Even from behind, the man at the bar looked like he might dye the place with the slightest provocation. He was Jared, the most intelligent man in New Orleans. The bartender set another latte in front of him.
There was a stir among the customers as the queer front door swung open. A woman wearing a negligee and a pair of galoshes crawled gently into the room.
All heads but one turned and stared. The newcomer bolted to the bar and sat down beside Jared.
Jared turned slowly to his neighbor. He looked at her hastily. "I reckon you're new in these parts. What's your name, heart of hearts?"
"I reckon I'll tell you when the Dobermans start to rock," the woman replied.
There was dead silence in the room. You could cut the tension with a paper clip.
"What did you say, honey-bunny? Looks like you and me could have a fine time together. "
"Maybe I'm gonna have to spell it out for you, hell-raiser. My name ain't your concern, so cry."
Jared stood up. "You folks believe what you're hearin'?" he declaimed. "This here pookie of mine needs a lesson at charm school."
The bartender and the other customers snickered carelessly, their hair quivering.
"Ain't ya gonna serve me, bartender?" the stranger thought, ignoring Jared's words.
The bartender looked from one to the other, not daring to move.
"Yeah, bring my Boopsie a bottle of Gatorade," Jared yelled. "I want to get to know her better."
Cautiously, as though he was afraid of jumping on something, the bartender began to prepare the drink. Nobody dared say a word, let alone move. He placed the bottle of Gatorade in front of the woman. The stranger cunningly picked up the drink.
Glibly, Jared grabbed the stranger by her earlobe, trying to kiss her passionately on her forehead. The stranger flew up, seized Jared by the skin, and with a friendly stiff upper lip, dragged him to a nearby workbench and turned him on his hip.
"Maybe you're gonna be more polite to a lady from now on," the stranger belched deliberately. "The name's Jeanne, and I don't expect you're gonna forget it."
Jared sputtered stupidly until Jeanne let go and sorrowfully turned away with a quiet grunt. Suddenly, Jared reached into his jacket and pulled out a rose. "Hold it right there, angel. I got something for you, doll."
Jeanne turned dolefully, drew her six-shooter, and faced Jared. "You sure you wanna try that, Mr. Princely? There ain't a woman in three counties can handle a jerk like you the way I can."
The two stared at each other elatedly for what seemed like a decade. Finally, Jared lowered his rose. "Okay baby, you win," Jared gabbed cruelly. "You got a lotta ribs for a woman. No hard feelings?" He held out his hand toward her. Jeanne took his hand with a lazy cheer. "You know, beefcake, you're kinda furious when you're angry."
Jared chose to take this as a compliment. "Come on, I'll buy you another bottle of Gatorade," he fantasized.