With Great Anarchy… Part 1
The plastic, day-glow, orange dart blazed well past the shiny, red and black rubber Satan doll that hung above the TV, bounced off the ceiling and fell behind the cheap, IKEA entertainment stand, lost forever.
Joe Cornelius Hunter, Bill Williams, and Paco Villa Lobos had been playing Shoot the Rubber Satan® game for the last hour, trying not to move around too much in the heat. It had only just struck 12:00 noon but the temperature was already close to 90F outside. The cheap fan Bill had brought home from work wasn’t doing much beyond moving the warm air around the room. All the windows, interior doors, and patio doors were wide open in case a breeze decided to blow through, not that it had, but there was always a chance. Paco suggested they head over to TD Square, or Banker’s Hall and wander the malls, because at least they were air-conditioned. This suggestion was greeted with derision from Bill, and indifference from Hunter. Bill suggested they head down to the Unicorn Pub instead if the point was to get out of the heat, at least then they could get their drink on.
Paco shook his head, “Always the fakking Unicorn with youse guys!”
The red devil turned gently in the air currents of the room, its smirking face seeming to mock Bill, Hunter, and Paco as they sat in the almost sweltering heat of Flat 1401 of London House. Of course none of the inhabitants of the apartment building actually called it London House, partially because half the letters of the main sign were burned out, but mostly because they just liked calling it Lond Ho.
Bill tossed the blue, plastic Uzi shaped dart gun over to Hunter who caught it and reloaded it from a pile of darts sitting on the arm of the Big Chair. He pulled back the black know to cock the spring, aimed carefully at the red rubber Satan, squeezed the trigger, and with a SNAP! the toy blew apart in his hand.
Paco chuckled and Bill just glared with incredulity, a smile slowly creeping over his face. The oscillating fan blew a slightly less warm puff of air into Hunter’s face, blowing the scruffy blond hair from his eyes. He opened his hand and let the broken pieces fall on to the cardboard box they used as a coffee table, and his eyes fell upon the smashed pane of glass in the window above he fan. Bill followed his gaze while Paco lit up a cigarette.
“What the fuck is wrong with me?” Hunter said to no one in particular, as he slumped back into the Big Chair.
“You need an itemized list?” Bill said, “That whole Bella fiasco was certainly…” he looked up, searching for the word.
“Disruptive?” Paco suggested, blowing smoke out the open patio slider.
Bill shrugged, “I was going to say totally fucked up beyond words, but ‘disruptive’ works too.”
“Jonny told me she was trouble, but I didn’t listen to him. I thought I could take care of her… fix her maybe.”
Paco blew out a lung full of smoke, “Some toys are too broken to fix.”
A fortnight back, while Bill and Hunter were at a weekend Punk Rock festival in High River, an angry, crazy Bella used her spare keys to enter Flat 1401, where she proceeded to completely trash the place. She broke the old IKEA coffee table, snapped one of the doors off of the entertainment stand, broke dishes and drinking glasses, tossed everything on to the floor, knocked over the video shelf, then wrote various obscenities in black Jiffy Marker all over the boys respective mattresses, then threw the keys through the window. She was probably trying to send them though both panes, but only managed to break one. Hunter mentioned at the time he was happy he didn’t have to head down to the mezzanine roof to find the keys.
Paco stubbed out his cigarette and stepped back inside, where he abruptly, and without warning, spat on the carpet.
Bill went from zero to apoplectic in a yoctosecond, “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!”
Paco fell lazily backward onto the chesterfield, “Ah, whadareyagonnado!”
Bill was standing now, “Well you’re not gonna SPIT on the carpet!”
Paco brought his size 11 down over the gob of bubbly saliva, rubbing into the carpet with his paint spattered, steel toed boot. Hunter didn’t understand why Paco didn’t just spit outside on the patio, or over the railing for that matter.
Bill shook his head and looked into the mocking eyes of the rubber Satan and sighed.
“I think an afternoon at the ‘corn.”
