Originally Posted by dundadun
Thompson, Joey, and Roger were standing outside of the bar.
The were dressed as a Priest, a Rabbi and Santa, respectively.
This was going to be a ****ty Christmas party.
As if they had all collectively sensed it no one had made any effort to actually enter the bar.
Roger was wondering how he had gotten to this point of time in his life. Back in High School he had written, ‘Keep in Touch’ in Joey and Thompson’s yearbooks. Who could have guessed that either of them actually would?
If only someone like Amanda Burgas had kept in touch instead. Though according to Joey she was now a crack whore living on the streets of Los Angeles. You really couldn’t trust anything Joey said. A more likely scenario was that she was now happily married with three kids in Vacaville. Either way it was a deal breaker.
Especially the Vacaville part.
Thompson pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. He took a long drag and looked up to find Roger and Joey both staring at him. Neither of them were quiet sure when Thompson had picked up the habit.
“What? If we’re just going to be standing around anyway.”
Back in High School Thompson hadn’t been the brightest crayon in the box. He hadn’t gotten good grades and was pretty socially oblivious. That obviously hadn’t changed about him. Here he was dressed like a priest to a Christmas party because he was trying to get double use out of his Halloween costume. Roger wouldn’t be surprised if next Halloween Thompson would be asking to borrow his Santa suit.
Thompson hadn’t gone to college. Instead he joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Las Vegas. He recently bought a three bedroom house. In seven more years he could retire. Oddly enough...he was doing the best out of all of them.
Then again, Joey had just started at law school. And he was just duchebaggy enough that he could be great at it.
And that...just left Roger.
“I get why Thompson is dressed like a Priest,” said Roger to Joey. “But why are you dressed like a Rabbi?”
Joey looked down at his clothes and back up at him. “I am being ironic.”
“But you’re really Jewish.”
It was amazing that all of Joey’s ancestors of Hanukkah's past didn’t rise up to smack him upside his head.
Roger sighed. “I really didn’t want to end up as a bad joke tonight.”
“What you do mean a bad joke?” asked Thompson around his cigarette.
“You know,” said Roger, “‘a Priest, a Rabbi and Santa walk into a bar’.”
Thompson thought about that for a moment. “I’ve never heard that one. What’s the punch line?”
“It doesn’t have a punch line,” Roger replied. “It was a generalization.”
Joey snapped his fingers. “I got it. A Priest, a Rabbi and Santa walk into a bar--ouch.”
Both Roger and Thompson grimaced at that one.
“Who picked this bar?” asked Roger motioning with his chin. ”It has damn umlauts in it’s name.”
The bar was called Atmosfär. And apparently tonight it was both half off tequila shots and Karaoke night. That seemed like a painfully bad combination.
Roger gave an inward groan as he figured out his own question. “Mya picked this bar. Dammit. I hate you, Joey.”
Thompson gave him a sympathetic pat on the back.
Joey shrugged. “Haters goin’ hate.”
Roger should have been mad at him, but he just couldn’t work up the energy for it. This was an old argument and Roger was losing his edge just from the sheer longevity from it. Honestly, what did he expect from Joey anyway?
Thompson tilted his head slightly as he took in the bar. “Maybe it’s just it’s name, but it looks like an Ikea.”
Joey and Roger tilted their heads accordingly.
The bar was painted a pale yellow with a blue awning.
“It does seem to have a Swedish flare to it,” admitted Roger.
“I hope they have meatballs,” said Joey. “I love me some meatballs.”
Roger and Thompson both snickered at that.
Joey attempted to look stern and unamused. It was a little hard to take him seriously while he was dressed up like a Rabbi.
He finally gave a resigned sigh. “I guess I walked into that one.”
“Yeah,” replied Roger. “Like your bar joke.”
“You said ‘balls’” replied Thompson.
The door to Atmosfär opened. A rush of loud chatter and a horrible rendition of ‘Living on a Prayer’ flooded out onto the sidewalk.
And a woman--the woman walked out.
Joey’s great love. Roger’s great headache. And the source of years of entertainment for Thompson.
As Mya sauntered towards them, Roger wondered why were people always so determined to treat old classmates as if they had never left High School? All you had to do was take one look at Mya and you would know that people really do change.
Roger remembered Mya as a too skinny, too chatty girl who was way too dependant on other people to pull off the free spirited impression she was trying to give off.
Now here she was her filled out curves being hugged by some slutty Santa’s Helper outfit with four inch red f***-me high heels. The way that she was teetering in them only proved it really was half off tequila shot night.
“Hello, boys!” she said with a smile. “How long are you going to be standing around out here?”
“Thompson had to finish his cigarette,” replied Joey smoothly.
“But it’s cold out here.” Mya rubbed her arms as if that emphasized her point.
“Why do girls wear next to nothing and then insist on complaining that it’s cold?” asked Roger.
“Maybe we like to make an impression,” said Mya coyly.
Roger tried to ignore her tone.
Joey smiled at Mya and started to take off his jacket for her. “Here. Just while we’re out here.”
“But it won’t match my outfit,” Mya replied as she not to subtlety looked Roger up and down.
“Jesus,” muttered Roger.
Thompson, in his Priest outfit, waved a scolding finger at Roger. “Tut, tut.”
