Tuesday, May 25, 2010

“Uncle Buddy’s House”, Chapter 51: the slap

Let’s get back to Buddy and Cordelia on this Saturday night at the Yaletown Brewing Company in the charming city of Vancouver. Several beers have been drunk. And this is on top of that excellent bottle of Barolo they shared earlier in the evening...

(Click here to go to our previous episode; newcomers may go here to return to the first chapter of Uncle Buddy’s House©. “A paean not just to love in all its myriad forms but to alcoholic beverages.” -- J.J. Hunsecker, in the Ravenhurst Review.)


Another beer, and Buddy faded away from what Cordelia was saying. To tell the truth it had gotten so loud in here that you really had to make an effort to pay attention. And anyway he was distracted, he was distracted by her and by the beer, and by her body, and by the fact that she wasn’t wearing panties and seemed to be oblivious of the fact and by that weird gurgly quality in her voice but he faded back in when she said:

“...and besides, Buddy-boo-boyo, let’s face it, you’re only really here because you like young chicks with big butts and big boobs.”

“What?”

“If I didn’t have big boobs you wouldn’t be so interested in me.”

“Poppycock. And besides, your boobs aren’t that big.”

“You don’t think so?”

“Not by today’s standards.”

“Well, maybe you’re right. But you will admit my butt is big.”

“I admit nothing.”

“So you’re saying I do have a big butt.”

“No. No,” said Buddy. “No.”

“Ha. Okay, well, if it’s not big then would you say
it’s a --”

“It’s a nice butt.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“But that’s what I’m saying, even if you are lying: boobs and butt --”

“Wait --”

“Butt and boobs. That’s all --”

“Cordelia, can I say something?”

“Boobs and butt.”

“Cordelia, look, be quiet for a minute.”

“Fuck you, I don’t think you have any right to tell me to--”

“Wait. Listen.” He put his finger up, and leaned a little closer. “I’ve met about a million people in my life. Half a million women.”

“Yeah, and you’ve fucked about a hundred thousand of them, you old lech --”

“But --”

“What?”

“But I’ve never met anyone like you.”

This immediately sounded incredibly trite and corny to Buddy, but he couldn’t help that.
Cordelia looked at him, gnawing her upper lip.
Then:

“But you still wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like my body.”

“That’s true,” said Buddy. “But it’s also true what I just said.”

She continued to look at him, saying nothing. Then it looked like she might start to cry.

Buddy couldn’t think of anything to say. Except for what he’d already said.

Yeah, she was going to cry all right. And Buddy couldn’t help that either.

Then --

“Hey. Cordelia.”

This was said by some random young guy, standing behind them. Cordelia turned on her stool.

“Oh. Keith. Hi, Keith!”

Keith, who was smiling, glanced from her to Buddy and back to her again.

“We missed you at Fred’s,” said Keith.

“Oh! Fred’s. Why -- aren’t you there?”

“We couldn’t get a damned pool table, the joint was packed with some crew from a movie-of-the-week with David Hasselhoff and Valerie Bertinelli. So we came here for the pool tables. Hi.” Keith extended his hand to Buddy. “I’m Keith. Cordelia and I work together.”

Buddy shook his hand. Keith was good-looking, in a soap opera actor way. Well-built. But short.

“Hi, Keith. My name is -- Stephen.”

“Stephen.”

Cordelia pinched Buddy’s ass, hard.

“I’m Cordelia’s father,” said Buddy.

“No way!” said Keith.

“Way.”

Enormous relief suffused Keith’s bland young face.

“So you came up just to visit?” he said.

“Yep. Spur of the moment,” said Buddy.

Cordelia pinched him again and held on like a crab.

“That’s awesome. You’re an actor, too, right?”

“Oh, yes.” Buddy reached behind him and pulled Cordelia’s hand away from his ass. “Just another poor player who struts and frets his under-five upon the soundstage when he can get it.” He patted her hand.

“That’s not what I heard. Cordelia told me you have your own theatre, down in L.A.?”

“Oh, just a mere Punch-and-Judy sideshow by the beach. A petit Grand Guignol for the tourists from Peoria.”

“That’s awesome. Hey, do you know this is one talented daughter you’ve got?”

“I certainly do.”

Cordelia pulled her hand away from Buddy’s.

“Everyone loves her.”

“Of course they do.”

“And she is going to be a major star.”

“I certainly hope so.”

“Major star.”

“Right you are.”

“I know she will.”

“Really?”

“I know it’s going to happen for her. I know it.”

“Good, she can take care of me in my old age.”

“Hey,” said Keith, looking at Cordelia, but with a narrow little glance at Buddy, “would you guys care to join us, shoot some pool?”

Cordelia looked at Buddy and Buddy took a tiny beat.

“Perhaps,” he said.

“We’re just over there.”

“Okay, maybe we’ll come over,” said Buddy.

“Come over,” Keith said to Cordelia.

“Maybe, Keith,” said Cordelia. “We want to talk. My dad
and I.”

“Awesome. Well, nice meeting you, sir.”

“Stephen.”

Buddy offered his hand, and Keith took it.

“Nice meeting you, Steve.”

“I prefer Stephen.”

“Stephen.”

