Tag Archives: Rural

Montana Rural Sneak Preview

images (10)This post could very easily be an addition to The Barroom Chronicles, except that this is a fictional story, even though the Humming images (10)

Bartender may or may not be inspired by someone who is destined to receive his own episode of the nonfiction series. The voice is James Morrison, the narrator of Cemetery Street. Montana Rural is the continuation of his story. Enjoy this sneak preview of my work in progress, Montana Rural.

By the time we reached the bed and breakfast all I wanted was sleep, but my father insisted on buying me a beer. The three of us trudged down the street and slipped inside the semi-crowded bar. We plopped ourselves around a small table and within moments we were accosted by a humming bartender with an alien tattooed on his neck. “Hmmmm…  Welcohmmmm to Boyd and Chadwick’s, where the beer’s warm and glasses are dirty, tonight’s special is if you don’t like it you can shut the fuck up! Hmmmm… What can I get you? Hmmmm?” he asked.

Diane and my father looked at each other and I tried not to laugh. I had firsthand knowledge of Reginald’s antics and until I noticed him when we walked in I never thought of subjecting my guests to his whims. When we hesitated, he said in a fairly good English accent: “Come on now mate, hurry the fuck up, I ‘ave other inmates to attend to.”

Dad and I ordered two beers and Diane ordered a Cosmopolitan.

“Hmmmm, I’ll be right back… Hmmm,” he hummed and shuffled away.

“That was rude,” she commented and then added: “He’s kind of a strange bird.”

“You can’t imagine,” I told her.  “He’s name’s Reginald and he’s a local legend. People come from miles around.”  What had me interested was what kind of drink he would whip up for Diane. I was fairly certain he had never made a Cosmopolitan before and he wouldn’t waste his time looking it up; he was known for throwing concoctions together and demanding that you finish it.

A few minutes later he returned with our round. “Hmmmm  Two Beers and a Cosmo – politan.” He somehow managed to switch accents from gay to English between syllables.

Diane looked from her drink, which almost glowed neon green, back to the bartender.  “Ummm, this isn’t a Cosmopolitan.”

“Hmmmm… What do you mean? It’s good enough to be on the cover of any magazine. If you don’t like it, take it to the compliant department.” He pointed to the front door where a Compliant Department sign hung over the doorway.  “Now if you’ll be kind enough to pay me eight dollars I won’t complain. Hmmmm”

My father handed him a ten and told him to keep the change.

“Hmmmm… Blessed plenty,” Reginald said in a southern accent before humming and shuffling off.

“Wow,” Diane said watching Reginald again switch gears attending to someone else.

“The best part is that he believes he was abducted,” I said.

“By?” My father asked.


“Wow,” Diane repeated before turning her attention to her cocktail. “I’m afraid to drink it.”

“And you thought there wasn’t any culture in the sticks.  You wouldn’t find someone like that in a city,” I said.

The both of us watched as Diane sipped her drink. “It’s not bad.” She couldn’t contain her fascination with the bartender as he bounced about.  It wasn’t long before he came back to the table to check on us: “Hmmmm… ’ow’s your drink m’lady?”

“Good, what’s in it?” Diane asked.

“You like it? Hmmmm.”

Diane nodded.

“That’s good, because it’s Alien Piss with a pinch of Spanish Fly…  Someone will be busy tonight. Now if you’ll excuse me… Hmmm” He clapped twice, pirouetted one-hundred eighty degrees and shuffled off.

I sniggered.

“He’s unreal,” Diane said half-amused, half-insulted.

When we turned in for the night, I couldn’t help burry my head under the pillows. Just in case Reginald wasn’t lying and he did spike her drink, I wasn’t sure how thick the walls were and I didn’t want to hear the results.

What Comes Around Goes Around… The Barroom Chronicles, Episode 6

It was bound to happen, the prankster got pranked.  Yes, I was the biggest fool this April 1st… actually, on the 2nd. Here is my story of  Just Deserts.

(Que Keith Morrison of Dateline) The morning began as so many others, with a trip down the creek and a stop at the local coffee shop.  It was a beautiful spring morning, if not brisk. Birds where busy dining while the dogs patrolled the streets.

(Cut to me, sweating, sitting in the interview chair)  When I first pulled up, I noticed something was wrong.  Sheriff’s department tape was strung across the deck. “Crime Scene – Do Not Cross,” it ordered.   A chalk outline of a body lay strewn across the deck.  Blood dried in the sun.

“What the… ” I mumbled. My mind raced. Ah shit, what happened? Wait, the date. It’s a joke. It’s an April  Fool’s joke. Hell, if something really happened, I would have gotten a call at home, I thought.  Relieved, I got out of my truck, stepped over the tape, and tromped across the deck and opened the door.

Crime Scene

The bar was trashed!  All the lights were left on; The TV’s were on; all the neons were glowing – even in the window; A couple of bar stools were laying on the floor.  Peanut shells littered the floor like dead soldiers.  Behind the bar, the contents of the Shake-a-day boot were scattered across the ground. Water was left in the sink. Dishes were unwashed. The tray to the till was upside down on the bar top. Half drank bottles of beer lingered here and there.

