she isn’t a Kelly’s customer. The firm’s drivers see her in the office and know who she is, but none of them know her personally because she is quite shy. The drivers think she is as reserved as she is for the same reason why she never comes to Kelly’s. Since she must know how Stag is always going on about his sexual prowess, they think she finds it embarrassing to interact with people whom she knows have listened to these boasts.

Stag is such an unpleasant man to be around that Lefevre has often thought of telling the blowhard to take his business elsewhere. But as Kelly’s owner will shamefacedly admit, he doesn’t do so because while Stag is a pain, he also is a regular paying customer, not only at lunch, but in particular, he is a regular customer at the time of day when there are few other customers. Every afternoon, between the end of the lunch rush and the beginning of the much smaller but not insignificant supper business, Stag is away from his work and in Kelly’s for an hour or more, shooting pool, drinking beer and running his mouth. He has some kind of supervisory job which, if it doesn’t allow his perpetual work ditching, at least allows him to get away with it. And while his absence from work may not help his employer, it helps Kelly’s. Business in the after-lunch hours is very slow. So Lefevre has been reluctant to run away the man who accounts for a sizable proportion of it.

IV

As I’ve said, everybody at Kelly’s thinks Stag is a pain-in-the-ass. But one person in particular has a burning hatred of him: Chico. It all started a couple years ago, one afternoon when, as usual, Stag was absent from his job and in Kelly’s instead. At this time of day Chico keeps busy with all the organizational work needed to keep a commercial kitchen operating; inventorying, ordering, restocking and, especially, preparing foodstuffs. In between these activities Chico schedules periodic major kitchen cleanings. Usually these after-lunch tasks are interrupted and slowed by a few occasional customers coming in for a late lunch. On this day, however, not only did Chico have few such chores, but also there were no interrupting customers, so he got all this work done early and was sitting at the bar, drinking a cup of coffee and discussing menu changes with Lefevre.

The same absence of late lunchers which enabled Chico to finish his work so quickly left Stag without any pool partner, so the braggart challenged Chico to a game at fifty cents a ball. Chico declined, explaining that his wife has a deep hostility to gambling, and he had promised her he would never gamble in any way. Such deference to a wife was certain to trigger Stag’s canned anti-marriage cant. Chico, the blowhard condescendingly charged, was just another married slave, a pusillanimous, pussy-whipped pansy, so incompetent in bed he couldn’t keep a woman in any other way except by cowering before her.

With his customary affability Chico smiled off the loudmouth’s diatribe. But Stag never let up. Ever since that event he always calls the cook by a demeaning, mocking moniker: Chicken. And if Chico should come out of the kitchen when Stag is around, the braggart makes a clucking sound and repeats his charge that the smaller man is sexually deficient, and only able to keep a woman by unmanly submission to her.

Stag’s unending insults of Chico couldn’t be missed by anyone, but they particularly caught the attention of Lefevre. He preferred not to lose as consistent a customer as Stag. But if there was any possibility the blowhard’s badgering would drive away his topnotch cook, Kelly’s would just have to get along with one fewer customer. So he spoke to Chico. If Stag was getting under his skin, Lefevre offered to order the braggart out of Kelly’s permanently. Chico thanked his boss, but said he could take anything Stag handed out. Lefevre said he didn’t have any doubts that Chico could handle Stag, but while he personally wouldn’t mind it if his kitchen commander took one of his knives and carved up the pain-in-the-ass, he didn’t want to give up the best cook in town to the state prison.

And that’s the way things went at Kelly’s for some time. Stag continued to bore everyone with his unending boasts of such superb sexual skill that no woman he ever allowed onto his bed would ever leave it. And he continued to mock Chico as grossly sexually insufficient and therefore wife dominated. Lefevre kept his eyes open, alert to the possibility that the blowhard might eventually so antagonize his cook that the pain-in-the-ass would have to go. But Chico quietly endured the ridicule. However he also kept his own eyes open, looking for some way to get even with Stag, some way short of risking prison by carving the bullying braggart into sirloin tips.

