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The Last Straw

The Last Straw

The Last Straw

By Michael J. Herman © 2020

My Buddies and I were out for a night of fun. We'd all worked the kind of week that makes you ready for anything but looking at a computer screen, a spreadsheet print out, or the back of the head of the co-worker in the next cubical. By the end of a week like that one, you actually think you're the one wearing cheap perfume and popping chewing gum every 80 seconds like clockwork.

You even get used to the pattern and when it doesn't pop, you get uptight and want to yell, "Pop it already! You know you're going to!" Still, you keep your composure, because letting go like that is just the start of what would definitely be an ugly tirade of subjugated annoyances built up over a fifty-two hours and eleven minutes work week.

And believe me, I have a list. It's possible bloodshed could follow.

And to think this morning I almost questioned if it was worth getting out of my nice comfortable bed?

I could taste the cold beer as I imagined sucking it through a long plastic straw and the cold sliding down my throat. The guys always jostled me about the straw, but I didn't care. It made the beer last longer, and besides, drinking through a straw is fun. I could hear the knocking of the pool balls. I could imagine the stress dissolving from my tense and knotted shoulders.

"Hey Jim, you ready? The guys are waiting" called my pal Stu. You didn't have to say it twice. I stood up only to be confronted with a giant mouth of smiling      white teeth.

"Oh Jim, just one more thing I'll need from you before you head out. The R2360-SW44-12 could be a little tighter. I'd really like to tie it up before the weekend. Be a pal and adjust it and then you can go. Okay?"

I looked at the clock. 6:01:25. I'd already been there one and a half whole minutes, eighty five seconds and counting more than my sanity could bare.

I looked squarely at his potato chip shaped face and said, "Sorry Clyde, I'm a bird on the window sill." I wasn't being rude. The manager's face was really shaped like a potato chip and his name really was Clyde.

"Huh" he replied?

"I'm outta here!"

With that I grabbed my stuff and went for the door. After all, asking me to stay longer when the company already cancelled all overtime, and I know Clyde is the one who ate my Oreos that I left in the pantry then blamed it on Wayne because Wayne is a big fatty, well… that was the last straw.

I snickered acknowledging the absurdity of the suggestion and bounded out           the door.

In the car Stu went on and on about something his new girlfriend did that he found annoying, but not as annoying as listening to Stu talk about his new girlfriend.  Stu's a great guy, but he has terrible timing.

"We're here" Stu announced interrupting his own inane, stupid story.

Inside the bar Ruby was serving drinks, even though it was her night off. She rolled down the bar a cold mug of my favorite Sam Adams with a straw.

"You know I hate it when people shirk their responsibilities and can't even call to let you know they're not coming into work" groaned Ruby. "This makes seven nights straight on my feet."

"Hey, that beats seven nights straight on your back, right" punned Stu.

"Assholes" said the hot red head that just sat on the stool beside me at the exact same time as I did.

"You know the rule. Now you have to buy me my next drink" announced the girl.

I checked her out up and down. Her legs started at the floor and ended at her belly button. Her wavy, fiery red hair hugged her face and filled her shoulders. But it was her chuckle that seemed to hypnotize. Her mouth kept moving and sound seemed to be emanating from it but all I could do was calculate how many drinks it was going to take to see what's under that silky top?

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Stu negotiating with the new cocktail waitress for her number and a date. This went on every week we hit a bar and every week, Stu ended up either getting a fake phone number or in a fight with a boyfriend.  But I have to hand it to him, the man has heart and he keeps trying.


As for the red head, she downed her second Meister Brau and suddenly turned on like an electric tigress. She was all paws and tongue. Mind you, I wasn't complaining. After all, it was the first time in two weeks of grueling computer analysis I had my hands on anything softer than a defrosted chalupa.

At the end of the bar the kissing grew in intensity. Her hands were as curious as were mine.

I knew there was a line not to be crossed. Especially since she was clearly up to her brow in Brau, but Robin as I'd later find out was her name had taken the lead and I was following.

"You two should get a room" said Ruby.

"Right, like there's a hotel anywhere near here?"

Ruby refilled my beer and replaced it with a fresh straw.

"There's a foldout in the office if you want. It's out back."

I looked squarely at Ruby and asked, "Are you sure you aint a dude?"

She smiled and wiped down the bar.

"You wanna" I asked?

"I wanna" replied Robin.

Inside the back room, it looked like the dungeon of Caligula. On the walls were masks of the most bazaar types. Shrunken heads and an antique suit of armor, a stockade with locks on it, and tools of ore, and weird contraptions lined the walls, and behind glass was what looked like a dehydrated human head covered in a thin layer of paper mache.

It looked strangely like my late Uncle Moishe. Oddly, as an aside, when Moishe past away I was not allowed to attend the funeral. So naturally I started wondering what ever happened to Dear Old Unc, but before I could ponder much, there she was. A gorgeous, nearly fully naked, vamping, young trollip. I wasn't judging, because I was no better. Her perfect nubile breasts filled my view of the room.

She approached with a sizzling and yet wicked grin. As though she wanted something she knew I had. I kissed her hard. The pheromones were thick in the air. The tension was palpable. The heat was hot and every hormone was shooting through our bodies.  I pressed our chests against each other and our full bodies stuck together. Tingling was quickly replaced by pulsating and more.

"Why don't you lie down" she whispered?

I complied.

And positioned between the weird and somewhat horrifying decor was a couch that clearly hadn't been maintained since Naugahyde was a fashion statement. But who cares? There's a horny woman and the choices are few.

