Meanwhile, Down the Street at Lena’s Bar and Grill . . .
Lena’s sitting at the bar scratching scratch off tickets. Al, the bartender is behind the bar watching a rerun of classic fights.
“I gotta hit it big, Al. I can’t take another winter like this one. It’s so cold even the rats don’t hang around the dumpster,” says Lena.
“It’s not that bad, Lena. Remember the year it was warm until Christmas Eve and the Montreal express blew in dropping the temperature from fifty-five to minus four in five hours? Christmas day was a blizzard that dumped twenty-six inches of snow. I had my in-laws stuck with us for a week. Talk about a living hell,” says Al.
“I remember. I think the winters are getting worse. You think the Russians got something to do with it? I never trusted Putin. I liked Gorbachev. He had that cute little birthmark on his head. Do you remember the last day the temp was over freezing? Best I can remember is September. Where’s global warming? Maybe global warming isn’t a bad thing. What do you think?” says Lena picking up another scratch off ticket.
Al says, “I don’t think about things I can’t think about.”
“I got a sister living in Phoenix. She says the winters are great, but summers are brutal. It goes up to one hundred seventeen. I couldn’t take that,” says Lena.
“You having a hot flash?” asks Al.
“I’d take a hot flash now so I’d stop freezing,” says Lena. “I won a free ticket. Maybe the free ticket will be my way out of here. I remember when it snowed in May. Why do I stay here?” asks Lena.
“You got no place else to go? You don’t have a life? You don’t know how to find a life? Have you tried going on one of the dating sites and looking for Mr. Goodbar?” asks Al.
Lena looks up at Al from her scratch off tickets. She’s about to answer when the door opens.
“Bogey’s back and Bogey’s looking for his soulmate,” says Bogey.
“There you go,” says Al. “Mr. Goodbar just walked in.”
“Don’t get me started, Al. Ignore him, maybe he’ll disappear,” says Lena.
Bogey sachets over to the bar, “Merry Christmas scratch off lady. Bogey’s gonna play Santa Claus for you if you can tell Bogey where Bogey can find Bogey’s soulmate.”
Lena glances up at Al, “What’s the fool talking about? I’m not the brightest bulb on the planet, but I’m not the dimmest as any fool can attest. He’s not making sense.”
Al looks at Bogey, “You in here to chat or drink? If you’re in here to chat, I got to charge you a cover charge. If you order a drink, that will cover the cover charge.”
“Bogey thinks the scratch off queen can tell Bogey what Bogey wants to know. The scratch off queen is in for a real treat if she’s got the info Bogey needs because Bogey is in the Christmas spirit,” says Bogey.
Al looks at Lena, “He’s certifiable. I don’t think he’s dangerous, but he’s clearly nuts.”
Bogey’s picking his teeth with his toothpick. When he finishes, he places the toothpick in the right corner of his mouth. He says, “Does the scratch off queen want Santa to visit or is she going to dilly dally? If she is gonna dilly dally, Bogey can do the dilly dally and he can do the boogie woogie.”
“I’m getting a headache, Al,” says Lena.
Al places both hands face down on the bar. His forearms ripple like steel cables. He says, “Bogey, enough. What do you want? You’re giving us a headache.”
Bogey glances at Al’s forearms, “You lift? Bogey does mind control to stay in shape.”
Al looks at the beer bellied Bogey, “You visualizing drinking cheap beer? If you are, it’s working. We don’t sell cheap beer, The Lucky Canary sells it. Why don’t you go there and see if they have the information you need?”
“Bogey’s been there. Bogey got sent here. Bogey learned this is where Bogey can find Bogey’s soulmate, but the scratch off queen is not the soulmate Bogey is looking for,” says Bogey.
Lena half turns toward Bogey, “What’s in it for me if I tell you where you can find your soulmate?”
Bogey reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a half dozen scratch cards, “You could be a winner, scratch off queen. Bogey asked the clerk at the gas station to give him six winners. Bogey’s gonna give the winners to you if you can point Bogey to Bogey’s soulmate.
Lena says, “Is Bogey in love?”
Bogey says, “Bogey is head over heels in love. Bogey tosses and turns at night, thinking about his soulmate. Bogey’s dame got his heart and wrapped it around her finger.”
Lena says, “You talking about a dame or a broad? The dames live on the other side of the tracks in the Irish neighborhood. The broads live in this neighborhood.”
Bogey says, “What’s the difference between a dame and a broad? Bogey never learned this in detective school.”
Al looks at Lena, “If you raise prices you think you might attract a higher class clientele?”
“In this neighborhood?” asks Lena.
Bogey half turns and points to the empty booth at the far end of the room. “Bogey wants to know where she is?”
Lena looks at Al, “Who’s he talking about? I don’t see anybody in the last booth. This kind of weather, we’ll be lucky to get anyone in here.”
Lena looks at Bogey and says, “She’s not here. Where are my tickets?”
Bogey says, “Not so fast. Tell Bogey when she’ll be back.”
Lena extends her hand for the tickets, “Probably tomorrow if the sun comes out.”
Bogey hands the six scratch off tickets to Lena, “Bogey got a good feeling his soulmate is gonna show up because the Cosmos is sending love signals to her. Bogey is going to sit in the last booth and wait for her.”
Al says, “Bogey is going to need to buy drinks if Bogey is going sit in the booth.”
“Bogey wants to know if you carry calorie free beer. Bogey’s on a diet. Bogey’s wants to have a six pack for his wedding day.”
Al says, “Bogey, I’m gonna bring you a pitcher of beer and a dish of nuts. If you eat the nuts while you drink, it cancels the calories.”
Bogey says, “I owe you one, big man. You’re just made it inside Bogey’s circle.”
Bogey turns and waddles over to the last booth.
Al says, “What did I do to earn this award?”
Lena says, “You told Bogey he can drink all the beer he wants and as long as he eats nuts with it, he won’t gain weight.”
“He believed me,” says Al.
Lena says, “Maybe he’ll buy this place.