CDLXXXIThe Hound of The Bar Cur-Bills.
It all began one innocent morning's morning
over at the Bar Cur-Bills
with a brand-new sodajerk's very first day there
(running the good Bar Cur-Bills) on his own
... when a dog, a small mongrel mutt,
part hound and part hounder,
left ear larger than its right one,
walked in from the street like a man
(up on its hind legs) and handed him:
"You got any strawberry milkshakes?"
Well, the sodajerk of the good Bar Cur-Bills
didn't know what to think.
At first he thought it to be
some kind of a kid in a dog suit.
Only, it wasn't the right shape for a kid.
And it wasn't even a very young dog, either!
"Well," asked the dog again:
"You have milkshakes or not?"
"Yes!" answered the confused sodajerk:
"We do at that!"
"And hamburgers?" the mutt asked next.
Hamburgers the sodajerk had as well.
And, "Fries?" asked the dog one more time,
although not for the last time, by any means,
for right away the dog asked for apple pie, sodas,
and fresh-squeezed orange juice
--on top of all else!
"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" said the sodajerk
to every one of the dog's nosy questions:
"We have everything... and much, much more!"
Well, then everything and much, much more
did the dog order--including even
that fresh-squeezed orange juice on top of it!
"But, with a strawberry milkshake?"
the sodajerk asked the dog,
making a sour face at it,
for he wanted to be sure he got it right.
After all, this (dog!) was his very first customer
on his very first day
running the good Bar Cur-Bills on his own.
The dog was unshakable
on its milkshake--strawberry.
And it also wasn't about to be put off
the orange juice no matter what!
So, "Let's see," said the sodajerk, writing it all
in... "Strawberry milkshake with orange juice!"
"Not in the same glass, though."
(The dog wanted this made crystal clear.)
Adding, out of the blue:
"Could you make the hamburgers
many cheeseburgers instead?"
Having changed its mind over to cheese!
"Certainly, sir!" said the very agreeable sodajerk,
writing in cheese over the ham.
"And, will that be large fries or
medium fries with your order, sir?"
"Well," said the dog, sounding somewhat
disappointed: "Have you any small fries?"
"We do, sir--in a way," answered the sodajerk:
"Our medium fries are our small fries!"
Then he explained that no one liked to order them small
when they could call them small--But,
"Everybody's more than happy to order the same small fries
when they can call them medium!"
"In that case," said the dog
(although he couldn't really follow all this technical
behind-the-counter talk): "I'll be more than happy
to order the medium fries instead--All right?"
"All right," echoed the sodajerk;
suggesting next: "We've just cut into a plum pie
--Would you care for some plum pie
perhaps, instead of the apple?"
"Not really," shot the dog back,
for it had its heart set on the apple it was eyeing.
"Apple it shall be!" said the sodajerk,
no matter how much he would have liked to
have served the dog a slice of that
(already cut into) plum instead.
He knew 'the customer is always right,' so
he brought (the dog!) all the dog ordered
--and much, much more!
* * *
Well, sir, in spite of the fact that the dog was,
after all, a dog... this all (and much, much more)
did that dog wolf down
--strawberry milkshake, orange juice, cheeseburgers, fries,
apple pie, sodas, and all--Almost in a single gulp!
Then, after every last crumb and drop of it all,
all, all... was gone, the dog stood up and left
--without paying a penny for any of all it ate!
* * *
So, yes... the poor (and now much, much poorer) sodajerk
was forced to call in the Marshall
on his very first day (on his own)
running the good Bar Cur-Bills.
Then he was forced to confess to the Marshall
that he had been... stiffed by a dog:
"The shame!" wept the sodajerk:
"Oh, the terrible, terrible shame!"
"Let me get this straight," said the Marshall,
who showed up at the Bar Cur-Bills later that day
(in time for lunch): "You are claiming this 'dog'
up and left without saying a word
... as well as without paying its bill?"
"No... and yes!" the sodajerk answered the Marshall
(who was taking notes) at the same time
the sodajerk himself was writing up the Marshall's lunch order
in his orders book).
