Regular Everyday Normal Guys


deckard_icon.gif jezebel_icon.gif lou_icon.gif

Scene Title Regular Everyday Normal Guys
Synopsis A paper salesman and a mechanic argue about the modern uselessness of paper and ogle Jezebel like they aren't both hiding unfortunate relationships with murder.
Date January 4, 2009

Fat Cat Billiards

Fat Cat Billiards is far more than just a bar. Equipped with a plethora of tables for pool, ping-pong, shuffleboard, chess, checkers, backgamon and scrabble sets to satisfy a mob, as they say, it's almost like an adult arcade. A barely noticeable layer of smoky haze hangs in the air, and smooth Jazz plays over the speakers as the boisterous Saturday Night crowd goes about their business of occupying their time in whatever way they choose.

The bar looks to be fully stocked with a wide array of beers on tap and bottles, and enough of the harder stuff to satisfy most palettes. The tenders are as friendly as one might expect (it keeps the tip jars filled, after all) and are usually pretty competent when it comes to filling orders, although there's little showmanship. Just a good drink served at a reasonable price here.

There are many games available to play at Fat Cat's, and Deckard is interested in none of them. Seated at the bar with two empty beer bottles and a glass of crown and water, he ponders the latter with all the dull focus of a man well on his way to a comfortable buzz. Long-faced and clean shaven in a trim grey suit and blue shirt, were it not for some stiffness to his posture and green-brown bruising around his temple, he'd look like any other business-type guy hanging out in a bar by himself on Sunday night. As opposed to a guy that has been recently mugged. Or involved in a fight at his usual place.

Lou pushes his way into the bar with little enough ceremony, looking much like any blue-collar schlub just off work. After a brief glance around he bee-lines for the bar, pulling up next to the businessman simply by chance. The dichotomy of the two seems to slip right past him as he produces a twenty and waves it slightly to garner some attention from the tender. Noting they seem to be occupied elsewhere at the moment, he turns to the 'gentleman' nearby and says in a somewhat friendly tone, "Lemme guess, I should see the other guy, huh?"

"Seven feet tall, three hundred pounds, fists the size of…" Deckard squints one eye, attempting to think of a suitable comparison for the meaty hammers of his assailant, "…roast…turkeys." That decided a little anti-climatically, he turns enough to look Lou over once and reaches for the less empty of his empty bottles. "Admittedly I was in a dark alley at the time, so I'm a little sketchy on the details of my half of the ass-kicking."

"Oh, of course," Lou replies with a good natured chuckle. "I'm sure he's slinkin' off to a free clinic right about now to get his ribs plastered…" He waves the bill once more, like an angler hoping for a fish, letting his grin widen as one of the barkeeps bites. "Whatcha drinkin'? Next one's on me."

"Crown," says Deckard without tremendous hesitation, left hand lifted needlessly over the rim of his glass. Tada. If Lurch is paying, no need to worry about the accompanying 'water' half. Maybe his ice just melted. A lot.

"Is this a regular thing? You coming in here and buying guys drinks?"

"Pfft. Only the sort who look like they need one," he replies, not allowing any implied insults nder his skin just yet. "Bud, pitcher, and a Crown for the rock-em-sock-em salesman, here," he intones to the tender before glancing past her. "And a pool table." As he reaches back to produce his ID from his walletfor the table more than any question of his age, sadlyhe comments to his companion, "care for a game?"

When Deckard looks over at Lou again, there is something akin to suspicion tightened into the lines around his pale eyes. Free drinks, pool games, friendly banter. None of these things tend to happen to him, least of all in the same night and directly in a row. Rather than answer immediately, he looks the tall guy over more closely, ignorant of potential misunderstanding there. Then he looks over his shoulder at the rest of the crowd.

