Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rex Quits Dogging It

(This is Part Two of "Rex Backs Off" immediately below.)

The bar was still in low gear.  He had sent Rex back into his dog house and gestured  to Winston, asking him to bring her a beer.  He chatted with the Golden Retriever about how she came to choose his town for her exchange program, how long she'd be studying here, how much she liked sailing, what her favourite colour was, if she got stranded on a desert island what book she'd want with her, did she really want to spend her spare time working in a bar like this one...

She wasn't your average female canis familiaris, this one already knew she had the job.  He thought he was being engaging; she was just killing time, waiting.

She wasn't egotistical, far from it, it was just that she could figure things out fast and her brain had processed the incoming information: free beers, intense eye contact, earnest engagement, his role in the business and the way he kept touching her upper arm and 2 + 2 had added up to 4.6.  With the part-time job secured, her brain moved on to more interesting things.

"So what's your pay amount and the number of hours I must work?" she asked in her 'English-as-a-second-language'.  He stopped, his mouth closing and his head pulling back.  "I, ah, well, IF you got the job..." he said and rattled off the basics, sweetening the deal by offering what he was paying his longest-serving employees.  She nodded, a demure look on her face as she looked around at the gradually growing crowd.  She met his eye.  "I like it here, I will take your job.  Should I start now?"

Rattled was the only word that came to mind.

He cocked his head and looked behind the bar to where Winston was now frantically trying to manipulate a martini shaker while a glass overflowed under an open draught tap.  A crowd two people deep thronged the bar trying to get Winston's attention, his white apron was already looking like Joseph's technicolour dream coat.  He looked back at her.  She smiled.  He smiled too, wryly.  He took her hand and helped her off the bar stool.  She looked quizzical.  "Come with me and I'll show you around."

Winston's ego could use the dressing down and the customers weren't going anywhere soon.  He led her down the stairs, through the sparsely populated restaurant below, past the appraising gaze of "Pepe", the French stoner Maitre'd, who was so busy undressing her with his eyes that he collided with a bus boy, then down into the basement where the ice maker was.  It was quiet down there in the ancient space, save the creaking of the floorboards above their heads.  Rex stirred, his head suddenly popping up from its prone position. 

"This is where you'll have to come to get ice, but mind your head on the beams."  She looked around at the potato slicer, the restaurant supplies and the furnace which was rumbling faintly.  She turned back to him.  Rex was looking at her hindquarters.  "Do you bring all your women down here?" His eyes jerked up to hers.  "Ah...  The new girls, waitresses, well, I don't usually do the hiring/training, actually..."  "So you're new to this?" she said with an unreadable expression.  "Ha!" Rex blurted, "Actually I'm an old hand at this."  He grinned and filled a two large white ice buckets with a large aluminum scoop.  She took the opportunity to look at his ass..

Read the rest of this story and the entire collection of Rex's short stories by buying a copy of "Is Rex a Dog?" for $0.99 at Smashbooks by clicking here!

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