The scene was perfectly staged and I was standing in the middle of it thinking: Aw Shit, there was a fight, an attempted robbery, somebody got killed and I just contaminated the crime scene.  Yes, I know, I watch too much Investigative Discovery. Not thinking that I own the place and my DNA and fingerprints are everywhere, I realized I couldn’t use the phone.  I can’t use a cell phone, hell, I don’t have one.  This is rural Montana folks, and the town’s nickname is the vortex – in part because there’s no cell service.

In a moment of panic, I bolt from the bar and race next door to the Fat Belly Deli.  Doors are locked… It’s closed.  I run down the street to Ghost Rails Inn – the local bed and breakfast.  It’s locked up. No one’s around.  I look across the street at the town hall. I hate to do it, but I have to.

Disregard the Crucifixion in the background.

I compose myself and step inside. The clerk asked. “What happened at the bar?”

“I think someone got killed. But, I don’t know, I think it’s a joke, but it looks like a robbery. Do you have the Sheriff’s Department number?”

She hands me the phone and gives me the number.

I dial, dreading what I would learn.

“Sheriff’s Department,” the cheerful voice answered.

“Aw… ” I begin and tell her who I am. “I think there was a murder at my business last night, but it could be a joke. Did you have any calls?”

“What do you mean you there could have been a murder?”

“Was there any calls last night?” I insist.


“Can you check CAD?” I ask…  my wife used to be a 911 dispatcher, so I know the lingo, it makes me sound smart.

“Nothing happened,” the voice answered.

“I think I’ve been had. Sorry to bother you.”   I hand the phone back to the town clerk and do the walk of shame out of the town hall and across the street.

Inside the bar, away from the gawking eyes – I heard there was a buzz generated amongst the town’s senior citizens over the tape and chalked body – I learned that my detective skills need a little sharpening.   As I popped open the till to replace the tray, there was a big note proclaiming: “April Fools!”  And the chalk next to the till, looked suspiciously like the chalk used  to outline the body.I’m awaiting confirmation from the forensic’s lab if this was indeed the same chalk.

Laughing, I set about to cleaning up the crime scene. Hey, I appreciate the effort that went into the set up.

Did I mention that I have a phobia of rats and mice. They scare the living shit out of me, when I think of them, I get creeped out.  As I write this, I’m picturing a bunch of mice running across a floor and I’m skived out.  Knowing this, imagine my reaction when I bent down and was met with the grin of a big ole plastic rat.  I screamed like a little girl and managed a record for the over 40 high jump.

And you thought you had a tough Monday Morning.

A note to the perps:  Remember boys, what comes around goes around.  You’re fired!


The Shithouse Poet… Another Installment of The Barroom Chronicles

Considering this series started with a quote from the Ladies’ room wall, maybe it’s time to take a deeper look at thou holiest of all places and the artistry scribbled upon its walls.  (Men, you’ll have equal time, Men’s room poetry will be featured in later post.)  If you are a minor, or do not posses a sense of humor, you are not welcome here. Go Away! We don’t want your whining to interrupt our good time. Without further ado, may I point you to the last door on the right.

As with all quality pieces of lit, this is dedicated to the poet of the house of shit, whoever and wherever you are!


Welcome to the Ladies’ Room:

– If you love your man and have some class-  Don’t write his name where your wipe your ass!

-You cry, I cry –   You laugh, I laugh – You jump off a cliff, I laugh even harder.

-Why do men like being on the bottom during sex? They only know how to fuck up.

-I’m starting to see double and act single.

-Whip me, beat me, bite me, blow me, suck me, fuck me, very slowly, then walk away like you don’t even know me!

-Some people are like Slinkies… Good for nothing; but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

And that’s only what’s written on the door.

My personal favorite:

The right pic is a close up of the verbiage so elegantly written above the toilet paper.  Gives me a chuckle everyday, but I have an eight year old’s sense of  humor.


Continuing our tour:

The Bar Nazi demanding that the toilets flush on time!

The Female’s Prayer:  As he lays me down to hit, I pray his dick ain’t small as shit – and if his dick ain’t long and thick – I pray that he’s good at lickin’ it.

Of the Philosophical realm we have: (Please ignore the Bar Nazi.)

– You’re born…  You die… And somewhere in the middle… you live. If you make it happen.

– Wage + Debt = Slavery

Shithouse Poet busted in the act!

– Life is like a cock, when it’s soft you can’t beat it – when it’s hard – you get fucked!

For the Epicureans:

A blowjob is the healthiest breakfast –  you get sausage, 2 nuts and a shot of protein.

If it tastes like chicken, it’s good for a lickin’ –  If it tastes like fish, add some sauce, it’s a dish –  If it smells like cologne… leave it alone!

If vodka were water and I was a duck, I’d swim to the bottom and never come up. But vodka ain’t water and I’m not a duck, so slide me the bottle and shut the fuck up!


A Tale of Eternal Love:

Here’s to the man  –  I love the best – I love him the best – when he’s undressed – I’d fuck him – Sitting, standing, lying

If he had wings – I’d fuck him flying

And when he’s dead – and long forgotten – I’d dig him up – and fuck him rotten.

I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed our little tour, if you didn’t, there’s the f’ing door!

For those of us remaining. Repeat after me…  (You have to say this out loud for full effect:)

I’m sofa king…  I’m sofa king we-Todd-it!


If you fell for it, you’re in good company, I bit hook, line and sinker the first time a barroom prankster pulled that classic on me.


Till next time, keep a Sharpie in hand, because inspiration may find you where you sit or you stand.