At the trial of a man accused of stabbing to death a fellow patron of Hogan’s Bar & Grill, witnesses testified that they never thought the defendant, a former child actor most famous for his uncredited role as ‘boy kidnapped by clown’, would settle an argument about holiday television specials with violence.
Police were called, once again, to Hogan’s Bar & Grill to break up a melee between a famous philosopher from Copenhagen reciting the Periodic Table and regular patrons responding with angry quotations from Sartre, Camus and Nietzsche.
After a long vacation in Amsterdam, where a member of our tour offered an undercover police officer oral sex for 6 Euros and a pack of black market cigarettes, we patronized Hogan’s Bar & Grill only to find ourselves embroiled in an argument regarding underwear, Letters-to-the-Editor and scratch ticket wins.
In the backroom, by the pool table and jukebox, of Hogan’s Bar & Grill, to which I had withdrawn in order to avoid Lou Hogan’s glare every time I ordered a sparkling water, with no lemon or lime – my stomach had been acting up and I felt no need to inform Lou of my malady – a fellow patron, who I had noticed once or twice when he received a volley of abuse from the regulars after he had selected soft rock songs from the 70s on the jukebox, told me he was the last living member of a construction crew remodeling a brownstone who had discovered, behind the walnut wainscoting of a back hallway that led to a bricked up door, playing cards manufactured with a material they had never seen, or touched, depicting obscene images and extraterrestrial hieroglyphics.
We never found out who left the rusty torpedo leaning against the wall in the breezeway behind Hogan’s Bar & Grill until the kitchen sink anarchist and maladroit heir to a haversack manufacturing empire, who, every afternoon, took a seat near the men’s room and placed an old typewriter on the table, but was never seen to hit any of the keys, except the return and space bar just so he could, we assumed, listen to the bell while he drank a single gin and tonic with a slice of lemon that he chewed on while muttering about half-eaten puppets, burning effigies constructed out of napkins and radioactive submarines.
A great ape tutor and handler, famous for her mentoring a chimpanzee midwife, who excelled at every event held at Hogan’s Bar & Grill, whether it was karaoke night on Thursday, quiz night on Friday or open-mic on Saturday, admitted that, as a young girl, she had accidentally knelt on a baby gerbil and crushed its head.
The first thing we noticed about the rocketship perched on the roof of Hogan’s Bar & Grill was its small size, like a VW bus decked out in alien peace symbols, webbed in light, rocking as if at sea.
Michael McInnis lives in Boston and served in the Navy chasing white whales and Soviet submarines. He was the founder of the Primal Plunge, Boston’s only bookstore dedicated to 'zine and underground culture and small press literature. He is a co-founding editor and designer of Nixes Mate Review. His poetry and short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, The Commonline Journal, Cream City Review, Naugatuck Review, One-Sentence Poems, Oxford Magazine, White Knuckle Press and Yellow Chair Review to name a few.