To complete this tale of idiocy and temporary insanity, which (according to Shakespeare) signifies nothing; here I sit at three o’clock in the morning writing the conclusion to one slice of my life… |
…so we left the sisters from Washington DC at their hotel. We wanted to dodge them as much as we did Gunter, and perceived they were looking for dinner companions from the hints they dropped on the walk from the bar…
“Know any good restaurants around here? What are you doing for dinner? We’re not familiar with Singapore, and we have to leave in the morning for Bali. Maybe you two could tell us more of what you do.” Finally, gauging our uncommitted, mumbled responses with a few I-don’t-think-so’s thrown in they made one final attempt, “For helping us out, how about letting us treat you to dinner?”
No thanks. We made up some kind of lie about meeting local associates. They were pleasant ladies, but the episode at the bar was entertainment enough. The incongruous juxtaposition of incompatibilities, that is, the intersection of the crude German financier and the high-maintenance femmes couldn’t be topped. Taken alone, the ladies would just ruin the buzz. You could sense they’d want to talk about shopping, clothes, their lives inside the beltway, the marvelous time they were having on holiday, their feelings, etc. Spending any additional time with them would be a dead end; and therefore, wasting an hour or two of one’s life. Who can afford to do that? Also Chuck and I had some business to discuss. I think.
The pleasant, balmy evening pretty much dictated that we dine al fresco, and we found a wonderful terraced cafe that specialized in seafood fondue and Singapore Slings. The waiter had just opened a bottle of wine (after we polished off the rum concoctions) when Chuck touched my arm, hit me with a big shit-eating grin, and nodded to our left.
“Check it out. Our charming, Teutonic drinking buddy is here.”
There three tables away sat Günter with two exotically attractive local girls, practically carbon copies of the prostitutes who accosted Chuck earlier. He was puffing on a cigarette and strewing ashes about between shoving skewers of shellfish in his mouth talking and laughing all the time obviously in a very expansive mood. He chewed violently with an open mouth, chomping, smacking, and spraying spittle. The girls looked poker-faced and bored as they sipped champagne and nibbled on shrimp.
“Rats! What are the chances?”
“Damn, I hope he doesn’t spot us,” said Chuck.
“We have to assume he will. Oh well, the best defense is a good offense. I think I’ll have a little fun with him,” I said. “Just to keep in practice.”
“Good idea. Signal if you need back-up.”
“Yeah, maybe we’ll tag-ged team him.” We both laughed.
I rose, picked up my glass of wine, sauntered over with a cockeyed devil-may-care grin, and threw open my arms as I approached the table. “Günter, my friend! How’s your old wazzoo? Caught anything lately?” Then eyeing the Asian girls who glared daggers back at me, “Looks like you’re working on it.” I clapped him on the back, and acted like he was an old lodge buddy. “Nothing says love like a new STD.”
He momentarily registered annoyance and astonishment. “Vas? Vat is vazoo?” Then recovering quickly. “Ach, it’s you. Zooo…” An evil chuckle, “Finished zo zoon mit die American shoenen machen? Zey must be, how you zay, lousy fock.”
“No, you misunderstand. Listen, my friend, we saved your ass back there!” I gave my most sincere meaningful look, eyeball to eyeball.
“Eh, vat you talk about?” He wiped his mouth and the girls eyed me suspiciously.
I leaned in and spoke quietly. “Shit, man, those American ladies are working with the police to catch visiting businessmen soliciting for sex. It was a sting operation!” I swiveled my head around like someone might be listening.
“Nein, zey are not chinks like zese two.” He pointed to his companions. “Zese are what Singapore whores look like.” The girls returned murderous looks toward him, but you could see they would tough it out to get paid.
(AUTHOR'S NOTE: In some parts of Europe they use terms we consider racist, or at least bad taste, in their commonplace lexicon. When Chinese-American, Michael Chang won the French Open several decades ago French newspapers sported the headline, “Chang Triumphs” with the subtitle, “Chink wins Open”.)
“Well, now, see there? That’s the idea. You didn’t suspect a thing, did you?”
Günter’s eyes widened, and shook his head slowly. “Gottinhimmel…”
“Good thing Chuck recognized them from an Embassy party. They were blowing high-roller guests,” I lied. “Oh, and sorry we stuck you with the tab. How much do I owe you?”
The poor guy was absolutely ashen. “Nein, nein. Danke, danke!” He pumped my hand vigorously. He looked around, “Vaiter, bring me zeir dinner tab!”
“That’s not necessary…”
“Nonsense! You haf sav-ved me from zose American whores!”
“Well, thank you… And, Günter, be more careful, my friend.” As I walked away, over my shoulder for the benefits of the girls I said, “That venereal wart ever clear up?” I rejoined Chuck and told him the story.
Chuck smiled and said, “I know the two with him over there are pros, but if you were a woman could you imagine that sloppy bastard sweating and wheezing on top of you? Must have to go mentally to some happy place.”
“I know. What a take-home visual.”
When we returned to the hotel we noticed on the front desk a fishbowl full of business cards. Sign said, Win a Free Upgrade to the Concierge Level on Your Next Visit.
Chuck got the desk clerk’s attention. He was a shy, meek, little guy. “Hey, amigo, we already stay on the concierge level. What do we get?”
The clerk smiled sheepishly, not understanding, and slowly shook his head. Before Chuck could press him any further, he darted away to help another guest.
Chuck laughed, reached in the fishbowl and pulled out a handful of cards. He examined each, kept two and threw the rest back.
“What the hell are you doing?” I couldn’t imagine.
He grinned and said brightly, “These are real keepers, see? He held them out. “Both are international vice presidents of marketing and sales.”
“Next time a hooker bugs me, I’ll hand her one of these. Mobile phone number’s included, right? I’ll tell her I’m busy, but to call me later.”
“Doing everyone a favor, right?”
“Maybe, maybe not. But I am definitely giving both parties an opportunity. Can I help it if I’m concerned about the well-being of my fellowman?”
“You’re a real humanitarian. Always thinking of others.”
Copyright 2012 by Gene Myers.
Author of AFTER HOURS: ADVENTURES OF AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSMAN and SONGS FROM LATTYS GROVE available from Amazon and Amazon Kindle.
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