The Braggart

Yeah, that was a great night. Let me tell you, I haven't had so much fun in any night before or since. What did we do? I'll tell you what we did, It was just a boy's night out, you know, that sort of thing you don't tell to your wife, just a time with the guys. Was I drunk? Would it be a boy's night out if I wasn't? Actually, I don't remember all that much, you know. Yeah, I know. How do I know it was the best night ever? Because I, well, I think it was. It had to have been. Man, I was so trashed, I swear, there ain't nothing you can't do when you're trashed. So what did I do? Nothing, I already told you that. But it was a great night.

I am not taunting you. I rally don't know what happened that night. Look, stop asking me, or I'm going to get pissed. You don't want me to get pissed, do you? You know what I'm like when I'm pissed. Eh? Eh? That's better. Drink your beer.

So, like I said, that was some time on the town. Me and Billy and Jeff, that's who we was that night. Of course I remember their names, you don't think I can remember people's names? I might have been drunk. Yes, real drunk. But I know people's names. That's for sure. How can you forget the names of the people you spent the best night of your life with? So, I don't remember anything else, big deal. I'm still going to remember my friends.

No, I don't know if anyone else was with us. How would I know that? I already told you I don't remember jack. Is there anybody up there, huh? How many times do I have to tell you I don't remember. For Christ's sake, let it drop. Yes, I forgive you. Shut up. So, I heard the Lions actually won a game. Coming sign of the end of the world. At least that's what my father-in-law says. Yeah, he's a nice guy. For an in-law. A bit too stuffy. He doesn't laugh. Never. I think he's an accountant or something. Yeah, I wouldn't laugh either if I was an accountant. Did you ever meet Billy's dad? Mean old asshole. I want to be like him when I get old. You know, crusty and grumpy and just bitching about life from sun-up to sun-down. Billy? He's one of the guys with me on that night. Yeah, that one. No, I don't know if he got wasted too. I guess he did, though. God, we all were. But then, what do you expect, eh? I mean, three guys like me, and we're definitely going to go to town. God, I want cirrhosis by the time I'm forty, let me tell you.

What do you think? No, we didn't go bowling again. I told, you I don't remember. I just know we didn't go bowling. I don't know how, I just do. I guess I was sober enough then. After all, I was driving. Sure I remember that. You know I always drive when Billy and Jeff and me get drunk. You haven't been around us when we were drunk? Man, you don't know what you're missing, let me tell you. That Billy, what a great guy. He's not an asshole, like Jeff. Now there's a real nancy, let me tell you. I swear, he's always dressed up and his hair, my God, he's got a Brady perm. Yeah, he's a friend of Billy's. I don't know where he gets them, that Billy. He won't go anywhere without Jeff. It's like they're married or something.

So, you want another beer? I'll take another myself. Hell, let's get a pitcher. You good for it? Thought so. Don't worry, I'll cover you, this time. Just remember to pay me back. You got any preference? Shit, man, that stuff's damn near undrinkable. I can't believe you like that shit. To each their own, though. I suppose I can share it with you, though. It is cheap, after all. And hey, after a couple glasses, not like I can taste it.

Jeff, oh you know about him, don't you. Oh, that's right, I was telling you. You'd think he'd be a hairdresser or something. Yeah, he's that bad. But no, he's in marketing. Always in a suit. I swear, those people have less of a soul than anyone else I've ever seen. No, I don't know if they suck it out of them. Humorless motherfuckers too. I swear, I told them a joke last night, the one about nuns on bicycles, and Billy, he laughed up a storm and Jeff, he just sat there with this expression on his face, like he'd eaten some bad fish or something. I told you, I don't remember nothing. OK, I remember telling the joke, but that's because Jeff was such a freak about it. Hey, if someone is going to not laugh at the nuns on a bicycle joke, they are either one of them militant feminists or some sort of freak. I mean, even my wife Maria laughed at it. And her aunt Gina is a nun. Big, hairy, warty woman. I always said that if Gina wasn't a nun, she could always make it as a priest. Hell, she's celibate out of necessity, that woman is. Sure, she's got big tits, but they hang down to her ankles. You think any man will find that attractive, you got another think coming. I heard she once did a choirboy, you know, the Reynolds kid? Yeah, I bet he was just horny as all hell. Have to be to do her. Hell, I heard that she screwed Jeff too, when he was younger. That'd turn me, now that I think about it. Billy told me. Jeff wasn't happy about that, nosiree. In fact, last night, he and Billy had a fight about it. Boy, you should have seen 'em. I swear, if I didn't know better, I'd a thought they were going to kill each other right then and there, but I wasn't about to stop them. You know, always best to stay well out of such things. Stay out and laugh. My God, I laughed so hard, I think they would've beaten me up too.

