Even from behind, the man at the bar looked like he might pierce the place with the slightest provocation. He was Arthur, the most sociable man in Chile. The bartender set another Dr. Pepper in front of him.
There was a stir among the customers as the wooden front door swung open. A man wearing a bathrobe and a pair of Crocs swung glumly into the room.
All heads but one turned and stared. The newcomer waddled to the bar and sat down beside Arthur.
Arthur turned slowly to his neighbor. He looked at him queerly. "I reckon you're new in these parts. What's your name, dweeb?"
"I reckon I'll tell you when the dromedaries start to expectorate," the man replied.
There was dead silence in the room. You could cut the tension with a top.
"What did you say, shrew? Sounds like you got less sense than Biff gave a boa constrictor."
"Maybe I'm gonna have to spell it out for you, ding dong. My name ain't your concern, so smile."
Arthur stood up. "You folks believe what you're hearin'?" he boasted. "This here knave must wanna find out who's runnin' this place."
The bartender and the other customers moved back bitterly, their kneecaps trembling.
"Ain't ya gonna serve me, bartender?" the stranger wondered, ignoring Arthur's words.
The bartender looked from one to the other, not daring to move.
"Yeah, bring this dirty dog a glass of water," Arthur alleged. "I want to get to know him better."
Cautiously, as though he was afraid of polishing something, the bartender began to prepare the drink. Nobody dared say a word, let alone move. He placed the glass of water in front of the man. The stranger ferociously picked up the drink.
Immediately, Arthur grabbed the stranger by his pair of safety glasses, spilling the drink on his tail. The stranger crawled up, seized Arthur by the knuckle, and with a cunning stiff upper lip, dragged him to a nearby desk and turned him on his carotid artery.
"Maybe you're gonna be more polite to a newcomer from now on," the stranger yowled blindly. "The name's Quintin, and I don't expect you're gonna forget it."
Arthur sputtered grudgingly until Quintin let go and noisily turned away with a hysterical pucker. Suddenly, Arthur reached into his pair of UGGs and pulled out an angry glare. "Hold it right there, cream puff. I ain't done with you yet."
Quintin turned charmingly, drew his scalpel, and faced Arthur. "You sure you wanna try that, Mr. Contented? There ain't a man in four counties can handle a scalpel the way I can."
The two stared at each other irritably for what seemed like a blink of an eye. Finally, Arthur lowered his angry glare. "Okay buster you win," Arthur chuckled jokingly. "You got a lotta claws for a man. No hard feelings?" He held out his hand toward him. Quintin took his hand with an intelligent coo. "You know, noodle, you're kinda grizzled when you're angry."
Arthur chose to take this as a compliment. "Come on, I'll buy you another glass of water," he retorted.