An Appointment With Nobody

©Stephen Allen

It was late. Past my bedtime. I was asked to meet a client in this
bamboo bar in Bay City. He was late. This was the second time he asked me
to meet him and didn't show. Never met the guy and he'd already wasted an
hour of my life. I've never understood people who thought their time was
gold and your time was shit. Never met the guy and already didn't like him.
He said on the phone he wanted me to find a girl. I told him I didn't
need to find one, I was trying to get rid of one. He didn't get the joke.
He said, "My girl is the most beautiful woman you've ever seen". Like I
hadn't seen much. "She was driving my 12 cylinder Jag back down from
Bakersfield, I was called back to L.A. for an emergency and had to fly. I'm
in the Television Industry". Like it was something important. Right now I
can't conceive of a more meaningless profession. Time wasters. He ought to
say "I waste people's time for a living". He was wasting plenty of mine, and
I don't even own a television. Not a working one, anyway. Ten more minutes
and I'm gonna make a point out of telling him his true role in the Human
Comedy: an unfunny joke.
TV cooties. I know you've heard of them. They rob your very soul. And
this is assuming you've got much worth robbing in the first place. What did
people do with the darkness before there was television? Must have done
something worthwhile. Human evolution, ain't it a pip! But that's another
Out of boredom I was fiddling with the tropical drink menu on the bar.
I ordered something called a Pleasure Island Punch. It was murky brown with
a pineapple slice and a little naked wahini under a miniature beach umbrella
served in a coconut shell. Now I felt like a real swinger. Goddamn thing
evaporated in less than a minute. It's twin sister joined us. This was
turning into a party.
It occurred to me that the decorations in this place were really quite
charming. I ordered a third Pleasure Island Punch and this one came with an
outrigger of 151 rum. The rum went for a short swim in my coconut. My ears
felt warm. The piped in music sounded straight from Lahaina. Very nice.
The bar stool was like sitting in a friendly giant's warm palm. What a
lovely night. Damn, this could become my favorite new hangout.
Sometime later I hula-ed out to my skiff and sailed on back to the
Hollywood mainland. That TV guy's probably not so bad. He probably makes
great shows. I wonder if he ever made a Hawaiian movie of the week. Next
time we get together, we'll have to talk about that.