I told you, I don't remember anything last night. Geez, how often do I got to say that before it sinks into that dumbass, thick-skulled head of yours. Don't ask me about yesterday night. Is there something you don't understand? Huh? Shit, I'm leaving. I don't need this. No, you can't get me to�Þ stay. No way. OK, there's the pitcher. I'll guess I'll finish the pitcher, but then I'm going. Just shut up, won't you? God, you can be so annoying sometimes. Just sit there and be quiet.

You know, sometimes I think they should bring back the stocks. Not the ones in New York, the medieval ones, like in Boston and stuff. Where they stick people who don't behave. Like they did for adultery or hunting or something. Yeah, the wood ones. Sure they should. Why, do you think they shouldn't? I mean, how better to punish someone then to set them up for people to make fun of them. I swear, humiliation would work wonders. Cut down on vandalism and such if they did that, you better believe it. The ones who really deserve it would be the deadbeat dads. You know, those guys who leave their kids? Now, I might not be the best father in the world. Hell, I'll admit it, I suck. But at least I take care of my kid, that's for damn sure. Sure I don't spend much time home. Hell, I should be there right now. I know my wife is worried sick about me. I told her I'd be there an hour ago, but, like I said when we got married: Maria, I said, Maria, I'm going to be out with my friends an awful lot. If you don't like it, you don't have to get married to me, but I'm going to stay out and that's that. Well, she wasn't too happy, but that doesn't matter, because I warned her, and she better know that I'm not going to change for her or any woman.

Oh yeah, the deadbeat dads. I think those fuckers deserve the stocks, deserting their own kids like that. I mean, that level of humiliation should fuck with anyone's mind. No question about it. Hey, we should throw mud at them too. Have vendors hanging around with balls of mud to throw at them, just cover them in that shit. You'd better believe people would start paying their child support. Ain't no one who wants to get covered in mud. Well, the stocks would just be for the worst offenders. People like vandals could just get spanked. Yeah, like that kid in Singapore. I swear, if we did that, the city would be clean so fast your eyes would ache. Of course, some people would want to get spanked. You know Billy likes to get spanked? Jeff told me right after their fight. Never would have guessed. That almost caused some trouble, let me tell you. But hey, fair's fair, right?

No, I really don't remember. Look, shut up. If this pitcher was finished, I'd leave right now, but there ain't now way I'm letting you have all my beer, not the way you've been treating me. Look, you want to now what happened, I'll tell you what happened. You were right, we went bowling. I got a shitty score, even if I was drunk. Look, you know I'm good at bowling, you know that, I know that, Billy and Jeff know it. Don't go telling anyone. I got a 110. Yes, that is low. Shut up about it now, or everyone else will hear you. I got a reputation to maintain.

Yes, I'm sure I went bowling. Why in the hell would I lie about going bowling? Huh? It's not as if I got something to hide. Oh, you think I do? What is it, come one, Mister, tell me what I got to hide. If you think you know me so well, what is it. I thought so. God, you are getting trying. I'm leaving, really I am. No, I'm gone. OK, after this next pitcher, but then I'm gone.

All right, what do you want to know about last night, huh? What would make you happy? Should I swear you to secrecy then lie my ass of to make you think you heard the truth? Huh? Is that what you want? The truth, you want the truth, I'll give you the truth.

You can't tell anyone. If you do, I'll have to kill you. I mean it. Especially not Maria. You tell Maria and I won't just kill you, I'll kill your mother. OK, sorry about that, may she rest in peace, I'll kill your father then.

You got to remember, I was drunk. You can't blame me for anything I did, you know that. It was all under the influence. Nothing really happened, anyway. Just the usual, boys on the town thing. Strip clubs, bars, that sort of stuff. Man, there was a woman there at the strip club. She was big, Gina big. But man, they rode up high. And not hairy or warty either. I swear, if the sign hadn't guaranteed all-natural, I would have bet my soul that they were plastic. I must have given her ten bucks, and Billy, man, Billy emptied his pocket on her. Jeff wasn't too happy about that, but that little fag, who cares but Jeff, eh? So, we got sloshed there and then we went home. That's it. But it was fun. Don't tell Maria, though. She don't like me to go to those places. I mean, I don't do anything, just have a little fun. Just the guys, out on the town together.