"No offense, hoss, but you ain't got the tits to be eyin' me like that," Lou replies with a smirk before waving away his change from the bartender—who seems to be a bit offended by mention of such endowments in her presence. "Tell ya what," he explains, still managing a friendly tone, grabbing up his drink and the tray of balls, "I'mma go find some felt, and I figure I'm not exactly gonna be tough to pick out of this crowd. You can stare at yer glass all ya want, or come let me whoop your ass at pool. Both work for me."

"Fuck you," muttered to the bit about tits, Deckard blinks hard, doubtless trying to clear the burn of that mental image out of the back of his eyeballs. His hand lifts after the blink, thumb and forefinger pushed deep into the hollows under his brows, and up he gets. There's nothing particularly friendly about him or the slack look on his face, but he picks up the whiskier of his two whiskey drinks and trails after Lou all the same. "I don't actually play."

Lou doesn't seem to take much offense at the profanity aimed his way—he's a generally profane sort, himself. "Huh. Well… it takes all sorts," he replies off-handedly, seeming somewhat surprised there's someone out there who -doesn't- play pool. "How are ya with math and geometry? That's all most of it is. Lines, angles, force, braniac shit."

"I know how to play. I'm just bad at it. So I don't." That explained in flat terms, Deckard stands like a fence post around the table's opposite side, drink in hand and shoulders slouched. Another suspicious look later, this one accompanied by a sideways set to his jaw, he tips his attention down to the table again and wrinkles his nose.

Lou shrugs as he grabs down the frame from the overhanging lights and begins ferrying the balls into it. "Well no wonder you're terrible. Just like nearly anythin' else ya gotta have some practice," he comments offhandedly. "Met folks who had a way with animals and machines, music and women, but never met a man who didn't need to practice at pool. Although, I gotta say, teachin' a woman to play pool is a surefire way to get some trim."

Deckard lifts a shoulder at that. Hazy acknowledgment that he may have a point, but he doesn't actually move to collect a cue. "It's less of a pain to buy stupid ones drinks until they don't care how well you play pool. Where are you from?"

"Down south a ways," he replies simply as he compacts the frame and then lifts it to reveal a neatly arranged rack. "Where we're smart enough to know stupid girls are worth a throw, but they're always better in bed sober than drunk." He offers the man a sly wink, then collects a cue of his own before taking a moment to chalk it up. "You breaking or sitting this out?"

"I'll watch and learn," says Deckard after a moment's lazy consideration, glass lifted and half downed before he lowers it again. "Wouldn't want to distract from all the other helpful tips you might drop along the way. I'm Boris."

He takes another moment to brush some of the cue chalk across the crook between his thumb and forefinger, either oblivious or uncaring about the chalk post right next to him, and then extends his right as he introduces himself. "Lou. And I seriously doubt you're gonna be learnin' all that much from watchin' but hey, it's your choice. Whatcha do for a livin' there, Boris? Salesman? Lawyer? Middle management?"

"I sell paper." Exciting! Deckard's brows lift, almost with an air of apology for the oppressively boring state of his pretend career. "Copy paper. Most of it's white, but occasionally there are colors." Another sip of whiskey goes down easier than that initial swallow, and he sighs. "What about you? Terrorist operative? Undercover agent?"

"Ahhh… that look of refined, desperate uselessness. Never steers me wrong," Lou notes as he circles the table to bear down on the cue ball. "Diesel mechanic," he responds just before the crack of the cue scatters the table, sending a couple of balls into the pockets. "…and international playboy."

Deckard is watching a little too closely to feign a complete lack of interest in Lou's response. Noting no skips of the heart or changes in breathing, he settles back on his heels and looks away again, brow furrowed. When did running into a legitimately okay person become weirder than running into one that secretly wants to bang his head against things until he talks? Christ. "Hey. Without paper we'd still be…you know. Carting around stone tablets and wax plates."

