The next singer up after the intermission is Bob's rival and ex ~ Mrs. Tipsy Rumford ~ in a fetching black evening gown as Ella Fitzgerald. With the twinkle of piano keys she croons -:
"Oh, I've wined and dined on Mulligan Stew,
and never wished for turkey,
as I hitched and hiked and grifted too,
from Maine to Albuquerque . . ."
All eyes are agog as the lights dim with magnificent timing -:
"Alas, I missed the Beaux Arts Ball,
and what is twice as sad,
I was never at a party where they honored Noel Cad,
but social circles spin too fast for me,
My Hobohemia is the place to be. . ."
At the word Hobohemia ~ which everyone knows is short for BungHole Bohemians ~ Jack Kerouac climbs up on the bar and like a great jazz bandleader leads the imaginary brass section in its toot-toot-tooting -:
"I get too hungry for dinner at eight,
I like the theater but never come late,
I never bother with people I hate,
that's why the lady is a tramp! . . ."
Everyone in Studebaker Flats knows this song by heart ~ even the waitress, soles burning, sings along. Arm in arm with tears in eyes all the patrons of the BungHole sing -:
"I like the green grass under my shoes,
What can I lose, I'm flat that's that,
I'm alone when I lower my lamp,
That's why the lady is a tramp."
With her flawless performance of the great Ella Fitzgerald, Tipsy Rumford is announced the grand prize winner. Even Bob gives her a hug as she squeezes through the crowd to get her prize ~ a perfect 1961 Ken doll in a checkered shirt with big buttons.
"Thank you!" Tipsy shouts from atop her chair to the tightly packed crowd of Hobohemians ~ "Finally ~ tonight ~ Barbie will get laid!!!"
At that, the sloshed bartender gets up on the chair next to her and imitates with steel precision what the blender said to him ~ exactly as the blender said it -:
fshmaw fshmaw pulshpulsh
shmmmmooop shmooop shmooop
fshmaw fshmaw pulshpulsh
There is thunderous applause. "Steel words," mutters Jack, "mitigate their frightening beauty," as he delivers a mumbled soliloquy on the god-damn doom of print dharma and the baggage of thoughts ~ and passes out atop someone's Evil Bastard brew, the fire from which had luckily gone out.
The lights intrude into wide-open pupils. The high pitch of the mike squeals with a last minute first aid request for Jack's head. "Fweeeeeeee---------------. Tap-tap. Ahem. Hello. Who's got Band-Aids?"
"Ladies and gentlemen," ~ the pre-recorded voice of Uncle Tiki is crisp and authoritative ~ "please take a Go-Cup at the door. Drive slow ~ the street lights are on ~ your comrades are asleep in their safehouses, but please watch for escapees."
"Drink and Drive Slow ~ Good Night."
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