For God's sake, I'm telling the truth. What do I have to say to convince of that? Come on, you think I'm going to lie to you now? Shit, you want another story, me to make something else up? What I told you ain't good enough? All right, but you got to swear to me on your father's grave. Sorry, your mother's.

Yesterday night, we went to the Duke's. Yeah, that bar. It was Jeff's idea. He said that they had good drinks. But all there was was this girly drink shit, daiquiris and stuff. Everything was mixed. I don't know how they expected me to get drunk off of daiquiris. Rhey wouldn't give me any rum straight, unless I begged. And you know how much I hate rum. God, I wouldn't use it to poison rats, much less my own gut, but hey, you got to make do with what you got, you know?

Anyways, so we were there in that club, you know the one, behind the Wal-Mart? I hear it's going out of business. Yeah, they don't have anything. I can't understand why people complain about them. I mean, money is money, right? And they make jobs for all those old people who would be in Florida if it wasn't for them. Like these small towns have a culture to begin with.

The club? I already told you about the club. I got drunk on rum and laughed at all the fairies groping each other. Some made good looking women, though. You'd be surprised. God knows I was. No, nothing like that, just if you look at them, thinking, my God, what an ass, and then you see that she hasn't shaved her pits, smells like an ox, and has stubble. Sure, she could be a gym teacher, but ain't no way a real woman was in that club. So I got drunk and we went home. Jeff dragged someone else along, I don't know why. I think to make Billy jealous, but how could Billy be jealous of that fruit?

No, we didn't go to my place. We went to Billy's. You know Maria doesn't like me to drink. I don't know why. It's the usual boy's night out thing, and I don't know why she isn't used to it by now. God knows, I am. Even if it means hanging out with that faggot Jeff. Billy's, oh, we just drank there. No big deal. He had some real stuff to drink, not that pansy shit at the club. Maybe they like that stuff, but I got to drink beer. No two ways about it. So we drank and then we passed out.

No, I didn't go home. I told you, Maria don't like to see me drunk. I had to stay over and sober up. And when I woke up, it was already time to go to work. And there ain't no way I'm going to get fired and let Maria and my kid go hungry. No way in Hell. I'll see Maria tonight, anyways.

That friend of Jeff's, he was real interesting, once he got drunk. I don't know why we all put up with him. Man, the guy is a major asshole. But this guy, he was pretty smart. I think he was engineer. Or a lawyer. I never can tell the difference, at least not after I'm completely hammered. said his name was Giovanni. I never met anyone with the name Giovanni before, have you? Of course, duh. You're Italian. You probably got an uncle Giovanni. Uncle, cousin, same difference.

So this Giovanni guy, he was real nice. After we had drunk everything in Billy's house up, we were about ready for bed. Except for Billy. He was puking in the toilet. We just sat there and made fun of him until he stopped. My God, he was gone. He must have been worshipping the porcelain god for an hour, it seemed. Well, he wasn't choking. And you should've heard him cry. I've never heard a grown man bawl like that. Well, not since the last time Billy got drunk, at any rate.

So anyway, after Billy had stopped puking, and we stopped laughing, we all collapsed. I was going to take the floor in the living room, but Giovanni, he saw me on the floor, and I guess Billy had told him about my back and how it hurt me ever since that soccer accident in high school, you know, when Parksville's goalie jumped on my back, well he didn't jump, just stepped on it, but it fell like he jumped, anyway, he saw I was going to be on the floor and he would have none of that. He made me take the couch with him, and my back is thankful for it. Shit, he didn't even roll all over me like Maria does. You should see her in bed. I swear, she turns completely around three times in a night and she drags me with her. If she wasn't my wife and the mother to my kid, I'd kick her out of bed. No way a man should have to put up with shit like that, not even from his wife. I mean, she didn't do that when we had a single bed. But then, when we had a single bed, there wasn't room to do that. And the covers she takes, I think I'm going to get pneumonia from the way she takes the covers. Right off of my back while I'm sleeping. I try to take them back, but there is no way a man can take covers from his wife and that's the gospel truth. You know that, don't you. They may seem weak, but once they wrap themselves up in them, it's like trying to get a turtle out of its shell.

Oh shit. That's Billy. I got to go. I'm driving, after all. We're going to go get drunk again. You want to come? OK. That's fine. No, I got it, remember. I drank more than you did, anyway. Listen, if Maria asks you where I went, tell her I went bowling, OK? Tell her I'll be back in late and don't wait up. She'll understand.

© 1997, 1999 Joseph Cadotte

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