“And so very nice to make your acquaintance, Keith,” said Buddy, releasing Keith’s hand.

And off Keith went.

“You are too fucking much,” said Cordelia. Then -- “I guess you know, that was --”

“The first A.D.”

“Yeah. What did you think?”

“Awesome.”

“Oh, shut up. You didn’t like him.”

“Well, you know --


“What?”

“I get bored.”

“Bored?”

“Yeah, these upbeat motherfuckers.”

“Upbeat motherfuckers?”

“Yeah, you know -- these fuckin’ -- regular guys, nice
guys -- these fuckin’ --”

“What?”

“These fuckin’ hail-fellows-well-met, these always so goddam positive, and sure everything’s gonna turn out great, and they always ask you if you saw some game or other, I don’t know. I hate 'em.”

“Buddy.”

“And you know what? These are just the sort of guys that secretly -- that pull out guns and shoot meter maids for giving them parking tickets --”

“Okay --”

“Meter maids who are just doing their jobs, who have families to support.”

“All right, shut up.”

“These guys -- they marry girls and then have affairs with the girls’ sisters.”

“Buddy.”

“They’re the kind of guys like at the gym they call the black dudes ‘bro’ but behind their backs they call them niggers.”

“All right, just stop it.”

“And then when Hitler comes to power they run and join the Nazi Party. They’re just -- they’re just -- what’s his name, Craig? Chip? Kip? Pip?”

“Keith, asshole.”

“Keith. They’re just -- it’s like if they were in one of my movies they’d be one of the first guys to get killed, y’know? And no one would miss them.”

“You really are an asshole.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah, but I forgive you because you’re just jealous.”



Another chunk of chatty semi-drunken bar-time went by and suddenly Buddy realized he really had to pee.

Unfortunately she was in the middle of a discourse...ever since adolescence she had felt fat and inadequate, plus she had been emotionally stunted through trying to live up to her father’s expectations, and meanwhile she’d always felt like a weirdo because she really didn’t want a boyfriend the way all the other girls did because she thought boys were weird, and boring, because --

“Wait, Cordelia, listen --”

“What? You disagree?”

“No, not at all --”

“I know, I’m a ballbuster, I’m a neurotic, I’m a cockteaser, I’m afraid of sex, but you don’t know, Buddy --”

“Cordelia, listen, I have to pee. I mean I really have to pee. Really.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Buddy! I always think it’s all about me. Go pee then. Go.”

She waggled her fingers at him.

“Great. Be right back,” said Buddy.


And it was very good, when he finally found the men’s room, when he finally got a urinal to himself, it was at least as good as an orgasm. It didn’t have the psychological complexity and depth of an orgasm brought on by a woman, but as a discrete physical pleasure, well...


As he worked his way back toward the bar he saw Keith the first A.D. there, again, talking to Cordelia. The little slimeball. Well, what the hell, who was Buddy to stand in their way? He dawdled a bit to give them a chance to talk about whatever sordid shit they had to talk about. And then a wonderful thing happened. Buddy was hanging back about thirty feet away, there were a lot of people in between, but he saw it oh so clearly and wonderfully when she hauled off and slapped the smug little twerp right in the face.

It was glorious.

Buddy hung back a bit more, giving Keith time to go away and Cordelia time to calm down a little.

Finally --

“Hey, sorry it took me so long, there was a line.”

She smiled, she was a good enough actress that it didn’t look forced.

“Hey, I’m over this place,” she said.

“Me too. Shall we go somewhere else?”

“Let’s just go back to the hotel,” she said. “They have twenty-four hour room service and they have really good desserts. We’ll eat dessert and watch a movie on the cable.”

“Sounds cool to me,” said Buddy.



In the cab she snuggled against him and held his arm, but they didn’t make out.

“Hey,” he said, “if you don’t mind my asking, why’d you slap Keith?”

She looked up at him. Yeah, he’d seen it. She looked away.

“He insinuated that you weren’t my father.”

“So you slapped him?”

“Yes,” she said. “It was the way he said it.”


(Continued here. Aspirin available free of charge at the front desk.)

(Kindly look to the right-hand column of this page to find a listing of links to all other published chapters of Uncle Buddy’s House™ a Jack Webb Production.)

4 comments:

dianne said...

i was confused by the title and picture. I thought Electra had slapped Arnold, or Betsy had slapped Porter. Then I realised I was in the wrong world. But this being Dan Leo, that might be the intention.

Dan Leo said...

Di, any confusion of worlds was entirely unintentional on my part! Although I have noticed that there is a mutual theme of men's rooms and urination running through both of these epics...

kathleenmaher said...

“I’ve met about a million people in my life. Half a million women...But I’ve never met anyone like you.”

Occasionally Cordelia seems to lack (cliche alert)self esteem.

However, if anyone offered me the sweet, irresistible line Buddy says, I'd take it to mean I was abnormal.
What I've longed to hear (straight face not required, btw) is this:
Well, if you aren't just like all women everywhere--the epitome of your type.
Probably best to keep complimenting her breasts her butt.

Dan Leo said...

Heh heh -- with all her unwarranted body-image issues, Cordelia can (and probably does) get compliments on her breasts and butt every time she walks down the street. But Buddy's telling her she's unique, well, I think that might have done wonders for her...