Thursday, March 5, 2020

“I Ain’t No Good”

“I ain’t no good,” said Bosco. “I been in jail. More than once. I ain’t smart neither. And I got a temper. Also, I admit it, I’m lazy, and I like to drink. But all in all I ain’t the worst guy in the world.”

Maybe he wasn’t the worst guy in the world. That had to mean something, right?

“All right then,” said Janey. “Tell ya what, you can buy me a drink.”

“Okay,” said Bosco. “And I appreciate your saying that. A classy dame like you. I do. Only thing is I just spent my last dime on this here bock I just finished drinking, and, to be honest, I was hoping maybe you would buy me a drink.”

“You’re asking a dame to buy you a drink.”

“I am, Amy.”


“I am, Janey. Asking you to buy me a drink. And you know why?”

“’Cause you ain’t got no money?”

“Yes, that is the primary reason I guess, but my secondary reason, you wanta know what that is?”

“Dying to, Roscoe.”


“Dying to, Bosco.”

“My secondary reason I’m asking you to buy me a drink is I ain’t got no pride. And you know why I ain’t got no pride?”

“Why, Roscoe?”


“Why, Bosco?”

“Because it says in the Bible, pride goeth before a fall.”

“That what it says?”

“It’s in the good book, Amy.”


“It’s what it says in the good book, Janey. Pride goeth before a fall, so if you ain’t got no pride you ain’t got nowhere to fall.”

“’Cause you’re already down in the gutter.”

“That is one way of looking at it. And I’ll admit it, all my life that’s where I been. In the gutter.”

“At least you’re honest, pal.”

“Actually I’m a compulsive liar. I don’t know why, but I am, and you know what? Even if I did know why I’d probably just lie about it.”

“What if you’re lying now?”

“That could well be.”

“So anyway, you want me to buy you a drink.”

“I do, Amy, and that ain’t no lie.”


“Janey,” he said.

“What’d you say your name was again? Cisco?”


“Tell ya what, Bosco, I’ll buy you a drink.”

“I guess it would be too much to ask for a boilermaker.”

“You mean a shot and a beer?”

“Yeah. I mean if you consider a shot and a beer as one like libation – a boilermaker if you will.”

“You got a lot of nerve, I’ll give you that that much.”

“Nerve is one thing I got. I ain’t got pride, but I got a lot of nerve.”

“All right, I’ll buy you a boilermaker, but nothing expensive.”

“How about just another glass of bock and a shot of Cream of Kentucky.”

“All right. I oughta have my head examined, but okay.”

“Thank you, Amy.”


“Thank you, Janey.”

“Hey, Bob,” called Janey. “When ya get time, another tokay for me, and a glass of bock and a Cream of Kentucky for my father over here.”

Bosco and Janey traded a few quips while Bob got the drinks, and when he laid them down Janey tapped her little pile of crumpled one-dollar bills and small change.

“Outa here, Bob.”

Bob took three quarters and a dime and went away, and Janey raised her glass of tokay.

Bosco raised his shot of Cream of Kentucky.

“You’re a class dame, Amy,” said Bosco.

“And you’re a bum, Roscoe,” said Janey.

They drank, and a month later they went to City Hall, both of them tight as ticks, and tied the knot.

{Please click here to read the “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, lavishly illustrated by rhoda penmarq.}

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