Walt & Hercules in ‘A Drinky Kind of Poetry’

image: tripadvisor.com

image: tripadvisor.com

I was perched on a stone stool at the swim-up bar, on holiday at an all-inclusive. You know, one of those resorts that provides unlimited food and drink to us guests who provide the gluttony. My tweed coat was beginning to weigh a bit heavily, wicking water as it was, and I kept having to wipe the steam off my monocle. I was on my third vodka-orange of the morning when Arturo picked up the microphone. Arturo on the microphone always made me smile. But on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, at an all-inclusive, pretty much everything makes me smile.

“Ladies and gentleman, chicos y chicas, this morning, esta mañana, tenemos una sorpressa especial. We have a special surprise!”

Arturo’s job was to ensure guests partook of the proscribed “fun” activities, such as playing bingo or water polo, riding the mechanical bull, dancing the meringue, water aerobics, etc. (I felt I was already partaking of the most fun activity.) He seemed to enjoy saying everything twice in two languages. I enjoyed listening to him, no matter what he was saying.

Chicos y chicas, please welcome, Meester Deke Haircules!”

I am Diklitous Phantasos Hercules!

Meester Deke Haircules!

I ripped off my monocle and smashed it against the bar. Slammed my face down and almost began to cry.

Señor?” It was the bartender. He’d come running and slapped both hands down on the bar. “Everything ees okay?”

Behind me, I heard women squealing in delight and grown men gasping. I could only assume that my nemesis, my bane, was performing a feat of strength. For show, or some such.

happy birthday

Dick Hecules Performing a Feat of Strength

No, amigo. Everything is not okay. Everything is quite far from okay, the sudden.”

The monster cried cannonball in his high-pitched nasally voice (he sounded like Abbot, of the Abbot & Costellos) and behind me the water went gawomp. I sensed that his mass had displaced an egregious amount of pool, and that gravity would bring it down upon my beverage and me. I protected my beverage as best I could. There was no hope for me.

As the laughter and applause died down, he surfaced and cleared his blowhole and cried out, “Walty Pants! That you?”

I just glared at him out of the corner of my eye. I might have grunted. I definitely glowered. Hard.

“Why are you wearing your writerly duds?” he said. “Ahoy, thar! Rise and greet me, friend!”

“You have chlorinated my beverage.” I said, draining the last bit into the pool. I tossed the empty cup at him. It bounced off his forehead. He waved his hand belatedly, as if swatting a fly, and smiled. “Well it’s back to the well, then!” he said, and beached himself on the stool beside me. Water sluiced off his shirtless black & white torso as if he were a sea lion. “How are ya, buddy?”

“I was marvellous.”

He signaled for the bartender and fist-bumped his own forehead. The bartender laughed aloud and said, “Si, señor!”

Dick pointed at him and winked, then turned back to me and said, “Whatcha mean, was marvellous?”

I shook my head and sighed. “Are you so dense?”

“Let’s start over, Walt,” he said. He reached out to shake my hand. “What ho, stout fellow! Greetings and well wishes!”

I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. “Waltbane, is what you are.”

“Thank you!”

“It’s not a compliment.”

“Neither are you.”

I furrowed my brows. “Come again?”

“Hey, I’ve got something for ya, Walty boy.”

“Let me make one thing clear, sir,” I said. “I am on holiday. I will accept no poetry.”

The bartender returned with eight shot glasses, four full of something golden, four full of something red.

Dick grabbed them four at a time and said, “It’s called a Smokey Tomato.”

“Did you hear what I said? None at all.”

“It’s a new kind of poetry. A drinky kind.”

This caught my interest. I cocked an eyebrow. “Go on.”

He pointed to a golden vial. “Shot of Mezcal.” Then to a red one. “Tomato juice chaser.”

“Repugnant,” I said. “Make it go away.”

Dick snatched the Mezcal and knocked it back, saying ahhhh. He took the tomato juice and knocked that back. “Done!” he said, shoving the second pair towards me. “Your turn.”

“I shan’t.”

Mr. Hercules tossed back another golden vial of Mezcal followed by another shot of tomato juice. He shook his head, his jowls waggled, and he said whoooo! He flapped his enormous limbs like a bird too heavy to fly. Then he fist bumped his own forehead with each hand, left right left right, one after the other.

“A four-bumper?”

“At least.”

“No thank you.”

Arriba, Walto!” he said, shovelling shots towards me.

“I don’t wish to.”

Faster than you’d think a man of such girth could move, Dick pinched my cheeks and tilted my head. Suddenly I was gargling Mezcal. I had no choice but to swallow.

“Ack” I cried. “What foul nectar!”

