Friday, December 19, 2008

Clash of the Titans

Betty is a big girl - big and mean. Nobody’s sure why she goes by Betty, her given name is Melissa - but don’t call her Melissa… and don’t ever call her Missy.

Betty’s only display of femininity is the cropped ponytail that sticks out of the back of the Mack Truck ball cap that she wears everywhere.

Betty used to be a diesel mechanic, but she's been running deliveries for Roy’s Auto Parts since the new boss at Mack called her Missy... and lost three teeth for his indiscretion.

On Saturday morning you’ll find Betty working at the feed store, where she loads customer's feed orders to make up the difference in income from the diesel garage.

No matter where she might be the rest of the week, though, come Saturday night you’ll always find Betty at Snapper's Lounge. She’s a fixture there, like the mermaid tap-handle, or the pickled quail eggs in the big jar at the end of the bar.

At Snapper's, the records for beer chugging, arm wrestling, bobbing for pig's feet (and various others), are all held by Betty. None of the men are bothered by this – they accept Betty as one of their own.

Last Saturday, a stranger sauntered into Snapper's. It was really more of a waddling-march than a saunter. You see, this newcomer was significantly shorter than anyone else in the bar, but what she lacked in stature, she made up in girth. The stranger called herself Big Sheila.

Big Sheila seated herself around the corner of the bar from Betty, and every head in the place turned when Big Sheila loudly ordered Snapper to pour, “Pitcher of beer... no glass.”

Betty immediately ordered the same. Game on!

Big Sheila pulled a pack of Levi Garrett chewing tobacco from her back pocket and Betty huffed as she fished her own pack of Red Man out of her bib overalls.

The corner of the bar cleared as the pair commenced to make the once-decorative spittoon sing, between long draws on their frothy pitchers.

Almost an hour into the contest, Betty opened the conversation with, “You arm wrestle?” Big Sheila’s eyes narrowed as she responded, “I wouldn’t wanna hurt you.”

The pair met at the corner of the bar and locked hands. Snapper started them off and narrowly dodged a left hook from Betty, who didn’t like the cadence of his, “Ready…Go”. It was 10 p.m.

Around 2 am Snapper tried to declare Last Call. Big Sheila heaved a barstool at him and Snapper wisely decided to back off.

The police had been sitting outside, waiting to pick-off bar patrons when they got in their cars to drive home. When none of us exited at closing time, they went in to cite Snapper for staying open late. When they saw Betty and Big Sheila locked in mortal combat, they backed out of the bar and summoned backup from a nearby village.

Before it was all over, two other police departments had to be brought in to break up the match and subdue the contestants. The cops came through pretty much unscathed, though that might not have been the case but for the local veterinarian being at the bar, and the good fortune in him having his bull taser out in the truck.

The gals are in county lock-up until their hearing next Thursday. Word is, that’s when the contest will resume - though I hear Snapper has closed his place and gone fishing until the battle’s been decided.

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