Thursday, February 6, 2020

"Who Cares?"

Philip was so drunk that he was living almost entirely in the present moment. Anything less recent than the past minute was a blur, and had been a blur for almost a week now, although he was only vaguely aware of the number of days; if someone had asked him how long he had been on a bender he would have paused and said something like, “At least three days, I should think, or, wait, four? Five? Less than two weeks, certainly, I hope, anyway. What was the question?”

Right now he was talking to a guy here in Bob’s Bowery Bar. He knew he was in Bob’s because there was good old Bob over there behind the bar himself, and he hadn’t even thrown Philip out yet. Good man, Bob!

“He asked me my favorite football team,” said the guy. What was his name? He was a dull guy, whoever he was. “I told him I’m sure I haven’t got one,” said the dull guy. ”Now if they had asked me my favorite playwright I should have said without a moment’s hesitation Philip Barry, followed very hard by Kaufman and Hart.”

“What?” said Philip.

“He asked me my favorite football team,” said the guy. “I told him I’m sure I don’t have a favorite.”


“Yes, a favorite football team.”

“Who cares?” said Philip.

“Who cares if I have a favorite football team? Or who cares about football teams at all?”


“I don’t follow,” said the guy.

“You don’t follow.”

“No, heh heh, I don’t quite follow your, uh, question –”

“The question,” said Philip.

“Yes,” said the boring guy. “I don’t quite understand what the question is.”

Philip only stared at the boring guy for a moment, maybe two moments, or was it a minute? And then he said:

“What question?”

“What question?” said Mr. Boring Man. “The question of who cares what my favorite football team is, or, perhaps, the question of who cares what anyone’s favorite team is.”

“Favorite football team?”

“Yes. Precisely.”

Philip paused for another moment or a dozen moments, he didn’t know how many and he didn’t care, and then he said:

“You know who my favorite football team is?”

“I assure you I have no idea,” said this boring guy.

Addison, that was what they called him! Addison the Wit, because he was always trying to be like George Sanders in that Bette Davis movie. Addison DeWitt? Addison the Wit. The witty guy who wasn’t witty…

“Please don’t keep me in suspense,” said Addison the Wit. “I can only bate my breath for so long, dear chap.”

“What?” said Philip.

“Your favorite football team.”

“What about it?”

“What is it?” said old Addison.

“Who cares?” said Philip.

Addison took pause. If Philip had not been buying he might have moved to another stool, if not in high dudgeon, then certainly in at least a mild huff, or perhaps simply turned in the other direction, give him a bit of the arctic icy cold shoulder. However, Philip was buying the drinks and had shown no sign of stopping buying them, and so one did what one had to do. All part of the spiritual dues one must pay for membership in the sacred brotherhood of Bacchus!

“Anyway,” said Addison, trying to put a brave face (or a seemingly brave face) on the situation, “anyway, this chap asked me what my favorite football team was, and you know what I told him?”

“Who cares?” said Philip.

{Kindly go here to read the “adult comics” version at A Flophouse Is Not a Home, illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq.}

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