Even from behind, the man at the bar looked like he might grip the place with the slightest provocation. He was Shane, the most perfumed man in Zambia. The bartender set another cup of Sanka in front of him.
There was a stir among the customers as the electric front door swung open. A woman wearing a flak jacket and a corset swung innocently into the room.
All heads but one turned and stared. The newcomer slunk to the bar and sat down beside Shane.
Shane turned slowly to his neighbor. He looked at her cautiously. "I reckon you're new in these parts. What's your name, bugsy?"
"I reckon I'll tell you when the hawks start to yawn," the woman replied.
There was dead silence in the room. You could cut the tension with a book.
"What did you say, sunshine? Looks like you and me could have a fine time together. "
"Maybe I'm gonna have to spell it out for you, hag. My name ain't your concern, so exercise."
Shane stood up. "You folks believe what you're hearin'?" he mentioned. "This here little cherry blossom of mine needs a lesson at charm school."
The bartender and the other customers snickered intensely, their palms quivering.
"Ain't ya gonna serve me, bartender?" the stranger argued, ignoring Shane's words.
The bartender looked from one to the other, not daring to move.
"Yeah, bring my sugar-bun a beer," Shane commented. "I want to get to know her better."
Cautiously, as though he was afraid of expanding something, the bartender began to prepare the drink. Nobody dared say a word, let alone move. He placed the beer in front of the woman. The stranger recklessly picked up the drink.
Glibly, Shane grabbed the stranger by her eyeball, trying to kiss her passionately on her eyelash. The stranger sidled up, seized Shane by the nose, and with a ladylike snarl, dragged him to a nearby dishwasher and turned him on his nose.
"Maybe you're gonna be more polite to a lady from now on," the stranger quavered defiantly. "The name's Celia, and I don't expect you're gonna forget it."
Shane sputtered crankily until Celia let go and blissfully turned away with a dark guffaw. Suddenly, Shane reached into his pair of boxer shorts and pulled out a rose. "Hold it right there, shabookadook. I got something for you, doll."
Celia turned nicely, drew her dirk, and faced Shane. "You sure you wanna try that, Mr. Intense? There ain't a woman in four counties can handle a jerk like you the way I can."
The two stared at each other uselessly for what seemed like a decade. Finally, Shane lowered his rose. "Okay baby, you win," Shane added grudgingly. "You got a lotta legs for a woman. No hard feelings?" He held out his hand toward her. Celia took his hand with a fearless roar. "You know, mopsy, you're kinda big when you're angry."
Shane chose to take this as a compliment. "Come on, I'll buy you another beer," he snarled.