"Or laptops, PDAs, and CDs," Lou rejoins as he steps back a moment to look over the table. "But hey, if you want stone, clay and wax, that works too." He gives a little snort and circles around to the cue ball again before neatly missing what should have been an easy shot. "Me? I don't have much of a preference, aside from the fact that I'd rather carry around three years worth of work orders and invoices on a little bit of plastic than in a truckfull of filing cabinets."

"You do know there was…a period of time between stone tablets and PDAs, right?" Twin lines etch in between Deckard's brows, a mockery of earnest affront on the part of for real paper salesmen everywhere. "I can't be that much older than you. Anyway. It takes an invisible, intangible piece of code to erase data from a hard drive. If you want to take out a room full of filing cabinets, you're going to need some matches." Speaking of which, he draws a pack out of his suit coat, to be followed shortly by a box of cigarettes once he's set his glass down on the edge of the pool table.

"Well, I suppose that matches would work just as well on the hard drive," Lou replies without looking up from the table. "And that intangible peice of code leaves ya with a hard drive ya can use later, rather than a pile of ashes and a scorched up filin' room," he continues as he leans down to attempt another shot, this one only slightly more of a success as it barely manages to tip over the edge of the pocket. "As for that stretch of time between, well, I can't go disagreein' with ya, but there was a good long while where cotton gins and the local blacksmith were necessary parts of livin' but we don't see a whole lot of those these days."

"Fair enough." Deckard salutes you, noble paper salesmen of the world, but some areas of uselessness are less defensible than others. The head of his match scrapes rough over the pack, hisses to life, and is lifted to the blunt of a cigarette pushed into the corner of his mouth. It's a familiar routine — otherwise it'd probably require more than two hands to manage it as quickly as he does. "What about books? Informational pamphlets? Newspapers?"

"Pamphlets? Really?" Lou responds with a hint of incredulity. "You're puttin' that in the 'pro' box? Wanna throw in junk mail and flyers, too?" He chuckles and shakes his head before moving to his as-of-yet untouched pitcher of beer with the obvious intent of remedying the situation. "And I'll confess a fondness for books and even the old newspaper, but they're on their way out, I hate to say… Well, maybe. Guess there's plenty of folks want a hard copy backup these days."

Jezebel enters the bar, sneezing once at the tobacco smoke. She pops her black leather gloves into the pockets of her jumpsuit, then makes her way to the bar. "Pepsi, nothing added, I'm driving," she tells one of the tenders. "How close to the pool tables can I get with that?"

"They're informational," reminded at a muffle around his first drag, Deckard lacks sincerity until they hit back on the thing about books. That tweaks him a little — visibly so, even. There's a twitch across his face, a snappish remark gone repressed, and he recollects his glass, cold eyes flicking to Jezebel at the bar. "And junk mail isn't half as annoying or prolific as spam."

"Prolific, maybe, annoying, I'm gonna disagree with. I don't have to take spam out to the curb on tuesdays and Fridays in its own special little box after shredding it in case they've got more of my information than they oughta have," Lou responds, although his attention has been on Jezebel since the door openend. Ah yes, he has all the subtlety of a semi-drunken construction worker. "And I can't say I've really got all that much spam. Then again, the mail I use ain't always the one I'm givin' out."

Jezebel is told by the bartender to just drag the end tables around as needed. So she goes in search of an empty pool table. This being Sunday night, she might even find one.

"I like to live dangerously. So I throw it in the trash with everything else." He would if he had a mailing address, anyway. Nose wrinkled again, Deckard turns his head to watch Jezebel's progress away from the bar and towards the other pool tables. It's several seconds before he looks back to Lou, rather as if he's forgotten he's there. "So. What's your in if they already know how to play?"

Lou lets out a loud, shrill whistle obviously intended to garner attention, keeping his eyes on Jezebel as he does. "Hey, hun, you mind squaring off over here? My buddy seems to be a bit deep in his cups to play a proper game." With that, he gives Deckard a brief, deadpan glance, as if to say 'next question?'

