Bah Humbug, Sweetheart

(Originally published last Christmas)

The bar was lit with a cheap strand of Christmas lights and decked with a sparse group of the lonely. Bing, on the stereo, belting out how he would be home… if only in his dreams.

And me. And my Scotch.

It’s my way.

A little quieter, a bit more gray, older.

I sat here, tearing the corner from my paper coaster, reflecting on the times I’ve had in this joint over the years. The drama, the women, my sheer capacity of stupid. It was fun.


I realized that it had been awhile, a long while since any opportunity to show off my free-range stupidity, and fuck if it didn’t bum me out. And that thought bummed me out even more…because that makes me one of these sad sacks, down and alone at this time of year. I’ve become a God damn cliche, great.

Thank Santa’s elves for brown liquor. Guess I’ll have another.

As I order, I hear a voice say…”I’ll get that, it’s on me.”

I turn to the the voice of a ghost, buying my drink, and Fa-La-La-La…

“Lucy?” I say, trying to stay cool and hide my surprise, not doing either well.

“Merry Christmas, Seamus.” She smiled back at me, with a wisdom or even a tinge of pity in her voice. “How have you been?”

Let me tell you about Lucy. Met her here, I’m guessing three years ago, or so. She was young, all of 24 or 25, with a group that included her douchebag of a boyfriend that I may have put in the hospital. (He was stupider than me that night. What can I say?) After much hostility and generational differences, Lucy and I had a…moment. That moment lasted a couple of months until a fight about social media or Aggy Azalea or some shit I didn’t really understand and we parted ways. She went back to be with her kind, the young, and I returned here. It’s my way.

“Happy Holidays, Sweetheart. I’ve been alright, doing my part to prop up the economy of Scotland. How are you? Still Twatting?” Trying again to sound like I knew what I was talking about. Stupidly.

“Tweeting? Yeah.” She laughed as she took the bar stool next to mine.  “I’m a nurse now. It’s good.”

Enter that moment of awkwardness in three…two…one.

“What ever happened to Dudley-Douchebag?” I asked, because…I’m not good under awkward pressure.

“Devon walks with a slight limp still. Serves him right…the douche.”She answers, and I hear extra hindsight in her response. And I smile. Good for you, Sweetheart.

“Seamus, why again did we fall apart?” She just sorta goes there, 0-60 in about 2 minutes. Excuse me while I find my neck brace.


The door to the bar BURSTS open at just that moment with a clatter, I turned in my bar stool to see what was the matter. (Clever, aren’t I.)

“You SON-OF-A-BITCH!!! Of course you would be here!!!!” Yelled another voice from my stupid past. If I’m going to be visited by three ghosts tonight, this would be the second. God bless us, everyone.

“Oh, fuck me.” I sigh under my breath.

“Who is she?” Asked Lucy.

“Who the fuck is THIS?” asked Crystal, about Lucy. About to get interesting.

“Lucy, this is Crystal. Crystal, Lucy. Who needs drinks, eh?” I do, I do, I do!

So, let me bring you all up to speed about Crystal. She’s the ghost of Valentine’s Days Past. We collided a few years ago, here (duh.), on VD as she was pissing, moaning and cursing about Cupid’s Sadistic Holiday. I was stupid, or stupider, back then and poked the bear. Yelling, mild violence against me and an unexpected vodka shower ensued. We ended up fucking in the bathroom (duh.) She has…boundary issues. Never really “went out”, but when she wants something, she has a way of getting it. She crashes into my world, unexpectedly, wreaks havoc, and vanishes.

That sound you just heard was a crash. And it wasn’t Santa falling into the tree.

“Lucy, is it? Run along, the grown-ups have grown-up things to talk about.” Said Crystal, with all the grace of a Christmas angel who is also an asshole.

“Excuse me? Who the fuck are you? We were having a conversation here.” Said Lucy, rightfully angry.

“Oh, how adorable. Someone thinks she’s wearing big girl panties.” Crystal counters.