I was so creeped out that I almost turned and walked out, but before I could Robin had dropped the afore referenced silk top and bra, and then panties and stood topless and naked, slightly inebriated, and wobbling in all the right places in front of me.

I looked around for my beer but it was already almost empty and no straw.

"You wanna" invited Robin?

"I wanna" I replied.

I lay down on my back, stretched my arms high over my head in frantic anticipation when I heard a CLANG and then felt a closing clasp around             my wrists.

I opened my eyes to find myself handcuffed to the wall with the clasps I noticed but paid no attention to a few moments ago.

"You're a kinky one, ainchya?"

"Yeah, kinky" she said as she rapidly put on her clothes then grabbed my pants and my wallet. "Only forty bucks, you cheap bastard?!"

"What are you doing, you crazy bitch?"

"Can't you figure it out? I'm robbing you."

"Robin, I thought we had a great thing going? I mean, we were going to…            you know."

"Yeah, I know. And the name's not Robin. It's Barbara. Oh wait, it's Nancy. No, it's Stacy. Gail. Trudy."

She shuffled through my credit cards desperately seeking gold.

"Sears? Discount Tires? Starbuck's loyalty card? 24 Hour Fitness? Well obviously you don't use that card."

"Hey" I defended.

"Aint you got no money, Honey?"

Well if I knew I was getting rolled by a pro I'd have brought you my Am Ex Black Card. Want the registration to my car, too?"

"No. Judging from this, it's probably a Pinto."

"That's the last straw" I demanded! "You can tie me up to a bed, steel my clothes, and take my stuff, but I will not let you sully and disparage the good name of the Ford Pinto! Every car manufacturer is entitled to one mistake!" I thought for a brief moment and muttered, "I like that car."

She chortled with resignation and judgment.

"Barbara Nancy Stacy, Trudy Gail Muffy, whatever your name is, look, maybe I came across a little forward, but, Hey, that's my Big Burt's Burgers & Burrito Bar Buy ten-get the eleventh free. I only have two more til my free foot long."

"I know" she said. I still need 8 more. You just gave me a free twelve incher for lunch tomorrow" she chuckled.

"Well," I offered with an inviting grin, "You don't have to wait til tomorrow for a twelve incher if you untie me."

"Like as if" she indignantly barked.

She gave me a close once up and down, almost reconsidered, then said, "Nah, I really want a whole twelve inches."

"That's where I've seen you before! You eat at Big Burts. I never forget a burrito! I noticed you always get the side salad. Good choice. You don't need too many            saturated fats."

Just then, the door opened and in barged Stu, giggling and obviously already drunk. He took one good look. "Oh, I'm thu-orry. I didn't know you were all tied up. I'll come back later or maybe tomorrow. I don't really know what day it is."

Like Santa Clause leaving before the kids come down the stairs, he was gone and the door was shut.

"Some friend you got there" Robin quipped. "Maybe if I play my cards right I can get lucky with him and earn an extra topping on my next Dominos Pizza?"

Just then the song Camp Town Races came blasting out of the pants she had balled up in her hands.

"What the hell is that" she demanded?

"I think it's Camp Town Races" I replied.

"Camp Town Races" she insisted?

"Doodah Doodah" I responded.

The phone continued to ring until it stopped.

A shared sigh of relief.

Then "I Love You, You Love Me" (the Birney the Dinosaur theme Song rang out. Then a Country Music Jingle.

"What the hell is that, now" she demanded even louder.

"I think it's the song Here You Come Again? Kind of bad timing for that song I guess, seeing as how, well, you know."

The look of Barbara Nancy Stacy Trudy Gail's face was shear pissed off" as she downed the last of my beer and headed out the door with a slam and all my clothes, wallet, house keys, and Big Burt's card.

"You Bitch" I yelled as loud as I could! "I really wanted that burrito. And my beer? That's the last straw! You're not really going to leave me here like this, are you" I hollered? As I writhed trying to undo the wrist clamps I muttered                   "That's the last straw!"

Just then, the door reopened as Barbara Nancy Stacy Trudy Gail came walking back in. She literally came in walking backwards, followed by four uniform police, Stan the bar manager, Ruby the bar tender, Stu, and a photographer from the Valley View Newspaper.

"Alright, that's as far as you go Samantha Simmons Snyderhoosen" declared the Sergeant.  "I think you've rolled one too many dumb asses!"

"Hey" I exclaimed!

"We've been following you for weeks. We finally have you dead to rights with all the evidence we'll need. Thanks Ruby. You've been a Real Live Crime Stopper." He took the recording from Ruby and walked Samantha, (handcuffed and caught dead to rights) out the door.

I looked up at the crowd surrounding the bed. "Can someone please unlock me?"

A few hours later at the bar, once the confusion died down the ribbing really started. Between everything I'd endured all week and what had just happened, all I wanted was a tall, cold beer.

"You're going to be famous" yelled Stu. "You caught the Red Headed Bandit red handed. Man, are the guys at work going to be jealous!"

"Here you go, Stud! And it's on the house" smiled Ruby as she poured me a fresh cold one stuck a straw in it and sent it down the bar. I took a indulgent slurp through the long, plastic straw and as I swallowed and as Stu slapped me with a congratulatory open palm on the back causing my straw to fall to the floor.

I looked to Ruby. "Sorry, that's the last straw!"

Some days it's just not worth getting out of bed.

Michael J. Herman is a professional writer and Effectiveness Coach.

You can connect with Mike at LinkedIn.com/michaeljherman

Please let me know if and how I can be of value.
Michael J. Herman, Speaker-Writer-Author-Entrepreneur
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