June 9, 2011 by Ray Yanek
Prompt: Write a story using the words listed above and make it wacky, absurd, or bizarre.
Word Count: 1000 words
Fair Breeze. Fair Warning.
Yes, yes, she was a beautiful day. The kind of day, as my man Jimmy would say, that you would like to toast. The sun, she baked everything golden and brown. Rum, she flowed like water from Christ’s side. Marco, he played the steel drum until the melody surrounded you and caressed with rhythm like the fair breeze off the ocean caressed you with warmth.
A beautiful day indeed.
A beautiful day to make some money so that an old man like me could stay in the islands for another season.
I elbowed the pretty boy sitting next to me at the bar in his chemically enhanced tricep. “Don’t do it,” I said.
He cut me a sideways glance and regarded me as if I just crawled out of the nearest conch shell. He turned back to his two buddies who were hoisting beers and rolled his eyes at the fact I had the audacity to speak to him—not at the fact that all three of them were wearing Speedos.
“Shouldn’t you be out on the beach selling fake gold?” he said.
With a raised eyebrow, I looked over his bare shoulder at his friend who was wearing so many gold necklaces it looked like a Spanish galleon had taken a shit on him.
Pretty Boy followed my eyes and cringed visibly when he saw where I was looking. He turned back to me, shrugged. “Don’t do what, Shady?”
Pierre, the Jamaican bartender who could easily body-press the entire island if he got the urge narrowed his eyes and continued to clean the bar glass. He, like myself, understood that Pretty Boy wasn’t comparing me to that white rapper from Detroit, but rather to Shady Grady from the old Sanford and Son show they used to play stateside.
It wasn’t the first time the comparison had been made.
I looked at the guy wearing the gold again. He had locked eyes with the iguana Pierre let sit up with the top-shelf liquor. Golden boy had that glazed, far- away look in his eyes, like the iguana was telepathically trying to explain something profound like how to tie a shoe.
I knew I was in business.
“Eat the banana” I told Pretty Boy.
He cracked that smile again. “And why not?”
“Because it will be on fire.”
A regular genius this one. Pierre had put the glass down and was reaching for the steel plated oar handle he kept under the bar, obviously ready to knock this moron over the Equator. I gave him the signal to hold off a minute.
“You ever do those flaming shots back at the frat house?” I asked Pretty Boy.
“Hell ya! Did five flaming Rumple’s back- to- back one time.” The pride was evident under his fake tan. He put his beer down so he could rip into a chest pose as he grunted like a constipated marine and then turned to high five his buddy. His buddy, distracted by the hypnotic stare of the iguana, never saw it coming. He caught the meaty palm upside his head and fell flat to the floor.
He didn’t get up.
“Impressive,” I said. “But when you drink a flaming shot, you have to throw it down right?If you touch it to your lips, you’ll burn yourself.”
“No shit,” he said, looking at his buddy who was still prostrate on the floor.
“So if you have a banana soaked in 151-proof rum and if it’s on fire,you can’t throw it down. See? It’s a trick. A trap. The locals set it up to get a good laugh at the tourist’s expense.”
Pierre bent forward and peered over the bar at the guy on the floor. “He gonna be alright?”
“Fuck him,” Pretty Boy said, keeping his attention on me. “You’re a local right?”
I was an expat actually, but I’d been there long enough to be able to nod my head and not have to make a mental sign of the cross.
“You like tourists?”
“Then why you telling me about this trick, huh? You tell me that.”
I sighed and sloshed the rum over the ice in my drink, and ignored the fact that his chest was puffing up like a horny blowfish. “Because if you try eating that banana, that Exxon-Valdez of a head is going to take fire like kindling. To be honest? I wouldn’t bounce your burning ass out with a pogo stick and I really don’t want to spend the rest of this beautiful day smelling roasted frat boy.”
He looked at me in utter confusion. “You think I’m a pussy don’t you?”
I seriously considered letting Pierre take a swing after all.
His third friend, the one not sprawled on the floor, chuckled. “Old man thinks you’re a pussy.”
Pretty Boy puffed up even larger and for a moment I thought he was seriously going to cry. My job being done, I said no more.
“You know what? Screw you, man.” Pretty Boy punctuated his words by jamming his finger down at the bar. “Screw you twice. Hey, bar dude, you light that fucking banana up alright?”
* * *
It was glorious.
Still, five hours later, Pierre was laughing so hard he dribbled in his shorts and dampened my wicker chair. I didn’t say anything though because, well, he was big—and he had that ore.
I re-cued the video on the computer monitor and fast forwarded to the part where Pretty Boy’s head burst into flames. We watched him dance around on his tip-toes and wave his hands in the air like he just didn’t care—giving the flames all the more air to breath.
Pierre jumped up and mimicked the action on the screen, not because he was trying to be funny, but because he was laughing so hard he almost couldn’t breath.
Golden Boy panicked, but had enough sense to tackle his flaming buddy. He huffed at his friend’s hair until he blew out a patch big enough to get his hand in. When he did, he slammed his buddy’s head down onto the crotch of the guy lying on the floor and did his best to rub him out.
“You gotta turn that shit off man. I can’t take it no more.” Pierre said.
With my own laughter threatening to choke my off my air supply, I did what he said.
Once we composed ourselves, I took a look at the boxes of DVD’s we’d been burning.
“Girls Gone Wild, my ass,” I said and high-fived my business partner.
My palm didn’t miss its target.