Jezebel looks straight at Lou after that whistle and chuckles at his request. "Sure, but I warn you, I don't bet anything on pool games." She makes her way over to the table, smiling and looks for somewhere safe to park the Pepsi. "I'll let you break first," she tells Lou.

Smoke curling in a dry rise from the jut of his cigarette, Deckard looks back to Jezebel, and then back to Lou. Okay. So far so good. "If you're trying to sound broke so that he'll buy you a drink, I wouldn't," he leans a little to depart as helpfully as he can, right hand miming the drop of a pill into his own glass.

"Well that's right nice of ya, hun," Lou responds to Jezebel with a smile, tipping up his beer for another swig. "In that case, I'll let you rack first." He glances to Deckard in time to catch his pantomime, which only results in a grin. "Now, now, you got my last roofie-colada for the night, and you know it. Don't go gettin' all jealous just because I found someone prettier'n you to play pool with."

Jezebel tells Deckard with a smile, "I'll keep that in mind. I can't drink much of anything; I'm driving." She finds a spot for the Pepsi, then racks up the balls pretty quickly. "There, that should do. Your shot."

"I can't help it. Why can't you just love me for me, Lou?" Deckard may not actually be deep in his cups, but he is definitely in them, cynicism free of real annoyance, if only because he's in a decent position to watch while Jezebel racks.

"Looks good enough," Lou comments as he eyes the table and empties his mug. "Does explain why yer not bettin', though… to sober for it," he kids before moving to the far side of the table. "Y'know, Boris, I'd be happy to love ya for yerself if you weren't so… well… ugly. There, I said it. And I know what we talked about, but the implants just aren't gonna help. If you still want 'em feel free, but you can tell Doc Gibson to take the cost out of your checks, and not mine." In a single, smooth motion he adjusts the cue ball and sendds it speeding down the table to scatter the balls from one end of the table to another, although nothing sinks. "Hrmph."

Jezebel giggles at the suggestion of implants for Deckard. "I met a good plastic surgeon at a New Year's Eve party," she offers. "Thing is, he probably charges an arm and both legs." She picks up a cue, moves to take aim on the 3 ball and actually sinks it.

"You've cut me with your words. To the core." And yet, Deckard goes on drinking and smoking, passive in the glance he casts down at himself along the lines of breastly speculation. "If you mean the one I think you mean, tell him to stay the fuck away from me." The last muttered to Jezebel, he scrubs the back of his glass hand back up over his brow and takes a step back away from the table. "I should get going. Early…day tomorrow." The lie comes out more awkwardly than those that came before it, but he doesn't bother to make a correction. "Paper to sell, people to see. Thanks for the drink."

"Well, arms and legs aside, I'm sure he takes paper money like everyone else," Lou replies, snickering at his own pun as he watches the three sink. Lie or not, he deosn't seem to notice… or perhaps mind. "Well then, Boris, it was good runnin' into ya. Don't be a stranger, now, hrm?"

Jezebel tells Deckard, "I don't know you, so that's easy. I hope tomorrow will be a good day for you." She then takes a shot at the 5 ball and misses.

"Keep buying me booze and I'll keep coming back," said half to himself and half to Lou, Deckard makes a stop at the bar to pay off his tab before he waves on out. Back into the wild.

"Well then," Lou comments to Jezebel with a slight grin, "Back to our game. I've got stripes, yeah?" There's no real wait for an answer, though, as he steps up to the table and begins lining up his next shot. Oh fourteen, purple ball of doom, from hell's heart I stab at thee! …of course, the cue ball manages to stray just a bit far to the left and succeeds only in setting Jez up for a perfect shot on the five.

Jezebel affirms, "You get stripes," then takes that perfect shot at the five and sinks it. The way it was set up, she couldn't miss. Unfortunately, the cue ball stops in a bad spot. Jez tries for the two, the best of the shots open, and misses.

"Well now, before we go any further, how about I stop bein all rude an' introduce m'self, hrm," he asks rhetorically. "Lou," he offers along with his hand.

