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A Reach Around

Jul. 16, 2008
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, I can’t pony up a regular essay for you’s this week on account of two words: Brett focking Favre.

As a candidate for the presidency of the United States, it has suddenly occurred to me that this beloved confederate cracker from the Magnolia State might very well be the genius choice for No. 2 on the Kumbalek presidential ticket, I kid you not. “Favre, Kumbalek—touchdown!” Forget about it. “Kumbalek, Favre—White House!” Get on board.

So I got to get over to the Uptowner tavern/charm school to run this by my campaign brain trust, except they’re not open yet. So first, I’ll slide over by this 24-hour joint that slings the hash and Joe whether you like it or not. Come along if you want, but you leave the tip.

Hattie: Hello there, Artie, what’s your pleasure?

Art: For crying out loud, it’s Hattie. Hattie Venta. Aren’t you a sight for a sore eyes—or is that a “sight to cause sore eyes”—I forget.

Hattie: Oh Artie, isn’t that nice. Now let’s cut the sweet talk. Are you going to order something, or do I need to call the police on you for loitering?

Art: The police?

Hattie: Artie, you know I can’t have you taking up a valuable stool if you’re not going to order anything.

Art: But Hattie, I’m the only one in here.

Hattie: I’ve got eyes, mister. So are you going to play ball, Artie—or do I have to get rough?

Art: Calm down, Hattie. Now I remember why I’m the only one in here. I’ll just have a nice cup of the blackest, thickest and cheapest of whatever it is you’re calling plain old American coffee today, thank you very kindly.

Hattie: Now was that so hard, Artie? And just so you know, I’ll need the tip up front, so there’s no shenanigans.

Art: All right already, Hattie. Here’s a buck. Go get yourself something nice.

Hattie: You’re such a nice boy, Artie. And see? Here’s your coffee, just like I promised. So what do you hear, what do you know, my little Artie.

Art: I know I’m surprised to see you, Hattie. I thought you retired.

Hattie: I did, Artie. But then I got an itch. Art: Yeah, you and Brett Favre. Go figure.

Hattie: Don’t you dare talk about our Brett that way, Artie. I’ll call the police on you.

Art: You got to be jerking my beefaroni, Hattie. Are you a Brett Favre fan?

Hattie: Oh, Artie. Whenever I get an itch, I always imagine he’s the nice, rough and tumble Johnny Reb country-bumpkin to be scratching it. What’s the matter, Artie? You don’t look so good.

Art: Yeah, sometimes I see a picture I’d really rather not see, like Brett Favre throwing interceptions wearing a Houston Texans uniform instead of the Green and Gold.

Hattie: Isn’t that a coincidence you mentioned Texas. Guess where I’m going tomorrow?

Art: Somewhere for observation, I hope.

Hattie: Oh no, Artie. And don’t you smart mouth me. I’m going to Texas, for an extended stay. Do you know anything about Texas, Artie?

Art: Only a couple things I know you’ll never hear a Texan say.

Hattie: Really, Artie. And what’s that?

Art: You’ll never hear a Texan say, “I’ll take Shakespeare for 1,000, Alex,” and you’ll never hear a Texan say, “Hon’, you mail that donation to Greenpeace yet?”

Hattie: Isn’t that fascinating.

Art: So Hattie, what takes you down to the Lone Star state for an extended stay, if you don’t mind me asking?

Hattie: Oh Artie, I’ve met the nicest man who asked me to come visit and stay awhile.

Art: Really, Hattie. How’d you meet this cowboy?

Hattie: He isn’t a cowboy, Artie. He’s a rodeo clown, and during the off-season he works as a nightclub hypnotist when he isn’t in jail. I met him on the Internet.

Art: Hattie, the Internet?

Hattie: You’d be surprised how easy it is to meet nice men that way—especially if a gal fibs a little about her age. Oh Artie, I’m just beside myself, I’m so excited.

Art: Yeah, your clown’s going to be beside himself, too, after he gets a load of you.

Hattie: Oh Artie, that’s so nice of you to say.

Art: Hattie, you didn’t fib too much about your age to this guy, did you?

Hattie: I don’t think so, Artie. But you know get a little dyslexic when it comes to numbers, and when he asked me how old I was, I may have typed in “16.”

Art: Sixteen. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll understand.

Hattie: Of course he’ll understand, Artie. Why wouldn’t he understand—especially after takes a gander at the branding iron with my initials that I’m bringing along.

Art: That’s thoughtful, Hattie. Nothing says “I’m yours” like a hot branding iron applied the bare buttock.

Hattie: I’m one lucky gal, don’t you think, Artie? I feel just like I won the lottery.

Art: Well Hattie, better you won the lot tery than your man. knew this one guy, wife comes rushing through the door one day, she screams, “Honey, pack your clothes! I just won the lottery!” The husband says, “Great. Should pack for the beach for the mountains?” Wife says, “What do care. Just pack and get the hell out!”

Hattie: That’s a nice story, Artie. You’re such good boy.

Art: Well, it’s been a treat, Hattie—you take care of yourself down in Texas, you hear? thanks for the coffee and for bending my ear there, Hattie-licious. See you next time.

Hattie: Oh Artie, you’re a little devil, aren’t you. Take care. (OK, it’s off to the Uptowner. If you see me there, then you buy me one ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)


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