Elvis, Leia, and Greedo Walk Into a Bar...


     McGillicutty’s bar is my favorite place on earth. And Greedo from Star Wars is my hero. Those are pretty much the only two things I have an opinion about. Funny, until last week, all I knew was that I loved my bar. The Greedo thing was something that never crossed my mind.
     Now, when I say this is my favorite place on earth, I mean that I go to McGillicutty’s a lot. Come to think of it, I’m always there. It’s a hotel bar, perfect really, it’s cheap enough where you can drink without going broke, but nice enough that the really bad folks tend to go elsewhere.
     But for three nights out of the year the hotel hosts this convention where they bring in B-list movie stars, big shot writers, and lots and lots of fans. Those fans tend to dress up like their favorite characters from comics and film. So when the con crowd rolls into the bar things tend to get interesting. Most of the folks are great, I’ve seen elves, ninjas, robots, I even saw a lady getting wasted in the bar dressed up like a phone booth once. Her little feet stuck out the bottom and she shuffled around like a 90 year old man bumping into things and giggling about it. That was a fun time.
     Again, friendly folk. Weird though.
But there’s weird, and then there is weird. Please, let me explain. I was at the hotel bar, where I am most nights, when this little fella came in dressed up in this green stuff from head to toe, looked like a bug eyed alien, swear to god.
     Anyhow, all that rubber and latex he had on was making him sweat a lot. He stunk some, kind of like feet do after a hard day working in boots. The guy ordered a Jack and coke – and a straw – and sat in the booth in the corner. He might have been a strange sort, dressed like that, but the way he slumped over that table said a lot about him. That guy was having a bad day.
     I had a few beers, forgot about the guy, and enjoyed the ambience for a bit… then she walked in.
Every eye in the room went to her. She was as hot as a Rolex on Magnolia Avenue and wore this thong bottom and a little metal bikini top… every man in the place stopped to stare. It was probably a full minute before I noticed she was with someone. And that someone was Elvis.
     Of course she was. He was the King, after all.
     Before they could get the barkeep’s attention, the green guy shouted from his booth across the room.
     “Hey!”
     The bar went silent.
     A few heartbeats later, the girl spoke. “William? What are you doing here?”
     “Don’t call me William! I’m Greedo, remember? You helped me make the damn costume. You were Leia, I was Greedo. We were supposed to be a couple.”
     That girl gave him a look, I knew that look, it was the, ‘I thought you understood we were just friends’ look. I’ve been on the receiving end of that look too many times to count. I felt bad for the guy. He was thinking he was going to have a sci fi con sex romp with the hot slave girl and she was thinking this kid was someone to split the hotel bill with.  Poor guy, a broken heart is an ugly thing.
     “Now settle down there, Willie,” Elvis said. And he held up a hand for the kid to be quiet. Elvis had only said five words out loud - and I already hated the man. “This lady here,” Elvis continued, “wants to be with me.” He made this hip thrust as he said that last part. I really hated this guy. I glanced at Leia as Elvis spoke. She didn’t look as thrilled as Elvis seemed to think she was.
     William, Willie, or Greedo, whatever, stood up and took a half-step away from his booth. Those legs looked wobbly. I glanced at the barkeep, he’d been feeding that kid Jack and Coke for a while now. He was tanked.
     This Elvis, the Vegas version, complete with light-up jumpsuit, waltzed over to Greedo with a skip in his step. I whispered to the guy next to me. “He seems a bit out of place here.”
The guy I spoke to, he was painted blue and had pointy ears, whispered back, “He’s not just Elvis, he’s time-traveling Elvis. He’s here every year, he carries this stupid looking squirt gun that he says shoots ‘burning love’ at people. If Leia over there shacks up with him, she’ll regret it, guaranteed.” He gave a slight shrug and sighed before he continued. “But the ladies just can’t resist that weasel.”
     You don’t spend a lifetime at the same bar night after night without learning a few things, first among those things is to mind your own business. Confronting drunk men in a shouting match is a sure fired way to get beat half to death. So imagine my surprise when I heard my own voice shouting this wannabe crooner down.