V

One of the most frequently encountered businesses in the industrial area of every town is trucking, and the area around Kelly’s has several of these firms, for example the company where Stag’s shack up partner works. Trucking companies, especially the over-the-road or long distance haulers, have and always have had a major problem: Hitchhikers. No trucking company I’ve even known about allows its drivers to pick up these people. But no trucking company I’ve ever known about is able to suppress the practice. How could they? It is the nature of over-the-road driving to be alone on the open highway. So how could a company stop a lonely driver on a lonely highway from picking up someone to possibly provide a little companionship? Sometimes the companies put out decoys or spies, fake hitchhikers whose job it is to report on a driver who violates the cardinal rule. But truckers develop an uncanny ability to spot these people. Being female, young, pretty and suggesting of a willingness to provide a little libidinal compensation for a lift, for example, is a dead giveaway.

One day a couple years after Stag’s badgering of Chico began, a driver from a trucking company with a depot a few blocks from Kelly’s violated the cardinal rule. Early one morning when he was refueling at a truck stop a couple hours from town a young gal carrying a duffel bag and a suitcase came up and asked for a ride. Since she was female, young and not unattractive, the driver immediately put up his spy antenna. He declined her request, giving company policy as the reason. But when he went into the coffee shop for breakfast he asked about her and learned she had been working there as a waitress for several months. Clearly, then, she was no spy.

So while he was awaiting his breakfast the driver went back out and told the gal he’d haul her to town if she could get some local to take her a mile or so down the road where no prying eyes would see him pick her up. She happily agreed and pointed out an old jalopy parked beside the coffee shop. She said she’d be waiting in it a couple miles down the road.

After breakfast neither the gal nor the jalopy were to be seen. But when the trucker got a couple miles away, at a place where there was plenty of shoulder room for him to pull his rig off the road, both were waiting. The trucker pulled up behind the jalopy, a teenage guy got out and helped the gal store her bag and suitcase in back of the truck cab’s seats. Then the gal thanked the kid, climbed into the cab, and they were off.

The driver asked his unauthorized passenger her name, and she said it was Billie. He asked her reason for traveling. She answered that she was just moving on. She didn’t elaborate or provide any details, but between the lines it seemed pretty likely that she was running away from some kind of broken romance. She said she had no particular destination, just some place where she could find a new job. He said he had asked about her at the coffee shop, so he knew she is a waitress, and he remarked that a lunch place near his company’s depot in town, a place called Kelly’s, had been looking for a part-time waitress when he left town two days ago. Probably the job wasn’t still open. But it might be, and if she was interested he’d tell her how to find Kelly’s. It wasn’t very promising, but she decided she had nothing to loose by checking it out.

The trucker couldn’t take Billie to Kelly’s. It’s too near his company depot, too risky that someone might see he had carried a passenger. So a couple miles away he let Billie out at a city bus stop, told her the bus to catch, and how to get to Kelly’s. She followed his instructions, and when she got to the bar it was right in the middle of the lunch rush.

When Billie stepped through Kelly’s door the scene she saw would have told anyone that lunch was not going well. But to her experienced eye it looked like the place was about to come undone. Dirty dishes were piled up on tables where people were sitting menus in hand, waiting to order. Other people were standing at the bar with checks in hand waiting to pay. But the bartender was running around the room trying to make places for unserved customers. There was only one waitress. She was at a corner booth, struggling to straighten out orders she had placed before the wrong eaters. But worst of all, the waitress, a young woman about Billie’s own age, was wearing heels! Her feet had to be killing her.

The man trying to clear tables and seat eaters seemed most likely to be the boss. So Billie approached him and without introducing herself announced that she’d bus tables for a meal. Lefevre looked at her with wide-eyed gratitude. At that point he probably would have traded his car for the help she was offering.

“You’re on!” he announced.

Billie shoved her luggage behind the bar, opened her suitcase, grabbed and quickly put on a particular pair of shoes. Then without asking for directions she started clearing tables. In an amazingly short time she had removed all the dirty dishes to the kitchen where, again without asking for directions, she loaded and started Kelly’s commercial dishwasher. Obviously Billie was highly experienced and knew exactly what she was doing.