“Now this one,” said Dick, pouring the tomato juice chaser down my gullet.

I gurgled and swallowed. Most of the repugnancy went poof, leaving only a faint, smokey aftertaste.

“Heh?” said Dick, grinning.

I licked my chops and smiled. “Not so bad.”

Amigo,” Dick called to the bartender, wiggling his fingers.

Otra ves?” said the bartender.

“Line ’em up!” said Dick.

“Oh dear,” said I.

______________

I came to in a strange bed with someone using the inside of my skull as a kick drum. On my right shoulder lay the second-most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, her skin the color of purest butterscotch. The first most beautiful was spooning her. On my left shoulder was Dick Hercules, snoring like a lumberjack. Spooning him was Arturo. His microphone was slung across his chest, and I think it was live. I heard it humming.

The sheets were soaked. Peeking under them, I saw that I was still wearing my “writerly duds.”

In my hand was the dreaded piece of wide-ruled paper, torn from a spiral notebook and folded as usual. I did not want to unfold it, but I couldn’t help myself. This is what I read:

Hold me closer tiny dancer

Count the headlights on the highway

Lay me down in sheets of linen

You had a busy day today

Curse you, Dick Hercules, I whispered.

Arturo stirred and bolted upright. He checked his watch and was obviously shocked at the hour. He shot out of bed, raised the microphone to his mouth, started pulling his shorts on and said, “Muy buenos días a todos! Who is ready for a ping pong tournament?”  

27 thoughts on “Walt & Hercules in ‘A Drinky Kind of Poetry’

  1. Are you weally Walt Walker? I’m starting to have my doubts. This is my favorite of yours (or his) like ever. Go back to Mexico if you must.

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  2. I’m rather worried that even if you went to Greenland for a vacation, Mr Hecules is going to follow you. I wonder how he would be able to cope with the cold, given that he seems to like posing in just his trunks rather a lot?

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    • He would show up in Greenland, somehow, I’m sure. I don’t know how he does it. Or why. He’s clearly a charmer. Maybe he just can’t hold a job. I don’t think the cold would bother him a bit. I can envision him walking barefoot in the Arctic with just trousers and no shirt and being perfectly comfortable, going ice-fishing and fist-bumping the Eskimos and such. We should get him some Christmas socks!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, you make me laugh out loud – ‘Waltbane’, ‘You have chlorinated my beverage’ and ‘on my right shoulder lay the second most beautiful woman’ – something about her being ‘the second’…
    I must say, it all sounds rather cosy in that bed, the five of you tucked up like sardines. And how, pray, did you relieve yourself of Dick and the two lovelies whilst keeping your monocle in place and your dignity intact?
    And wet tweed? Smells like a Labrador that’s been swimming in the Thames – I do hope for decency’s sake you’ve packed a spare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, I have several suits that are indistinguishable from one another. It’s my own fault for wearing it in the pool. As for my “escape,” well, it’s all about moving quietly, kind of thief-like. Slowly, and without squishing and squashing on the way to the door. I don’t think I was the only one who had a few too many. That helped, you know.

      Glad you got some laughs out of it. I did too, but I prefer not to laugh alone!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are a fully qualified Tweed Ninja, it seems. Fully trained to leave semi-comatose lovelies undisturbed whilst being immaculately turned out in Harris tweed – with plus-fours? A fine skill to have.
        I do enjoy your posts, they’re full of wit and lord knows, that’s an increasingly rare commodity today 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And yes, i think they do. A good friend of mine said that when he asked for Mezcal in Mexico, that was how it was served. Now, I didn’t see it served that way. We had to ask for it to be served that way. And I think the people who served it that way to us thought it was a bit odd. But! It actually was tasty. Or rather, not tasty. I mean, the tomato juice actually did cover the nastiness of the Mezcal. But the bartenders did look at us kind of funny. And I didn’t like the Mezcal. One shouldn’t have to drink something after to make the drink one had before palatable.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “A Drinky Kind of Poetry” sounds so perfectly like it belongs in a Winnie the Pooh story. You know, the kind where Pooh and Piglet knock a few back with shotglasses filled with so much more than honey.

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    • Now I wonder what would pair well with a chaser of honey? You know there is a chapter in a Winnie the Pooh book I have called “In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water.” Maybe that’s the one where he was at the swim up bar.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely loved this post! great work. I am new here and blogs like yours are so inspiring. I literally wrote my first post today! Can you please please read it and give me an unbiased opinion on it? i would really appreciate it

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  6. Pingback: On the Veranda | waltbox

  7. Pingback: Hercules Gets a Job | waltbox

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