The Unicorn Pub sat in the basement of an old, sandstone heritage building called The Lancaster. It was the oldest Irish style pub in Calgary and both Bill and Hunter had been haunting it’s dark corners since they were seventeen. The staff was friendly, the atmosphere pleasantly moody, and the beer, while not as dirt cheap as The Warehouse, was certainly of a higher quality, and was in no way what one would call expensive. Throw in the occasional drink special, and happy hour prices and it made for a rather pleasant, and inexpensive afternoon.
The boys got themselves stuck in at a booth in the corner along the hall that led to the rest rooms. Paco and Bill were both on their second Molson Canadians, and Hunter was working on his second One Horn Ale, and each had an extra half-pint glass for the jug of water that sat in the centre of the small, round table.
“I don’t know how you can drink that dark beer Hunter,” Bill shook his head, stubbing out his DuMaurier King Size.
“Sweet. Fucking. Jesus. Unlike the two of you uncultured Philistine oafs, I prefer my beer with a little more character than a plain, boring, watery lager.” Hunter took a sip of his ale.
“Says the guy who drinks fakking Molson trip-ex! Gimmie a fakking break!” Paco chuckled.
Hunter turned to Paco, “Listen, when I buy beer for home, I’m buying it to get pissed up. Taste doesn’t enter into it. Maximum alcohol content for minimum price is the goal. When I’m down the pub with friends, relaxing I prefer a beer with flavour, and character, and this brown ale has both of these.
Bill lit up another cigarette, “Well, that’s us told. Oh shit Hunter I almost forgot, I have something here for you.” He reached into his black rucksack and rummaged around for a few seconds before pulling something out that he kept hidden under the table for the moment.
“What you got under there?” Hunter tried so see what he was hiding.
Bill spoke, “Remember when you were telling me about the new 5” Star Trek men?”
“Yeah.” It was only a week previous, so even Hunter would have trouble forgetting that conversation. He had been lamenting the fact that a small company called Playmates was doing a big Star Trek line now, when the last time he had seen a Star Wars figure in stores was 1985.
“Well here ya go,” Bill brought his had up and placed something on the table in front of Hunter, whose eyes went wide.
“Ah, no way! Lt. Worf! In Season Three uniform! This is totally awesome!” Hunter snatched up the figure from the table and immediately began working the limbs and twisting the head and waist.
Bill smiled, “I also got all the rest of his accessories in my back pack, including communicator stand, Klingon Knife, and firing phaser, in case you were wondering.”
“Cool, thanks man!” Hunter looked happier than Bill had seen him look in a very long time, and all because of a little plastic spaceman.
“Lemmie see that,” Paco said, holding out his hand.
Hunter looked wary, but relented handing over the figure and taking a long draught from his pint, draining it down to half a glass.
Paco moved the figure’s arms and legs and twisted the head around, “Ah! Beam me up Scotty! We got a problem! Ahh! Pew! Pew!”
Hunter was fretful and clearly uncomfortable with the way Paco was playing with Mr. Worf.
After a few seconds he could take no more, “Look, firstly Star Trek TNG phasers don’t go ‘pew! pew!’ It’s more of a faashew! Not to mention, Scotty is from the Original Series, not Next Generation.”
This stopped Paco dead. “You saying I can’t play how I want to?”
Hunter shook his head, “No, of course not, I’m just saying you’re playing wrong.”
Paco looked down at Mr. Worf, then back at Hunter, “Only one thing for it then.” He made to hand the figure back to Hunter, then at the last second, dropped it into his pint glass.
“Ah, nice. Very mature,” Hunter said, fishing Mr. Worf from his pint glass.
“Says the guy who still plays with dolls,” Paco retorted.
“Yeah, yeah, slide over, I’m going for a slash.”
Bill caught the waitress’ eye and ordered another round for the table, as Hunter stalked down the short hallway to the Gents. The waitress turned and headed back toward the bar and behind her, making a bee-line towards the booth was none other than Crazy Bella.
