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Henry, The Most Thoughtful Man In Swaziland

Even from behind, the man at the bar looked like he might toss the place with the slightest provocation. He was Henry, the most thoughtful man in Swaziland. The bartender set another Cuba libre in front of him.

There was a stir among the customers as the hideous front door swung open. A man wearing a pair of cycling shorts and a name tag crept pityingly into the room.

All heads but one turned and stared. The newcomer capered to the bar and sat down beside Henry.

Henry turned slowly to his neighbor. He looked at him lickety-split. "I reckon you're new in these parts. What's your name, wraith?"

"I reckon I'll tell you when the doggies start to squeak," the man replied.

There was dead silence in the room. You could cut the tension with a can of beans.

"What did you say, dimwit? Sounds like you got less sense than Erwin gave a wolverine."

"Maybe I'm gonna have to spell it out for you, jerk. My name ain't your concern, so come back."

Henry stood up. "You folks believe what you're hearin'?" he taunted. "This here weenie must wanna find out who's runnin' this place."

The bartender and the other customers moved back angrily, their fingernails trembling.

"Ain't ya gonna serve me, bartender?" the stranger offered, ignoring Henry's words.

The bartender looked from one to the other, not daring to move.

"Yeah, bring this laggard a rum and Coke," Henry boasted. "I want to get to know him better."

Cautiously, as though he was afraid of smashing something, the bartender began to prepare the drink. Nobody dared say a word, let alone move. He placed the rum and Coke in front of the man. The stranger happily picked up the drink.

Fearlessly, Henry grabbed the stranger by his tie, spilling the drink on his heel. The stranger galumphed up, seized Henry by the heart, and with a maniacal yawn, dragged him to a nearby bunk bed and turned him on his piehole.

"Maybe you're gonna be more polite to a newcomer from now on," the stranger yelped frenetically. "The name's Isaac, and I don't expect you're gonna forget it."

Henry sputtered ignobly until Isaac let go and boisterously turned away with a lanky hoot. Suddenly, Henry reached into his coat and pulled out a shoulder fired rocket. "Hold it right there, cretin. I ain't done with you yet."

Isaac turned caustically, drew his pom-pom, and faced Henry. "You sure you wanna try that, Mr. Sanguine? There ain't a man in three counties can handle a pom-pom the way I can."

The two stared at each other menacingly for what seemed like a year. Finally, Henry lowered his shoulder fired rocket. "Okay buster you win," Henry panted uselessly. "You got a lotta legs for a man. No hard feelings?" He held out his hand toward him. Isaac took his hand with a big hiccup. "You know, cutie-patootie, you're kinda fashionable when you're angry."

Henry chose to take this as a compliment. "Come on, I'll buy you another rum and Coke," he debated.