Paul is the more neurotic type, the control freak
Peter is the more carefree type, the gum buyer
'Dude, look, a black one.'
'They must have burned it.'
'Burned it good.'
'Maybe something went down that day at the Rice Krispy plant. Some power surged when it wasn't s'posed to.'
'Where it wasn't supposed to.'
'Zigged when it should have zagged.'
'An unforseen jolt.'
'Couldn't see it coming.'
'Tricky business down at the plant.'
'These are hard times we're living in.'
'You think she's pregnant?'
'Nobody.' [pause] 'Santa Maria Estrabados Del Cabrito'
'Hey, how those Rice Krispies?'
'Fine. They're fine. Just fucking fine.'
‘Oh good because I just thought—' ‘You just thought what?’ ‘Oh nothing.’ ‘No what.’ “Well, it’s just that…father Pedro Sanchez—“ ‘Dude!’ Jesus walks in and forgives the Rice Krispies.
'Hey Jesus, can you make this guy shut up?'
'Well, I generally don't like to get involved in these sorts of things.'
'Oh, that's good. Well then, what sort of things do you like to get involved in, generally?'
'Hey,' says Jesus, 'How would you like a nice bowl of Cap'n Crunch? No, make that a never-ending bowl of Cap'n Crunch. Wouldn't that be cool?'
Jesus looks more up than down, more left than right, then straight ahead, 'And milk.'
'It's settled then.'
Meanwhile, Peter is hunched over in the corner with a crack pipe. Jesus is still in the story, but he won't be saying anything for a while. It will be up to the reader to keep him in mind.
'What the fuck, Peter? Don't you know that position is terrible for your arthritis? You've got to move around. Stay loose. Don't just get all squunched up like that.'
Paul orders two John the Baptist heads in a boerre blanc sauce, a dry martini for himself and for Peter, a watermelon mohito.
'Chicken fried steak,' cried Peter. 'I wanted chicken fried steak.'
'Well you're having J the B. We're both having J the B, and you're going to love it. Besides, it tastes like chicken.'
'You get me my mohito?'
'You'll get what's coming to you.'
'Yes I will.'
A waiter brings two John the Baptist heads, only one of them isn't dead.
'Oh God, this is so Douglas Adams.'
'Who has the salt?'
Paul: 'What about Barthelme?'
Peter: 'You tryin' to say Bob Marley? I think you're tryin' to say Bob Marley. [brief pause] He's trying to say Bob Marley.'
Paul looks over at Jesus with that head-down, raised-eyebrow, palms up 'you see what I have to deal with' look. Jesus gives him the 'what the hell do you want me to do' look, which incidentally is the same gesture only slightly more dramatized.
Paul (addressing me): 'What's with all this name dropping? Aren't these references supposed to be thinly veiled? These are not—'
'Hey look, I think Jesus just gave his number to that, um, waitress.' 'Dude, shut up. Don't try 'n' help him. This story sucks.'
'He's killing us.'
'Like a friend's bad laugh.'
'Make it stop.'
'Tonight I'll sup on the blood of children.'
'Ooh, that was interesting.'
'Ages four and up.' 'Uh...' 'Hey, Paul—wait, he's Paul.'
'God he's lazy as fuck. Can't even keep us straight.'
'Too many ideas.'
'Too much coffee.'
'Not enough coffee.'
Peter: 'I want a love interest.'
Just then Paul reaches under the table and gently places his hand on Jesus' leg.
'I thought I was out of the story,' says Jesus lifting Paul's hand and placing it infallibly on Peter's thigh. Peter feels Paul's hand bounce on his upper thigh.
Peter: 'Uh, I'm not sure if that's what I meant by—'
'Yeah, I knew where I was putting it. I don't fucking care about Peter's love interest. I want Jesus. I love Jesus.'
'And Jesus loves you. He just doesn't love you like that.'
'Does he love me like that?'
Jesus is trying not to blush. He gets up and walks over to the bar.
Jesus: 'Excuse me good sir, you wouldn't have any problems would you?'Jesus makes quick gesture of raising eyebrows, leaning head in as if waiting intently for an answer. Bartender: 'What kind a problems you mean?' Jesus: 'Oh I don't know, just problems.' Bartender: 'Nope. Don't have none of those.' Jesus: 'Well how about troubles?' Bartender: 'Nope.' Jesus: 'Worries?' Bartender: 'Wish I could help you.' Jesus: 'Well what about a pay phone? At least tell me you have a pay phone?' Bartender: 'What, Jesus ain't got no cell phone?' Jesus: 'Listen my good man, why the frigg would I need a cell phone when there's pay phones everywhere?' Bartender: 'Germs?'Jesus looks like he's about to— Bartender:'Okay okay okay yes here, use this one. On the house.'Bartender pushes a little white phone toward Jesus, who picks up the receiver, clears his throat and dials. 'Hello. You're fired. I fire you.'Jesus gently slams the receiver down on the little white phone, then heads for the— Jesus: 'Excuse me, where's 'the—'Moments later, he re-emerges from the door marked 'caballeros' walking like he just got off a bull and wringing his hands. He eyes the juke box. It's glowing. It reminds him of home. Bartender: 'Over there.'
Jesus walks over to the juke box. A smile. Then a frown when he can't find any change in his robe pockets. He quickly scans the room to see if anyone's looking then motions as though he's putting a coin in the slot. Makes a selection. The machine starts making the sound of unchosen CD's being passed over. 'You know,' says Jesus. 'God is not a black woman.' Eminem fills the air, 'I took that bitch and [censored].' 'Damn, man, you serious?' 'As fuck.' Paul and Peter look at each other and nod in approval. 'Well don't that beat all?' 'Beat a lot, if not all.' At this point, nothing happens. Everyone just sits still as if there are no more lines. Paul and Peter faces slowly cycle between youthful indifference and youthful aggression and then nothing. Meanwhile, Jesus has zoned out and is reliving his recent triumph. He keeps repeating what sounds an awful lot like, 'Yeeeeea motherfucker.' More staring by Paul and Peter. It's as if something has sucked the years right our of their once lively cheeks. 'You know,' says Jesus, 'Whoopie Goldberg—' 'Ooooowwwwww.' Peter has just poked his fork into one of John the Baptist's eyeballs. It is too late. 'Want an eyeball, son of God?'
'No thanks. Wouldn't mind an ear though. Lend me your ear.'
They all giggle even though it was so stupid. Even John the Baptist can't help but let out a little crooked smile. The waiter comes and takes both Baptists away from the table.
'That was getting to be a distraction,' says Paul.
'Well, you're the straight man in this,' says Peter, 'I was the one smoking crack, remember.'
Jesus begins to explain why cereal costs as much as it does.
'I forgot how much of a nerd you were, Jesus.'
'You will be wrapping Satan's wontons in hell.'
Peter or Paul: 'Ooo, I like a hot wonton!'
'I prefer beeyotch. That's how we learned it.'
'You didn't learn anything.'
Jesus: 'That's it. You're on your own.'
Paul: 'I was on my own five minutes ago.'
Jesus: 'Well then nothing has changed.'
Meanwhile, Peter is in the corner crouching over a Tiffany's lampshade. He's changed his name to Mr. Winthrope and Lexington Ave.