Written on this date for TBP
Big Nick Dixon was nursing a dirty martini, trying to give off a strong ‘LEAVE ME ALONE’ vibe when the older couple approached him at the bar. She was probably in her late sixties, maybe her very late sixties, with a blue wash on her hair, a heavy polyester dress suit, and sensible shoes. He appeared to be a few years older than she. He wore Bermuda shorts that accented his saggy knees, one of those tropical shirts, and a straw fedora. Neither of them looked like they had been missing any meals but they looked happy and they were holding hands. They looked like a couple of tourists on vacation at the beach from Nebraska or somewhere like Nebraska.
“Scuse me, young fella,” the old guy said, “these seats taken?”
Nick shrugged and the couple sat down.
“Thanks, sonny,” the old man continued, “we’re both getting a little hard of hearing and don’t want to sit too close to the jukebox, in case some fool starts playing it. Know what I mean? Know what I mean?”
“See, Saul,” the blue-haired woman said, “he does look a lot like Pick. A younger Pick for sure but he looks a lot like Pick. Don’tcha think?”
The old man scrunched his eyes and looked at Nick, “Maybe so, Lenore; maybe a bit around the eyes. The hairline’s the same though. No doubt about that.” He put his hand on Nick’s shoulder, “Son, you wouldn’t happen to be Big Dick Nixon would ya? Nephew of Pick Dixon from Kansas City Missoura?”
This got Nick’s attention and he growled at the old man, “First of all, my name is Big Nick Dixon, not Big Dick Nixon. I don’t know if you think you’re being funny, but I fail to see the humour. Second of all, I have an uncle in Kansas City, but his name’s Edwin Dixon. I don’t know anybody named Pick.”
Lenore slapped the back of her hand on Saul’s shoulder, “Edwin,” she laughed out loud, “damn; don’t that beat all. No wonder he went by Pick. Can you imagine being named Edwin for your whole life? Shit… Edwin, Ha.”
When the bartender came over to get the old couple’s order Lenore was giggling to herself, her large girth shaking like a bowl of Jell-O; every so often she would say, “Edwin” again and laugh a little harder.
Saul ordered a gin and tonic for Lenore and a Jack, neat for himself. As the bartender went to fetch the drinks, Saul turned his attention back to Big Nick. “OK,” he said, “You are obviously Pick’s nephew. He told us we might find you here, and look, here you are.” The barman came by and set napkins and drinks in front of Saul and Lenore.
Nick turned and squared up with Saul, they were both big men, “What the hell do you want old man?”
“I want you,” Saul said, “or at least I want to hire you. Your uncle told us that you’re a pretty good thief, a cat burglar… know what I mean?”
“Stop right there,” Nick interjected, “I never steal cats. I’m a second story guy. I didn’t never take no cats. Wait, you know my Uncle Edwin?”
Lenore waved her hand and sipped her drink, “Relax, Dick.” she said, “It’s the same thing. It’s the same thing, and yes, we knew your Uncle Edwin.”
“What do you mean you knew Uncle Edwin?”
Unfortunately, Pick passed on last week – had a heart attack at the ponies in Greenwood County.” She paused for a minute and then added, “That’s in Kansas ya know.” She paused again and asked, “What do the girls call you? Do they call you ‘Big Dick’ or just ‘Dick’?”
My prompt was: A misunderstood burglar receives shocking news.