By the time the lunch rush slowed everything was running smoothly except for the heels-wearing waitress. This poor gal was visibly limping. Billie told her to sit down, that she would wait the remaining customers, and in obvious pain the poor girl slumped onto a chair. About ten or fifteen minutes later business slowed almost to a stop. Billie went into the kitchen and quietly asked Chico for some things. He pointed out what she wanted, she rounded them up and brought them to where the ill shod waitress was collapsed. Billie introduced herself then knelt down, removed the stylish high heel shoes from the other young lady, washed her feet off with the wet rag she had gotten from Chico and put the girl’s feet to soak in a bucket of warm water she also got from Chico.

Then Billie sat down beside the ailing waitress and asked why in the world she had tried to wait tables in heels. The gal answered that the shoes were very attractive. Billie didn’t disagree, but she said that looks don’t matter for a waitress’s shoes. Only comfort does. It didn’t take long for this conversation to reveal that the young lady had no waitress experience, had a regular nighttime job as a switchboard operator at a local hospital, and had taken the part-time job at Kelly’s, a job she had held for only two days, more or less on a whim in order to make a few extra dollars with which to buy … What else? … fancy, stylish shoes, of which, like many women, she is particularly fond. Billie explained that working on one’s feet all day, as waitresses do, they must have comfortable shoes. She showed her own. But when told what they had cost, the girl said if she had to spend so much for shoes to work an extra job, she might just as well spend the money on fancy shoes in the first place and forego the painful part-time work.

And that’s how, by the time lunch rush was finished, the girl had decided to surrender the job she didn’t need and didn’t like, and which was killing her feet, to Billie who both needed the job and knew how to handle it, and who wore the kind of shoes that cause no pain. Lefevre recognized Billie as an ideal waitress candidate and offered to provide all her meals as a fringe benefit. But Billie couldn’t take the job unless she could find someplace to live, and Kelly’s part-time job wouldn’t pay enough for her to rent an apartment.

Chico brought out to Billie the meal which she had so amply earned. Then he, Lefevre and the young lady with the aching feet sat around the table while Billie ate, trying to brainstorm a place for her to live. During this conference Stag came in for his usual work avoiding, pool shooting, beer drinking afternoon sojourn. He asked what the discussion was all about. When told, he announced that his house has a spare room he was willing to consider renting to Billie. So Stag and Billie went off to a side booth where they privately negotiated a rooming arrangement. They didn’t tell anyone any of its details, and as we will see, those details became a matter of great concern to many people. But whatever the details, Billie had a place to live, Kelly’s had the best waitress-helper it would ever have, the gal with the aching feet got a reprieve from a horribly unwise extra job decision, and everything seemed to have worked out splendidly.

VI

Billie and Chico hit it off right from the start. The main reason is her professional competence. She really knows her business, so much so she usually anticipates Chico’s cooking needs and takes care of them without being asked. But the two also just genuinely and deeply like each other. Lefevre says they are like a perfect father-daughter team.

Billie also gets on well with the customers. With one exception. She’s an attractive woman. Though she always wears jeans, a reasonable and functional attire for her job, it’s clear that in a dress and with some makeup she would be quite pretty. So all the unmarried guys, and not a few of the married men too, are always coming on to her. In one way or another, however, and without offending the man in any way, she always declines all these offers.

The most likely reason why an attractive young woman who has an abundance of offers never dates is because she has something going with some other man on a permanent or at least a semi-permanent basis. But Billie was new to town. It didn’t seem likely that she could have gotten into such a relationship so quickly. With one possible exception.

What was the nature of her living arrangement with Stag? Billie only worked part-time. She couldn’t be making enough to pay much rent. Was she covering some or all of the cost of her room some other way? Like the lady who works in the front office at one of the trucking companies, was Billie also shacking up with Stag? Nobody wanted to believe this. Nobody wanted to believe that the pain-in-the-ass braggart was in fact the sexual hotshot he claimed to be. Nobody wanted to believe he could have two women shacking up with him at the same time. But that seemed like the only possible explanation for Billie’s refusal to accept any of the dates, or other less innocent romantic encounters, customers were always offering her.

