Arizona Shuffle by William Kitcher
The big guy slapped his money on the bar. “Keep the change.”
The bartender nodded at him. The guy got off his stool, and started to walk away.
“Hey,” I said, “what about my money?”
“You owe me money. You lost a bet!”
“Come on, man.”
The few people in the bar turned to watch us. A young blonde woman in a gray t-shirt and jeans stood up from her table, and sipped on what looked like whisky.
The big lump turned back to me. “What are you gonna do about it?”
He was a much bigger man than I was. I didn’t have a real answer so I said, “I’ll figure out a way, ya prick.”
The lump pulled his fist back to take a punch at me. The blonde grabbed his arm and wrist, and twisted them behind his back, quickly, professionally.
The guy grimaced and turned his head. “Piss off. None of your business, blondie.”
“You shouldn’t have said that.” And with a twist of her own wrist, she forced him to the floor.
From the end of the bar, the bartender said, “Hey, enough of that.”
“Stay out of this, man,” she said. She looked at me. “How much does he owe you?”
“Five-hundred bucks. I would have bet more ‘cause I knew I was right, but I figured that was about his limit.”
“What was the bet?”
“Who won the 2001 World Series.”
“Arizona,” she said. “Bloop single. Game Seven. What did he say?”
“Nah, ’96, ’98, ’99, 2000. Lost in 2001. Haven’t won since ’09. Good thing too.” She released her grip on his arm. “Get up.”
The guy got up and rubbed his arm, and looked at her stupidly.
“And now, my lad,” she said, “we’re going to a bank machine to see if you have five-hundred dollars.” She waved a twenty at the bartender and put it on her table. “Keep the change.” She finished her whisky.
She pushed the lump to the door and out to the street. She walked beside him down the sidewalk. I paid my tab and followed them outside. They went down the sidewalk and I trailed them with a grin on my face.
The guy made a break for it but she quickly caught up with him and tripped him, his palms and knees scraping on the sidewalk. She forced him to his feet, twisted his arm behind him again, and pushed him forward.
“I’ll get you,” he said.
“Unlikely,” she said, giving him a little shot to the kidneys.
We reached a bank, and there was a teller machine in the lobby. She pushed him through the door and up to the terminal. He hesitated and she jammed her middle knuckle up into the pressure point behind his ear. He yelled, then took his bank card out and made the transaction. He stood there stupidly with the five-hundred in his hand, looking from the blond to me and back again. He finally handed me the money.
She pushed him toward the exit. “See ya.”
The lump went through the door and shuffled away.
She looked at me. “You know what’s gonna happen now, right?”
I gave her the five-hundred.
“And you have a bank card too, right?” She smiled at me.
Damn, I thought, didn’t see that coming. And to top it off, I got hit with a five-dollar service charge because it wasn’t my bank.
About the author:
Bill lives in Toronto, used to work for a terrible company, and now works for something much better: himself. He knows he can’t live forever on pizza and beer, but he’s going to try.
11/6/2022 04:07:02 pm
A hoot of a story! Vivid characters, good zingers and a fun, unexpected ending!
11/6/2022 07:10:45 pm
Bill pulled this scam many times in Toronto and just transposed the characters to defend the guilty. I was usually the blond and we always picked on little guys who were drunk and stupid.
11/6/2022 09:11:24 pm
11/7/2022 10:01:38 am
Most unexpected ending! I’d like to have a drink with her on a good day!
Russell L Thayer
11/7/2022 11:49:03 pm
Ha. Good fun. Great ending. She's got a story in back of her.
11/9/2022 02:12:10 pm
I really like that story. I didn’t see that ending coming Bill!
1/16/2023 08:01:05 pm
Sometimes things are not what they seem... Bill often surprises...
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