Thursday, March 21, 2019

"The Buttinski"

“Here’s the thing, Pete,” said Dr. Weinberg, “you’re never going to be able to hold down a job, to have friends, maybe even someday – who knows – to find a girlfriend, until you learn to listen to other people instead of just waiting for an opportunity to butt in and spout your own opinions, to make yourself seem special, to –”

“Okay, I hear what you’re saying, Doc, but if I may just interject a moment.”

Dr. Weinberg sighed, and tapped out another one of her Vogue ladies’ cigarettes.

“Sure, Pete, what is it?”

“Can I help it if other people are so boring and stupid?”

She lit the cigarette, inhaled deeply, and slowly exhaled. This guy was going to drive her nuts. She looked at her watch.

“Oh, my, look at the time. Okay, Pete, we’ll pick this up next time.”

“Sure, Doc. You have a nice day.”

Pete got the note to show his probation officer in case he got checked up on, went out and caught the subway back downtown. He would be just in time for the 2-for-1 “happy hour” at Bob’s Bowery Bar, which was practically the only bar in the city south of 42nd Street that he hadn’t been flagged from yet.

– The Buttinski, by Horace P. Sternwall, a Monarch “paperback original”, 1957; republished as The Tedious Fellow, by “Hugh Palmerston Stubbins”, the Quayside Press (U.K.), 1959.

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