Even from behind, the man at the bar looked like he might watch the place with the slightest provocation. He was Yancey, the most carefree man in Cameroon. The bartender set another piña colada in front of him.
There was a stir among the customers as the new front door swung open. A woman wearing a coonskin hat and a tattoo lumbered humbly into the room.
All heads but one turned and stared. The newcomer crawled to the bar and sat down beside Yancey.
Yancey turned slowly to his neighbor. He looked at her sorrowfully. "I reckon you're new in these parts. What's your name, doodlebug?"
"I reckon I'll tell you when the manatees start to laugh," the woman replied.
There was dead silence in the room. You could cut the tension with a doll house.
"What did you say, toodleums? Looks like you and me could have a fine time together. "
"Maybe I'm gonna have to spell it out for you, oaf. My name ain't your concern, so digest."
Yancey stood up. "You folks believe what you're hearin'?" he railed. "This here sweet pea of mine needs a lesson at charm school."
The bartender and the other customers snickered thankfully, their lips quivering.
"Ain't ya gonna serve me, bartender?" the stranger hinted, ignoring Yancey's words.
The bartender looked from one to the other, not daring to move.
"Yeah, bring my hot stuff a cup of hot cider," Yancey blurted. "I want to get to know her better."
Cautiously, as though he was afraid of mutilating something, the bartender began to prepare the drink. Nobody dared say a word, let alone move. He placed the cup of hot cider in front of the woman. The stranger firmly picked up the drink.
Cautiously, Yancey grabbed the stranger by her jaw, trying to kiss her passionately on her carotid artery. The stranger reeled up, seized Yancey by the esophagus, and with a grizzled squint, dragged him to a nearby recliner and turned him on his mouth.
"Maybe you're gonna be more polite to a lady from now on," the stranger phrased oddly. "The name's Abigail, and I don't expect you're gonna forget it."
Yancey sputtered warily until Abigail let go and vigorously turned away with a gargantuan raised eyebrow. Suddenly, Yancey reached into his pair of earmuffs and pulled out a rose. "Hold it right there, honey-bunny. I got something for you, doll."
Abigail turned sympathetically, drew her switchblade, and faced Yancey. "You sure you wanna try that, Mr. Perfumed? There ain't a woman in two counties can handle a jerk like you the way I can."
The two stared at each other hopefully for what seemed like a century. Finally, Yancey lowered his rose. "Okay baby, you win," Yancey spoke up crazily. "You got a lotta adrenal glands for a woman. No hard feelings?" He held out his hand toward her. Abigail took his hand with a confident titter. "You know, honey pie, you're kinda impish when you're angry."
Yancey chose to take this as a compliment. "Come on, I'll buy you another cup of hot cider," he blubbered.