“At least my panties aren’t caked with dust from such a shriveled up, old lady vag, you ancient cunt!” replied Lucy, escalating the situation far faster than I was ready for.

Time for stupid. Time to step in before feelings get hurt.

“Look ladies, I…”

“SHUT-UP, SEAMUS!” they spit at me in unison.

Point taken.

“Listen, you dime store Lolita, I’m warning you, walk away now and you get to keep your teeth. I have no problem hitting a child.” Crystal growled, shaking with a rage I know too well. I can show you the scars if you have time.

“No, YOU listen you psychotic bitch, if you don’t step off, I will find everything you love in this world and systematically destroy you piece, by pathetic piece until you are left broken, begging for a swift end of your bleak, unrelenting anguish…something I will never, EVER grant you! Do you really want to go there, you fucking deranged cow?” Lucy said with cold steel in her voice. Jesus, that freaked ME out, and it wasn’t even directed at me…this time. I have a past, what can I say.

They stood, glaring. A stand off that at any moment could erupt into a true Thunderdome moment. Two enter, one leaves. It’s beginning to look a lot like violence. I realize that I have been holding my breath.

“What are you drinking, Sugar?” Crystal said breaking the tension, with a sudden smile and laugh. “I like her, Seamus, She’s got big brass ones!”

I was shocked, Lucy was shocked, the Bartender hung up the phone after dialing 9 and 1….ready for that final 1, if needed.

“Are you completely crazy???” Asked Lucy, incredulous that the fight was just..over, like that.

“Hi darling, I’m Crystal…we haven’t met. I’m a little crazy, but in that cute way.” Crystal said with a wink, extending her hand to Lucy.

“Ok, then. I’m drinking Scotch.” Lucy said with amazement, shaking Crystal’s hand.

“You’ve been hanging out with THIS old fart too much if that’s your drink.” Crystal laughed

“Old-ER, Sweetheart.” I said, gingerly jumping into the fray.

“He has a hangup about his age.” they both whisper to each other in coincidental unison, and break out into mad lady laughter at my expense.

Sigh. I think I just became outnumbered and I wasn’t even in this fight.

“So how did you two meet?” Crystal asks, taking the bar stool on the other side of me.

“He kind of saved me from a bad situation a few years ago.” Lucy said, putting her hand on my thigh as a tender show of gratitude.

“Yeah, he’s got that old-school chivalry thing going for him, even if he is an ass.” Said Crystal, putting her hand on my other thigh, as a tender show that she was only joking.

“Don’t forget stupid.” I add.

They both knowingly nod. Damn.

Crystal was the first to start moving her hand up my thigh. If there is a first, there probably is a second. Lucy would not be outdone. I was pretty thrilled at this turn of events, yet a little terrified of “collateral damage” if they met in the middle and tried to duke it out staking a claim.

When they did meet, at the growing yule log in my pants. (yeah, I’m not proud of the description either), they leaned in, locked eyes, and wickedly grinned.

Fuck, if it ISN’T the most wonderful time of the year!!

Then Crystal stopped suddenly.

“Lucy-goose, why don’t we go freshen up? Seamus, dear, keep our seats warm. Oops…we may have already made them slick.” Crystal grabbed Lucy by the hand and headed off to the powder room, both acting like giggling school girls.

Contrary to what I thought…and I’m sure, by now, what you thought…

…I never saw them again that night.

But it wasn’t all coal in the stocking for, Seamus Claus.

I picked up a pretty barfly and we did some things, after hours in a X-Mas Tree Lot, that put us on Santa’s Naughty list, Sweetheart.



5 thoughts on “Bah Humbug, Sweetheart

  1. DAMN!!! I LOVE your writing!!! This one, in particular, was so much fun the way you pulled together your wonderful stories from the past and tied them together neatly with a pretty Christmas bow. I found myself laughing out loud. I’m still smiling. Thank you for the smile and sharing your Wonderful Life. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You tied them together beautifully. I feel sad for those who might not have read the stories of these lovely ladies. Having read their stories adds SO much to this little Christmas tale. What a wicked, wicked man you are. Glad your back. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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