It was their monthly Ulysses meeting at Kildare’s in Bee Branch, Arkansas. Michelle, Walter, and John sat behind frosty mugs of Bud with their stained, unabridged copies of the tome in front of them. No one else was going to show up.
Michelle had been the mucilage who worked for over a month to recruit twelve brave or ignorant souls. Some joined to escape screeching kids and spouses for a night. Others hoped it was a single’s club or a dip into a steamy Danielle Steel novel – banned! After they realized, in the first few gatherings, that most were middle-aged and morose, and meetings consisted of staring blankly at each other over beer, trying to come up with the meaning for all kinds of gibberish, they quit.
Walter and John hung in there for the beer and Michelle’s company (both had a desolate crush on her) and would chime in while she scoured through her bible-sized dictionary. “Hyperborean,” Walter slurred, “Single’s night in the church basement. Hyper-borrring,” and both men snickered. “Untonsured. Yeah, a doctor yanked them out with my adenoids when I was five,” said John. “Scrotumtightening sea. Your ex’s nickname, John?” Walter tittered.
Michelle looked up from her book at these two plastered devotees. She wasn’t going home yet either. “Excuse me, while I head for the squirting dugs. And order me another stout one of you poxey bowsy‘s!” she bellowed as the two men howled. Michelle got up to hit the can.