Monday, March 13, 2006

Drinks with Dolores

There's no shortage of watering holes near my apartment, so I asked Dolores what sort of bar she'd like to go to.

"Some place with strippers," she said. "Mama hasn't seen a good piece of tushie since Oprah wore girdles."

We walked down Halsted Street to the Lucky Horseshoe, an establishment noted for just this sort of entertainment. Dolores hopped up on a stool and ordered a cosmopolitan and a bowl of hay.

"A bowl of what?"

"I said hay, bartender," said Dolores, fishing a pack of Virgina Slims out of her purse.

"What'll you have?" the bartender asked me.

"A Coke with lime," I said.

"Ooh," said Dolores. "Don't hold back, killer. You mind if I smoke?"

As she'd already lit up, I decided the question was rhetorical.

"So," she said, taking a deep drag, "I bet you're wondering what the hell I'm doing here."

I couldn't disagree, and said so.

"Well," she said, "I tried the retirement thing. Got myself a nice little condo at Twelve Willows and figured I'd just cruise along until it's time to head to the big fiber festival in the sky, but–you ever live in the country? I mean deep country?"

I shook my head.

"Too damn quiet. No shopping. The nearest decent cup of coffee was four hours away. And the goddamned cows mooing every morning at 4 a.m. was driving me batshit."

"I don't mean to make assumptions, Dolores, but I thought sheep preferred the country," I said.

Dolores slugged down the last of her cosmo. "Mother's milk," she sighed, waving the empty glass at the bartender. "Another of the same, kid, and send Emilio over here."

"I did the farm thing until I was old enough to duck out. Never suited me. I wound up on a commune outside Seattle for a coupla years, had a thing going on with this ram who turned out to be a bigamist, so I split. Fell ass-backwards into a modeling gig with Woolrich, that took me to New York, picked up an MBA in marketing, yadda yadda yadda. The usual."

Emilio, a member of the Lucky Horseshoe's corps de ballet, sauntered over to us and presented his very original interpretation of "Baby Got Back" on top of the bar.

"Oh, now that's more like it," said Dolores, peering over the top of her glasses. "Come here, honey chile."

She slipped a five-dollar bill between her teeth and Emilio deftly removed it without the use of his hands.

"Where was I?" she said vaguely.

"Yadda yadda yadda," I said.

"Oh, right. Anyway, got an ulcer and high blood pressure from agency work, so I went into academics for a while. But when Columbia denied my tenure I told them if groundbreaking work on the Oresteia wasn't to their liking they could kiss my wooly ass. Which brings us to the present, and my need for another cosmo"

"I'm afraid I still don't quite understand what you're doing here," I said.

"And I'm afraid I don't quite understand how you can nurse a Coke with lime all night, but then life is full of mysteries. Look. You need wool, I got wool. You got an apartment with a view of the lake, I got a pen with a view of a cow's ass. I give you wool, you give me a pied a terre. I call that synchronicity."

"Well, but–"

Dolores, however, had grabbed her purse and jumped off the stool and was following Emilio's retreating figure toward the back room.

"Don't wait up," she shouted. "See you tomorrow morning. Or Wednesday at the latest."


Daryl said...

How CAN you be so funny? a loyal fan, just had to come out of lurking to note you made my day, and they are looking at me a little oddly as I chortle in my cubby and try to explain why I am rolling around on the floor in helpless giggles when I should be deeply engrossed and consumed with tension and stress.

Robbyn said...

Oh boy :) I can't wait for the, no doubt, deeply moving shearing scene! Cosmo, eh? I had her pegged as an "Old Fashioned" girl...

Lavender said...

OMG! Dolores is a gas!!

David said...

I don't think I will be getting any work done this week.

Kathy Merrick said...

As in, "I said, 'Hey, Bartender, hey. looka here'"?
If so, I love you more than Koigu PPM.

Jon said...

Oh chile, you are going to make a person wet himself.

And how do you nurse coke with lime? EW!

Paul said...

Does Emilio know what he's in for?

Holly @Home said...

It's beginning to sound like "Scenes from a Style Struggle ".....she is a bad sheep but I'm sure she has a heart of gold..if she gets too much find a non-veggie friend or two and eat her .

Annie said...

Dolores is my hero.

Beth said...

And "Life According to Dolores" is coming out when?

Steph said...

Lord liftin' love a duck - that's hilarious.

Came for a glimpse at the gold medal... stayed for the humour and the cartoons.

--Deb said...

That Dolores is going to be a challenge, I see!! What a girl....

Carrie K said...

Those hard drinking sheep. They're a handful. I'd get some roving up front......wait. Is that what Emilio is for?

Yvonne said...


knittykitty said...

Having been to the bar in question (aka "the shoe"), I can say Dolores is one fun ewe. What's next? Big Chicks?

Lucia said...

Those cosmos can add up. Of course you knew: there's no such thing as free wool.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I keep coming back and reading these two posts over and over again, and they are still funny. Knowing who "Franklin" is in the knitting world is like being in the "in" crowd. Cool in a sheepy sort of way.

Thanks for an always entertaining read.

Windsornot said...

Franklin, you'd better be careful with Dolores. She's one ewe not to mess with, it sounds like! (And I'm a Diet Coke with Lime person myself, so ignore that last "eww" from someone. It's a matter of taste, and we all know you have lots of that.) ;-) So whaddya think? Does her proposition sound good, or are you mulling it over? She might be a difficult ewe to live with, but maybe not, as long as you aren't in her way...hmmmm

Christopher said...

"Lucky Horseshoe"? Dolores is definitely new to the city.

Fr. Sean said...

Oh, man, I got my laugh for the day. And it is almost bed time, so I really needed a good laugh. How could I sleep without it? Thanks.

Leslie said...

A child's story for grown-ups (sort of)! I can't wait for the further adventures. Thanks, Franklin, for making my day!

goblinbox said...

This nearly killed me absolutely dead:

"Too damn quiet. No shopping. The nearest decent cup of coffee was four hours away. And the goddamned cows mooing every morning at 4 a.m. was driving me batshit."

(When you're done with this whole Delores line, it needs to be excerpted into a chapbook.)

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