"Did you mention to the dog that it hadn't paid
for its meal?" the Marshall asked him.
"Uh-huh!" said the sodajerk,
placing his hand on his orders book and promising
that he had indeed called to the dog many, many times
(just as it was about to step out the door):
"'Wait!'" the sodajerk swore he called to the dog:
"'Wait! Wait! You forgot to pay your bill!'"
"And what did the dog say to that, sir?" the Marshall asked,
stirring his first soda with a pencil (No.2).
"Well," said the sodajerk, trying his best to recall
every important detail of the case
(just in case it should turn out to be of any importance):
"The dog came to a stop short of the door,
turned to me, and yelled, 'Hey, Mister Fuddlemuddle!'
(How that dog knew Fuddlemuddle was my name
--I'll never know.)"
"It might have read it off your name tag, sir,"
said the Marshall: "But, dog... I mean,
do go on: What was it the dog said then to you?"
"It said," he said, "it said to me: 'Hey, Mister Fuddlemuddle:
I'm a dog. I don't have any money!'"
"No?!?" asked the Marshall: "Just like that?"
"Just like that!" answered the sad, stiffed sodajerk:
"Then it opened the door and left!"
"I see," the Marshall added: "Ketchup!"
Biting next into a (hot) dog of his own.
"Want some fries with that?" the sodajerk asked:
"And, mister: You could've blown me away with
a hair-dryer, let me tell you!"
"You don't say?" mumbled the Marshall,
munching on fries next.
"I do say! Gosh... it made me feel so silly
I didn't even think of going out after him!"
"Well," the Marshall told him: "Let me ask you this:
Might we be talking here about a small mongrel mutt,
part hound and part hounder,
left ear larger than its right one?"
(The sodajerk was amazed!)
"And did it walk in here on its hind legs
like a man?"
"Yes--Yes, that's right, Marshall! Yes!
That is the very dog right there!"
"Ah," said the Marshall, shaking his head
(as he cut with his teeth through a donut),
"then let me tell you what a lucky feller you are!"
And he slurped up the cream of the cream
of his milkshake: "A lucky feller indeed,
and don't you doubt it, no sir!"
"Why?!" by now the sodajerk was
very impatient to know.
"Because," (slurp, slurp, slurp!) said the Marshall,
getting into the heart of his milkshake:
"I recently got word that a dog fitting that very description
knocked over a branch of the bank
(tree) over at Creeper and Vine!"
"No?!" marvelled the sodajerk.
"Yes!" spoke the Marshall, spooning a huge
hill of lemon custard right into his speaking mouth:
"That was a mighty strong dog you had here
in your very establishment, sir!
It's lucky for you that you didn't try to stop that dog
from walking out the door by yourself:
It might have done you a mischief!"
Saying which, the Marshall also left,
calling out after himself:
"Lucky you were indeed, sir!" (like the dog)
without any further ado: "Adieu!"
* * *
Well, needless to say, the poor unfortunate sodajerk
over at the Bar Cur-Bills never was paid.
And not even for that fresh-squeezed orange juice,
strawberry milkshake with cheeseburgers, french fries,
apple pie, sodas, and... everything else besides
that the dog had made off with
out of the Bar Cur-Bills (earlier that day).
To the end of his days, "'Wait!'"
that sodajerk was often heard calling out
(when there was nobody there to hear him):
"'Wait! You forgot to pay your bill!'"
So let this be a lesson to all who
might be thinking of becoming sodajerks:
Even if it's not at the Bar Cur-Bills, if ever
you are left on your own to mind the place
you are working in, and a dog walks in like a man
(up on its hind legs) and hands you:
"You got any strawberry milkshakes?"
ALWAYS let: "You got any money?" be
the very first thing you hand him
--And without thinking twice about it.
For it just might turn out to be the very same dog
that stiffed that poor nutty sodajerk
on his very first day on his own
running the good Bar Cur-Bills!
It could happen.
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