A dog wearing a red, green, and white doggie sweater enters The Lucky Canary. The dog stops, sniffs, and turns toward the corner table. Nick says, “Dog. Treat, treat, treat.”
Dog, wags his tail, trots over to Nick, sits on his haunches and waits. Nick reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a stick of beef jerky, peels the wrapper off and gives Dog the entire stick.
A woman wearing a fleece lined beanie pulled down to just above her eyebrows, clothed in an ankle length, down filled coat, scarf wrapped three times around her head leaving only her eyes visible steps into The Lucky Canary. She says in a muffled voice, “Beef jerky gives Dog the runs.”
“Dog loves beef jerky, Tinzi. Is that you under all that stuff? It sounds like you, but I want to be sure,” asks Nick.
“Who else is going to walk Dog in this kind of weather? You think I’m that cheap tramp who moved in down the hall who’s always flirting with you?”
“What cheap tramp?” says Nick.
“Don’t give me that, Nick. I seen you looking at her,” says Tinzi.
“I admit I look, but I don’t touch,” says Nick.
“I knew it. I knew it. You start messing with her, you are looking for a world of hurt. I am not in the mood for games,” says Tina.
“I ain’t been messing, Tinzi. Honest. I don’t even know her name,” says Nick.
“Nick, you told me it was Nicole,” says Tony.
Tina tries to reach into her handbag, she’s not able to grab hold of anything with the large weather proof to thirty below mittens she’s wearing. “You’re lucky I can’t get my ice pick.”
“Honest, Tinzi. Okay, I know her name. It was innocent. I met her at the mailboxes and her mailbox door was stuck and she asked me to help her open it. What was I to do?”
“If she ask you to go to her apartment for a drink, would you go?” snaps Tina.
“Is this a yes or no, true or false or multiple choice question?” asks Nick.
“Why do I put up with you?” asks Tina.
“Because you love me?” asks Nick.
Tina shakes her head and says, “You want to feed Dog beef Jerky, it’s your job to clean up,” says Tina shuffling toward the corner table.
“But, Tinzi, the runs are hard to pick up,” says Nick.
Tina shakes her head, looks over at Legos, “Legos, I need the only man who’s gonna keep me warm.”
Nick says, “You want me to hold you?”
Tina says, “You are no match for Jack.”
Tony says, “How come Nick can’t see Nicole, but you can go with Jack?”
Tina says, “Because Jack treats me right. He keeps me warm, gives me a tingle, and sends shivers up and down my spine.”
Tony glances at Nick, “It’s over man. It’s over. You had a nice run while it lasted.”
“No, Tinzi. No. Don’t leave me for Jack. Keep us both,” pleads Nick.
Legos shakes his head, “The beautiful broad is talking about Jack Daniels, fool.”
Nick says, “My brain must be frozen from the cold. I got a brain freeze worse than when I’m eating ice cream too fast.
Tina says, “Please, Legos, hurry, I’m freezing. Don’t you have heat in here?”
“It’s coming. It’s coming,” says Legos.
Tina sits down at the table and tugs on her mittens. She says, “I seen the cops coming out of this place. What was happening?”
Nick says, “It was Reilly and Flanagan. They thought they saw a guy with an orange jump suit come in here. They was mistaken.”
Tina says, “Where’s Joey?”
“Fixing a frozen pipe in back,” says Nick.
Tony says, “You still looking for Nick’s Christmas present? If you need help, I can give you some ideas.”
Tina says, “I got Nick’s present and it’s not Nicole. You got my present, Nick?”
“I’m thinking about it. I want to make it the perfect gift for you, Tinzi,” says Nick.
“How much more time do you need? Christmas is in three days,” says Tina.
“You are the woman who has everything, that’s why it’s so hard to find the perfect gift for you. There was nothing I thought you’d like at the Dollar Store,” says Nick. “I’m just a guy trying to make you happy.”
“You want to make me happy, Nick,” says Tina.
“That’s what I live for, Tinzi,” says Nick.
Tina says, “I’m thinking I want to go to someplace that’s warm and lay on the beach and have my shot glass refilled every time it’s empty.”
Nick says, “Why would you want to leave the neighborhood? It’s got everything you could ever want like The Lucky Canary.”
“Where’s Jack Daniels, Legos? I need him, pronto,” says Tina.
“Coming. Coming,” says Legos.
Legos brings three cheap beers, a bottle of Jack Daniels, two shot glasses, a bottle of fine red wine, and a crystal wine glass. He sets everything on the table.
Joey pushes the door to the back room a tad open, “Is it safe to come out?”
Tony says, “Watch out for Tina, she hasn’t had her Jack Daniels.”
The door to The Lucky Canary opens . . .