Not Larry

| July 10, 2001

I see Pit Stain immediately. He’s got a tall one in front of him, and his right arm is around a tired but pretty brunette. She looks up right away, appearing concerned, and then turns back to her boyfriend when she realizes she doesn’t recognize me. Must be a clandestine relationship. Figures.

A few others are seated nearby with boot heels up on their tables. One nods his head to me. I guess I must not be considered a threat. The dog is looking at his master and thumping my shoulder with a thick tail.
The face that peeks outside gestures toward the dog and says, “Say, Earl, ain’t that Larry?” The brunette smiles at me.

Pitt barely glances at the dog, now whimpering because he’s heard his name, and mutters to his brew, “Naw. That’s not Larry.”
The Face breaks into a fluoride-deficient grin and cracks, “Gee, Earl, that sure looks like ‘Not Larry’ to me.”

The honest absurdity of that statement brings an explosion of laughter from all boys present, and Earl slips his arm off the woman to support a flushed cheekbone. He feigns an unconcerned slouch and calmly asks “what’s it to me?” I put the dog down, and he limps to the loser’s side, the muscles of his hindquarters twitching with uncertainty. This makes the laughter stop and brings a jolt to my gut. I’m mad enough to lose my CDL and maybe never see my sister Patty again. I know nobody’s in a hurry to leave, so I amble over to the counter and order a glass of ginger ale. I’m thirsty anyway, and I need to shame this guy, or I’ll never sleep again.

The owner sets my drink down and puts a bowl of water on the floor for Not Larry, scratching him behind the ear before disappearing into the kitchen. I sip the ginger ale and notice that Earl has turned his back to me. The brunette is petting the dog, and he seems to be relaxing.

“Did he tell you he took Not Larry for a ride today? It was hot down the road a bit earlier, and he tried to cool the boy by tossing him out the driver’s side at forty. Ain’t that right, Earl?”
Now I have everyone’s attention.
“That true Earl?” the face asks. “You didn’t thr

Not Larry

| July 10, 2001

I see Pit Stain immediately. He’s got a tall one in front of him, and his right arm is around a tired but pretty brunette. She looks up right away, appearing concerned, and then turns back to her boyfriend when she realizes she doesn’t recognize me. Must be a clandestine relationship. Figures.

A few others are seated nearby with boot heels up on their tables. One nods his head to me. I guess I must not be considered a threat. The dog is looking at his master and thumping my shoulder with a thick tail.
The face that peeks outside gestures toward the dog and says, “Say, Earl, ain’t that Larry?” The brunette smiles at me.

Pitt barely glances at the dog, now whimpering because he’s heard his name, and mutters to his brew, “Naw. That’s not Larry.”
The Face breaks into a fluoride-deficient grin and cracks, “Gee, Earl, that sure looks like ‘Not Larry’ to me.”

The honest absurdity of that statement brings an explosion of laughter from all boys present, and Earl slips his arm off the woman to support a flushed cheekbone. He feigns an unconcerned slouch and calmly asks “what’s it to me?” I put the dog down, and he limps to the loser’s side, the muscles of his hindquarters twitching with uncertainty. This makes the laughter stop and brings a jolt to my gut. I’m mad enough to lose my CDL and maybe never see my sister Patty again. I know nobody’s in a hurry to leave, so I amble over to the counter and order a glass of ginger ale. I’m thirsty anyway, and I need to shame this guy, or I’ll never sleep again.

The owner sets my drink down and puts a bowl of water on the floor for Not Larry, scratching him behind the ear before disappearing into the kitchen. I sip the ginger ale and notice that Earl has turned his back to me. The brunette is petting the dog, and he seems to be relaxing.

“Did he tell you he took Not Larry for a ride today? It was hot down the road a bit earlier, and he tried to cool the boy by tossing him out the driver’s side at forty. Ain’t that right, Earl?”
Now I have everyone’s attention.
“That true Earl?” the face asks. “You didn’t thr

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