January 2004 / Volume Five / Issue One
Mather Schneider

He was one of those Italian mobster wannabes who
likes to walk around in sweats with unlit
cigars in his mouth well
he sat down next to me at the bar and
told me two of the worst jokes I've ever heard in my life this guy
was always telling jokes he was a joke machine so
I told him my famous ClA joke and he liked it and promised me
he would use it in his repertoire as if
I should be extremely honored only he said
he would add a little personal customizing to the joke and when a bit
later he told the female bartender my joke he added
a few words here and there and neglected to include a crucial
turning of a line and the bartender just looked at him and smiled
perfunctorily while the Italian guy gave me
credit for the joke and he elbowed me and asked if
I had noted the customization and I assured him that I had you
see he was the kind of guy who could never take the
slightest criticism and never lauded right away in case the joke might be on
him and even though he was fat you could tell he was dangerous so
I tried to say as little as possible after that and
just drank my beer and quietly admired the
craftsmanship of the bartender's face and neck man.
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