“Oh, shit,” grumbled Bill.
“This is unfortunate,” said Paco with a crooked smile.
“Hunter here?” Bella snapped, stepping up to the table, hands jammed into the pockets of a voluminous black cardigan that was several sizes too big for her.
“No,” Bill said, “Haven’t seen him.”
“I think he’s at the Warehouse,” Paco offered in an attempt to quickly see the back of her.
Bella wasn’t buying it, “Whatever, I know all you assholes stick together. What is he at the bar?” She looked over, and not seeing Hunter there concluded he was in the washroom, “He’s taking a piss isn’t he?” She turned and headed down the hall and stopped: Hunter was exiting the Gents.
As the door swung closed behind him, Hunter looked up, ah shit. Best get it over with, he thought and headed back up the hall towards Crazy Bella.
“What the fuck are you doing here?! Why are you always following me?!” Bella demanded, standing in front of Hunter, blocking his way back to the booth.
“What do you mean what am I doing here? This is my local! You don’t even live around here! And don’t flatter yourself honey, I’m certainly not following you.” Hunter shot back.
“You’ve been telling people things about me! Talking behind my back! Turning everyone against me! It won’t work you know!” Her tiny hands were balled into tiny fists.
“Sweetheart, I don’t know what the fuck you’re on about, I’m not turning anyone against you. You’re paranoid. By the way, why did you break into our place and trash it? Are you out of your mind? What were you thinking!”
She flipped out, and started shouting, and swinging her fists at Hunter, “DON’T YOU FUCKING CALL ME FUCKING PARANOID YOU FAGGOT FUCK!”
At this point the shouting had caught the attention of Big Sally the Bartender, the wait staff, and a few of the other patrons.
Hunter caught her flailing arms, “It might be time for you to go.”
“Don’t you fucking touch me you fuck!”
Suddenly Paco was behind her with a pint glass full of water, Hunter could see what was coming, let go of Bella’s wrists and stepped back.
Paco spoke, “Cool off ad shudafakkup you crazy bitch!” He poured the water over her head.
Bella stood there, staring unblinkingly at Hunter looking for all the world like a tiny, pathetic drowned rat, her eyes seething with anger and hate. Hunter almost felt sorry for her as Big Sally the Bartender scooped her up under one arm and literally carried Bella kicking, and screaming from the pub.
Bill, Hunter and Paco, were halfway finished their third pints when Big Sally stopped at their booth.
“So, care to explain the tiny crazy bitch in my pub?” Big Sally had been a bartender at the Unicorn for as long back as Hunter and Bill had been drinking there. She was 6’2” and had the swashbuckling look of a lady pirate about her. She laughed easily and took no end of pleasure in giving the boys the gears about everything from Hunter’s dress sense (or lack thereof) to Bill’s choice in beer (or as she called it, swill). Was it any wonder why she was the boys favourite bartender?
Hunter put down his pint glass, “She’s an ex, apart from that, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to start to explain what that was all about.”
Big Sally laughed a mighty pirate laugh, “Well, maybe you should try to pick your girlfriends with a little more care, or maybe even do a background check for family histories of mental illness or something!” She laughed some more and headed back towards her bar, Thick, strawberry blonde ringlets bouncing as she went.
Hunter pounded back the last of his pint, and Bill did the same, they stood up. “You coming?” Bill asked of Paco.
Paco shook his head, “No, I’m gonna hang around here for a while. See ya. Don’t get too crazy.”
“Why not?” Bill wanted to know.
‘Because with great anarchy comes great responsibility.”
“Gee, thanks Uncle Ben! Later,” Hunter said, jamming the 5” Worf into his pocket.
Bill and Hunter stepped up to the bar and paid off their tab with their server, said their goodbyes to Big Sally, and headed up the stairs.
“Where to now?” Hunter wanted to know.
Bill pushed the door open, and both boys were hit with a wall of sunlight and heat. “My buddy who works down at the Bear and Kilt owes me a pint or two, and methinks it’s just about time to collect…”