William H. Johnson, "Street Musicians" (ca. 1940)
William H. Johnson, Street Musicians (ca. 1940)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

Once-semi-famous Country & Western musician, fat, long past his prime, seated at the end of a dark bar one night in Chicago, as your up-and-coming college radio band finishes a set.

Hands you an empty wine glass. "Would you mind bringing me a glass of white wine?", he demands, with an arrogant defensiveness which says both "Toady!" and, "I dare you to say no."

Split-second of indecision, then a smile. Sure. No problem.

"One glass of red wine," you tell the barkeep.

"Here's your red wine," you tell Mr. Famous, smiling.

"I ordered white wine," he says, suddenly unsure just how far his weight can truly be thrown.

"Oh," you say, with a mocking laugh threatening to burst from your falsely crestfallen facade. "There goes my career as a waiter."

For the rest of the evening he sits glowering at you from beneath his silly cowboy hat; and every time he catches your eye you burst out laughing.