Since Chico conspicuously gets on so well with Billie, people thought he’d probably know if she had anything going with Stag. So many guys ask him. The cook always smiles in a way suggesting he probably is in the know, but he never answers such questions. Instead, in his affable way he says Billie’s love life is something he has no business talking about. If they want to know if Billie is sleeping with Stag, the little Mexican-American cook would say in his thick accent, they should ask her. That is clearly the proper response for Chico to make, but none of these guys has ever been so insensitive and crude as to put the question directly to Kelly’s pretty waitress.

There was another person they might have asked: Stag. But there were two reasons why nobody ever did. The first was simply because nobody wanted to give the braggart the satisfaction of knowing that anyone else was willing to believe, even for a second, that Stag might be even remotely as sexually adroit as he claimed, that he might be simultaneously shacking up with two women. The second reason was that Stag never waited for anyone to ask. He never said so in so many words, but in every other possible way he let it be known that he had a harem-like thing going on at home.

Nobody wanted to believe this. So they carefully studied how Billie and Stag interacted when he came in for lunch. However, nothing anyone saw then gave any hint one way or the other. She was more familiar with him than with other lunchers, but never anything to suggest they were sleeping together. And he treated her the same way. But everyone considered the couple’s lunchtime interactions to probably not be very relevant. Even if they were bedmates, Billie would probably not want to let on to others what she was doing. But also, during the lunch rush there is so much business in Kelly’s that Billie doesn’t have time to do anything but take orders, deliver food, and clean up tables for the next customer. Even if the pair were committed lovers, Billie wouldn’t have any chance at lunchtime to show her affection in any way.

Stag, of course, also was always in Kelly’s after the lunch hour, drinking beer, shooting pool and bragging about his sexual prowess. But at these times Billie’s partial workday is already finished, and she is not around. So these times also provide no opportunity to see if the two treat each other the way a couple who sleep together might be expected to. During the braggart’s daily work truancy Stag struts around a pool table saying all kinds of things to imply he sometimes sleeps with Billie and sometimes sleeps with the woman who works in the trucking outfit’s office. If Billie were around at these times, her reaction to all of these boasts would show if there were any truth in it. But Billie is never in Kelly’s in the after-lunch period.

VI

One Monday morning a little more than a half year after Billie came to Kelly’s Lefevre arrived a bit before ten-thirty and heard what he assumed was Chico and Billie already working in the kitchen. But when he went in to say Good Morning, he found that instead of Billie, Chico’s wife was helping him. When he asked why, Chico explained that Billie had quit. He said she had a good reason which Chico and his wife knew, but which they had solemnly promised not to tell anyone until Billie gave them the OK. She had to get some things settled first, and as soon as she did, she’d let Chico know. Then he could tell everyone the whole story. Lefevre asked if Billie were in trouble, and both Chico and his wife smilingly answered that the waitress was in no trouble at all.

To show just how firmly he intended to respect Billie’s confidentiality Chico abruptly changed the subject to the issue of finding a replacement. As a favor to Billie, his wife had agreed to substitute for a while. But she had other responsibilities, so they needed to recruit a new waitress ASAP. Lefevre resignedly accepted the topic change because it was clear that Chico was not going to say anything more about Billie’s departure. Not only did the bar owner want to learn why he had lost the best waitress-helper he had ever had, he also had a strong desire to ask Chico something else, but he didn’t dare do so while the cook’s wife could hear. So Lefevre accepted the change of topic and started considering with Chico whom the might get to replace Billie.

As the work day progressed Lefevre continued to want to ask his question, but Chico’s wife, being completely unfamiliar with the tasks required of a waitress-helper and in need of her husband’s constant directions, was seldom out of hearing. Finally, Lefevre happened to step into the kitchen to call in a hamburger order for someone sitting at the bar just as Chico’s wife exited the kitchen to carry an order to a table. With her out of hearing he finally could ask his question.

“What did you do about the ticket?” he whisperingly asked.