     “Why don’t you leave the kid be?” I asked. “He’s had a bad day. You got the girl, don’t rub it in.”
The barkeep cleared his throat. I know - I shouldn’t have got involved. I wasn’t sure Elvis heard me, but the place had gone from quiet to, well, more quiet. So I spoke again. “Hey Elvis! I said, why don’t you shove off?”
     He stopped mid stride and swiveled ‘round to look at me. The loser swiveled. You’d have to see the move to understand, but believe me, it was lame.
     “And you are?” he asked.
     “Name’s Han, and I say it’s time to go.”
     Yes, that's my real name, and I realize dropping that name at a sci fi convention is akin to walking into a church and saying your name is Jesus. But, it is what it is. Time-traveling Elvis looked around and saw that he had lost the room. Their Jesus had just spoken.
Whatever
     He took off his oversized sunglasses and narrowed his eyes. “You’re about to get a shot of my burning love, big guy.”
     I shrugged. “Whatever.” He took a few steps closer to do whatever it was he was planning on doing and I chugged my beer at him. Not the mug, just the stuff inside the mug. It was watery and warm anyway.
It hit Elvis in a single yellow bulk of ick. His little light-up suit smoked and Elvis yipped as his teeny bulbs shorted out and went dark. The nerds at the bar laughed. The moment came, then it was gone.
Once he quit dancing around and patting his chest we locked eyes. I didn’t like what I saw there. This guy, I realized, was a bit… unhinged. I should have guessed by the way he dressed. But no one was dressed normal here besides me. I didn’t see it until we had our stare down. Elvis was crazy, he was ready to hurt someone.
     I don’t know where he kept the gun holstered in that jumpsuit, but he had it out before I realized he’d reached for it. It was one of those little squirt guns you get for a nephew at the gas station when you realize you forgot it was his birthday. It was crap.
     “Feel the love,” he said as he fired away. Turns out, I would learn later, Elvis is a chemist when he’s not a sci fi con lady-killer. His ‘burning love’ is some sort of novel irritant he created. Kind of like a homemade mace.
     The liquid hit me in the face and shoulder, it hurt like a sonofabitch. My eyes teared up and mucus starting coming from nowhere. I dropped the floor. 
     I could hear just fine though.  “Han did shoot first!” Elvis said, his voice coming from overhead. “But Time-Traveling Elvis definitely shot second!”
     If I wasn’t entirely incapacitated, I would have knocked his head off.
     “And Greedo shot third,” said the drunk kid that I had tried to protect. The words were slurred. But they were followed by some grunting, and a thud.
     No one seemed to remember clearly afterwards exactly what the kid did. Some say he punched Elvis across the jaw like Rocky Balboa and he crumbled. Others say he hit Elvis over the head with my discarded mug.
     Rick though, the barkeep, he’s not one to embellish. After the dust had settled and the cops had gone home, the paramedics were just finished treating me and packing up to leave when Rick whispered in my ear that the kid’s gun, the prop he had made to look like one from Star Wars, was a taser. Of course, having something like that,and using it at the con would have gotten the kid into some real trouble. Interesting that no one else seemed to remember seeing a weapon.
     The one thing everyone in bar did agree on however, is that Greedo left with the girl. Like I said, he’s my hero. 

6 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

That's an awesome story. You put a lot more effort into this assignment than I did.

Briane P said...

I really liked that. As the judge, I can't tip my hand, but yours is the most impressive entry yet.

Tonja said...

Great story! I'm glad 'burning love' was just chemicals and nothing worse. Ew.

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, man. I have to come up with something better than this?
I feel like doing what that kid did in DPS:
"The cat
sat on
the mat."

Catherine Stine said...

Ha! Amusing excerpt. I like the "burning love as mace" twist! And the lady dressed up as a phone booth. That's quite the bar to wander into. I'm over from A to Z if you want to pop on by. Catherine

M.J. Fifield said...

This is an awesome story. A really great character voice.