By Ed Tato

Earl needs a quiet drink. Work will do that.

Al nods, wipes the bar, sets a coaster out, pours an Old Crow and
short Genny. He rings them up, palms a greenback, slips the fiver
into the till, taps the change on the bar, sets it by the beer, cops the
empty jigger, wipes the bar, and turns back to the game.

A guy, by the jukebox, spouts forth — he has, he says, A most elegant
definition of clusterfuck.

Earl quicksteps that way, slugs Clusterfuck until he slumps from
the stool, then winks at the jaybird perched one stool down. Earl
lights back where he was.

Al pours an Old Crow, on the house.

Ed Tato lives, for the moment, in Coburg, Australia. His birth witnessed the final flight of airship ZPG-2, which, grievously, terminated the Navy’s dirigible program. That same curious day, Felix The Cat and Friends hummed across the airwaves one last time, and Mutt Wilson died. Ed’s been mourning ever since.