Roger shot him a look. “What? Are you in character now?”
Thompson just grinned with his cigarette still hanging from lip.
“So, what have you boys been up to?” asked Mya casually.
“I just got into law school,” jumped in Joey.
Mya glanced at him. “Yeah? You’re just duschbaggy enough for that to work.”
“Thanks,” Joey replied with a smile.
Thompson rolled his eyes and maybe Roger would have too if he hadn’t been so stunned that Mya had pretty much said word for word what he had been thinking.
“What about you, Thompson?” asked Mya.
“Air Force,” said Thompson simply.
“And Roger, what have you been up to?”
Ah, yes. Here it was. The moment Roger had been dreading all night.
Back in High School, Roger had been an actor, a journalist, a minor athlete and an Honors English student. He wasn’t any of those things anymore. Funny how the real world doesn’t give a **** about any of that.
Roger shrugged. “Not much.”
“Cool,” replied Mya.
It really wasn’t.
The door to the bar opened again. This time it sounded like a whole Sorority was belting out ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ to the tune of too many tequila shots.
That wasn’t all that surprising, what was surprising was who walked out of the bar.
“That...is Amanda Burgas,” said Thompson. “She looks pretty good for a crack whore.”
Amanda looked pretty good period.
She was wearing boots, leggings, a little sweater dress and a Santa hat. She looked good. She looked like herself.
“Mya! What are you doing out here?” called Amanda. She then took in the whole group with one glance and smiled. “You guys do realize this is a Christmas party right?”
“Hey, Santa celebrates Christmas,” replied Roger.
“Priests celebrate Christmas,” followed up Thompson.
Everyone turned to look at Joey.
Joey just shrugged. “My family always celebrates Christmas.”
“You really are the worst Jew ever,” summed up Thompson.
Joey shoved him and Thompson shoved him back. It escalated slightly from there. Roger wasn’t sure what Joey thought he was going to accomplish. Thompson wasn’t a big guy, but the Air Force had taught him enough to fend off one skinny, Jewish law student.
No telling what the people driving by thought of the whole situation.
“So,” said Roger for lack of anything better to say. “How’ve you been, Amanda?”
Amanda shrugged. “Living at home with my parents, watching daytime TV and wondering if ‘yes’ I could become a dental assistant like the commercials say I can.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, I heard you were a crack whore or married with three kids in Vacaville.”
“God,” replied Amanda a little stunned. “Vacaville, really?”
Roger laughed. He stole a glance at Thompson and Joey.
They had stopped fighting long enough for Thompson to light up another cigarette and Joey had managed to wrangle Mya into his coat. He seemed to be interpreting that as a win, but Mya appeared to be more interested in asking if Thompson had killed anyone.
“I got into a bar fight once...”
Roger looked back at Amanda. She had her arms folded across her chest and seemed to be looking everywhere except at him. When their eyes finally met she gave him a smile.
“So...how’ve you been, Roger?”
“Good,” repeated Amanda as she rubbed her arms absently.
Roger knew he should offer her his coat. He should just take it off and put it around her shoulders. It would be easy. It should be that easy--
“Hey, Mya,” called Amanda breaking up Mya’s interrogation of Thompson. “I am going to head back in. It’s freezing out here.”
“Okay, girl,” replied Mya. “You know we’re belting out some Britney later.”
Amanda laughed. “Let me down a few more shots first.”
“Done and done,” grinned Mya. “I’ll be in in a sec.”
Roger wasn’t even aware that he was watching Amanda walk back into the bar until Mya slid up next to him. She linked her around his own and pressed herself against him.
Which made what she said all the more surprising.
“You really should go after her.”
Roger did a double take. “What?”
“You heard me, Santa.”
“I am not sure I did.”
Mya rolled her eyes. “You know, Roger. Out of all of the people you kept in touch with, you chose those guys?”
They both looked back at Thompson and Joey. They were currently arguing over which Britney Spears song was the best. Thompson was sticking with the classic, “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and Joey was making a case for “If You Seek Amy”. The argument was probably going to end with another shoving match.
Roger shrugged. “I could do worst.”
“Hey, law school,” called Mya as she detached herself from Roger and headed back towards the bar. “I am taking your coat.”
“Oh,” said Joey a little dumbfounded. “Okay.”
Thompson elbowed him in the ribs. “She means you should follow her.”
Joey hurried to catch up to Mya. He opened the door for her. It sounded like the girls were putting the finishing touches on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. In their defense, who really knew how the end verse went?
Mya smiled at him. “If You Seek Amy’, really?”
“I like word play.”
Mya looked back at Roger. “You’re a good friend. And you should go after Amanda.”
“Dating advice from Mya Reyes,” replied Roger. “Go figure.”
“Don’t knock it,” Mya said with a grin. “We can all use a little advice.”
“Amen,” replied Thompson as if on cue. “Go in peace, my children.”
And with Thompson’s blessing the door closed behind the two of them.
Roger turned and was surprised to see Thompson stomping out his cigarette.
“You going in the bar?”
“Hell, yeah. A whole group of girls singing, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’? It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.” Thompson paused to look at Roger. “What are you going to do?”
That was the million dollar question, wasn’t it?
Roger smiled. “Who am I to break up a bad punch line?”