Jezebel shakes Lou's hand. "Jezebel," she replies. "I don't know what my mother was thinking of at the time."

"Could be worse, hun," he replies with a smile. "It's pretty enough, and ya can shorten it on down to Jesse if ya please. What'd they stick you with for a middle name?"

Jezebel says, "Tessa. What did you get stuck with?"

"Hazard," he confesses with a wide grin. "Makes for a cool line once in a while… But for mostly it's just kinda silly."

Jezebel shakes her head. "Parents. My mother works with someone whose last name is Lier. He named his daughter Crystal Chanda and his poor son Gay Cava."

"Poor kids," Lou affirms as he moves back to the table and lines up his shot. Thou hast mocked me for the last time fourteen! Or not… Bah. "I mean yeah, it's nice to say 'oh my kid's name is unique' and all, but really, where's that moment of realization that 'unique' gets ya whupped up on the playground?"

Jezebel says, "Maybe they didn't listen to 'A Boy Named Sue'. Not that I'm advocating listening to a ton of country, although Johnny Cash isn't bad." She tries a complicated bank shot to get the two and doesn't quite pull it off.

"Much agreed. Skynyrd is about as close as I like to get to the stuff, myself," he adds with a nod as he tries again for the fourteen, actually managing to sink it this time. "Personally, I can understand -maybe- weird middle names, but at least give the kid something normal for the first one."

Jezebel says, "Skynyrd is about as close as I normally get to the stuff too. I've got a collection of bad country and western song titles I got from the Net. They're so awful that I'm not sure they're real."

"You know, I'd almost be willing to bet that they not only are, but that there's worse out there," he says as he circles around the table before sending the twelve and nine into pockets in quick succession. "Hrm. guess I was bound to catch up sometime."

"The story of my life," Jezebel agrees. "No, these are terrible. One of them is, 'I Wanted to Send You a Letter, But I Couldn't Spell Yuck!'."

"I may have heard that one," he says with a smirk as he bounces the one in by mistake. "Well, yer welcome."

Jezebel says, "Thanks. Hmm." She tries for the seven and misses. "You actually heard that once?" She seems so horrified by the idea that if Lou tells her he owns the album, she'll probably faint.

"Well, if ya hadn't noticed, hun, I'm not exactly a native. Spent enough time in bars where hearing at least -some- country was gonna happen whether you wanted it to or-" he pauses abruptly as a look of consternation crosses his face. With a sigh he reaches into his pocket to produce the sort of cheap cell phone sold at bodegas all over the city. "And that's the boss."

Jezebel pronounces, "The plague of our civilization. One of these days, someone is going to work out how to blow those up with a broadcast signal and be hailed as a hero. Or a lot of people are going to go into shock and not recover. Tell your boss I hate him, Lou."

Lou grins as he answers the phone, replying mostly with a series of 'yeahs,' 'yups,' and 'nuh-uhs' before abruptly adding, "and this lovely young woman by the name of Jezebel would like for me to inform you that you are officially on her shit list. Seriously. She looks serious, I'd start watchin' the rooftops for sniper brunettes." A few seconds later the phone is away again and he's shrugging an apology. "Well, Mis Jezebel, it's been a pleasure, but I'm afraid it's gonna have to be a short one this evening."

Jezebel smiles at Lou. "Well, darn. Do you come here often? If you do, I'll come back and we can try to finish a game."

"Sounds like a plan hun," he replies with a nod, glancing to his mostly full pitcher with a hint of regret. "I'm here mostly on the weekends, but I drag myself out every now and then during the week. Eight hundred channels and nothing to watch, you know."

Jezebel says, “Oh, I know. I'll look for you, then.”

Lou nods again and does a quick check to make sure it's all there… watch, wallet, shirt, wallet again. "You have a good night now, hun, and watch out for them weirdos," he calls back as he shoots the bartender a wave on his way out the door.

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