The referenced ticket was a lottery ticket, one which Chico had been given as a tip, and which turned out to be a thousand dollar winner. Usually people don’t tip cooks, but he and Lefevre each had received a dozen lottery tickets as tips. It happened when three management people from a nearby small manufacturing company came into Kelly’s at closing time the previous Friday. They said they had been having a business meeting which was running way long and asked if they could finish it at Kelly’s while eating. The barkeep and his cook both agreed. They closed Kelly’s to other customers, took the trio’s food orders, and while the food was being prepared and served, the three managers spread out their papers over several tables, turning Kelly’s into their temporary boardroom. After this group finished their meeting and meal, since it was well after closing time, Lefevre and Chico just left the trio’s dirty dishes on the table to be cleaned up the next day. When they arrived Saturday morning, they found two envelopes tucked under the dirty plates, one with Lefevre’s name and one with Chico’s. Each contained a dozen lottery tickets. The drawing had occurred late Friday night, so Saturday morning the winners had already been determined, and one of Chico’s tickets had won a secondary prize of a thousand dollars.

For almost every other person, this outcome would be great good luck. But Chico’s wife is unalterably opposed to all gambling, so hostile he was sure she would not accept the lottery ticket tip. He had a delicate problem, and Lefevre was curious to learn whether he had handled it, and if so, how. Chico answered his boss’s whispered question with a big smile, and said there was no need to whisper. His wife knew the whole story. Indeed, she had refused to accept any gambling profits. So they decided to give the ticket to Billie who needed the money so she could quit Kelly’s and get out of town.

The fact that Billie had needed to get out of town reignited Lefevre’s fears that she was in some kind of trouble. Chico again assured him she was not. But he also again told his boss he couldn’t yet reveal what she was up to. Lefevre began to get a little angry. If Billie was not in any trouble, then helping the best waitress they had ever had to run away from town and from her job was virtually an underhanded act of treachery against Kelly’s and against Lefevre himself. If Chico hadn’t been such a valued employee for so long he probably would have been fired on the spot. As it was, the bar owner simply had to bite his tongue, swallow his anger and wait for Billie to OK Chico’s explaining everything to everyone.

VII

The explanation came about a week and a half later when Chico arrived at work one morning with a small bulletin board, one the size often hung on the wall of a child’s room. Under a transparent plastic protective cover, four things were stapled to the board: A glossy copy of a photo portrait, a newspaper clipping, a photocopy of a legal document, and a personal letter addressed simply to Kelly’s. Chico handed the board to Lefevre with a smile even brighter and wider that his usual.

The photograph pictured two young women, each smilingly holding a champaign glass up in a toasting gesture. One was Billie. She was not wearing her customary jeans, but rather formal dress slacks. The other gal, whom Lefevre did not recognize, was wearing a frilly white feminine party dress. The clipping was from a small town weekly newspaper. Under a headline announcing issuance of the town’s first gay marriage license was another picture of Billie and the unknown woman. They were smilingly filling out some kind of form. The photocopy was of the apparent resultant legal document, a wedding license issued to Billie and to one Polly Martin. The letter was an explanation.

Polly, it said, is the woman who worked in the trucking company office, the woman whom Stag claimed as his shack up partner. She never was. She only was a roomer in his big house. Somehow he had learned that she was a convicted but firmly closeted lesbian. Aware that she therefore would not dare to contradict him, he started boasting that she was his sex partner. Polly was angered by this, but never tried to set the record straight because, while Stag’s claims were demeaning, they also shielded her closeted lesbian status. Billie also was only a roomer in Stag’s house, and also a closeted lesbian. She knew Stag was deliberately and dishonestly giving everyone the impression that she too was his sex partner, and she also was angered. But just as with Polly, Stag’s boasting lies helped her stay in the closet. Living in the same rooming house, it didn’t take long for Billie and Polly to learn of their mutual, carefully hidden, different-from-usual sexual orientation. Nor did it take long thereafter, for love to blossom between them. When the courts in Massachusetts declared it unconstitutional for gays to be denied legal marriage, Billie and Polly decided the criticism they’d get from people like Stag was little price to pay for coming out and enjoying the rights, honor and joy of marriage. So they made up their minds to move to Massachusetts as soon as they could.

With their exceedingly close, virtual father-daughter relationship, Chico explained to Lefevre, he had known of Billie’s situation. He knew she and Polly were saving money in order to move to Massachusetts and get married. When he got the winning lottery ticket tip, since his wife would never accept gambling winnings, he proposed to her that they give the ticket to Billie. His wife gladly agreed.

That day at lunchtime Chico got his revenge for the bullying badgering Stag had been heaping on him for years. When the blowhard came in for lunch Chico took the bulletin board to his table and gleefully pointed out not only to the lying braggart, but especially to everyone else in Kelly’s exactly what the articles on the bulletin board indicated. Stag left without eating his lunch. He’s never been back in Kelly’s since. Customers who work at the same company Stag does report that he applied for a transfer to one of the company’s other cities, a transfer he immediately accepted when offered, even though it involved a demotion.

After Stag’s deflation and departure things at Kelly’s settled down to a peaceful new normal. Lefevre found that the lying braggart’s absence had little effect on profits. Billie was replaced by the wife of one of the mechanics who works at the city road maintenance shops. Their kids are both in school, so she is able to take advantage of Kelly’s part-time position to earn a little extra income for the family. She is pleasant and quickly learned the job’s requirement, so she handles the waitress-helper position all right. But, of course, nobody would ever fill the job as well as Billie did.

One morning about six months later Chico came to work bursting with happiness. He had gotten another letter from Billie. She told him that Polly had been successfully medically artificially impregnated, that the baby was a boy, and the couple were going to name him Chico.

“I’m going to be a Godfather!” in his thick Mexican-Spanish accent the excited cook eagerly told everyone who came into Kelly’s that day. And everyone shared Chico’s joy.

END


Kelly's Bar

"One can not judge a book by its cover." So we are told. But a cover is usually the only thing a reader has to base a judgment on. Smashwords tries to aid readers by providing summaries, one short, one long, for each book it distributes. For non-fiction this works well. But this, it seems to me, defeats the whole purpose of fiction. After all, one reads a story to find out what will happen. It’s the uncommon twists and turns that make a story interesting. But if a summary has told all this beforehand, what fun is to be had in the reading? Therefore, no summary of the present short story is given. It's short and it’s free! So read the whole thing and see if you like it. I ask you to do this because I think it is the best book judging method. To find fiction you like you must first read around enough to learn something of the style and stories of different authors. Then you can judge books, not by their cover, but by the your opinion of the writer. I'd like to help you do this. The present short story is one of several which I will make available free at Smashwords. Read a few (or all of them) and decide if you like them. It won't cost you a dime. If you like them, you can then purchase some of my not free (but still inexpensive) longer stories. All these stories are of one particular kind. To reflect this similarity all have the same cover picture, the Kitty & Rose shown above. So after you’ve read a few, you can, in fact, judge them by their cover. The common theme of the Kitty & Rose stories is human sexuality. This is not unusual. Most fiction concerns sex in one way or another; ranging from romances so sedate and demure an extraterrestrial could never know sex is at the root of everything described, to erotica so unrestricted even an extraterrestrial might blush. Kitty & Rose stories are in the middle of this range. All deal with human sexuality, but none do so explicitly. Rather, they are seemly. The dictionary gives three meanings for seemly: Attractive or agreeably fashioned; Decorous or conventionally proper; and Appropriate or suited to its purpose. With respect to appropriateness, seemly sex stories range from the humorous to the inspirational, but all concern human sexuality. So they are clearly appropriate. These stories are also seemly in the decorous and conventionally proper sense. For, while they treat sex candidly, they do not do so graphically. There is nothing pornographic nor erotic in any seemly sex story. Of course, different persons’ opinions about this may differ. A few consider frank pornography decorous. At the opposite extreme are those like the abbot of the monastery where the great biologist Gregor Mendel did his epochal research. This abbot thought Mendel’s studies were decidedly indecorous because they involved the sex of pea plants! Finally, there is the principal sense of seemly, attractive and agreeably fashioned. Like every author I exert my every effort and ability trying to make these stories seemly in this regard. But like every author, I must await your determination of the degree of my success. Since both of us will be pleased if you find them attractively seemly, I very much hope you do. Happy reading! BobbyB P.S. This is free Kitty & Rose short story #13, uploaded 3-2-17.

  • Author: Bobby B.
  • Published: 2017-03-03 01:20:08
  • Words: 6763
Kelly's Bar Kelly's Bar