Cutlass, Bobo’s partner, was on his way to a family reunion in Tennessee leaving Bobo home alone. I waited for the frantic call I knew would come. And sure enough ring, ring, ring!
“Sylvia,” he cried into the phone. “I just can’t stand the house without him! Staring at the vast ocean and that portrait of Rosa Azul has me climbing the walls! You must meet me at the Two Turtles for a drinkie. I’m going absolutely mad!”
“I just can’t stand the house without him! Staring at the vast ocean and that portrait of Rosa Azul has me climbing the walls!”
I rolled my eyes, took a deep breath and said, “Dear, he’s been gone for two hours.”
“Sylvia, do you know how many seconds are in two hours? An eternity of loneliness.”
There was nothing to say except, “We’ll meet you for drinkies at the Two Turtles.”
“You saved my life! I’ll be there in 60 minutes. Don’t be late. My sanity is hanging by a thread.”
I hung up and said, “Oh, boy. Can we pick ‘em? Max, we’re on rescue mission.”
“Don’t tell me,” he said from the kitchen, “Bobo!”
Max and I always giggled at the name Two Turtles. The bar was owned by two brothers whose last name was Turtle. What a handle to carry around!
When we arrived, we walked through the oval bar with the fish tank of colorful exotic specimens behind the rows of liquor bottles, through the dance floor with flashing neon fish shapes, and into the palapa area. Bobo sat at a table with a kir in front of him. He waved us over wildly.
“So glad you could make it, darlings!” he said. “I’m just lost without him!”
Our drinks came and we toasted to Cutlass’s safe return home in three days. Suddenly, Bobo looked up and gasped. “Of all the gin joints in all the world, he has to walk into mine!” he said choking, spilling kir on his $200 Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt.
Our heads turned to a group that had just walked in. Among some normal looking people, stood a suntanned, wind blown, blond Greek god with a Colgate smile.
Bobo, dabbing at the kir spill on his shirt said, “I’m having a “Casablanca” moment. I thought the past walked out of my life and now it walked back in. Once when I was young and pretty, way back in college, I fell head over heels in love with that man. I thought I could catch him. He was the one for me. Look at those piercing green eyes.” Bobo’s own swam with tears. “I fell in love with everything about him except, and I forgave him that, his name.”
“Which is?” Max asked.
Bobo sighed. “You won’t believe the name that goes with that gorgeous hunk.” He coughed nervously. “That’s Butterfield Schitt III. But everyone calls him Buttie. So he’s known as Buttie Schitt. I know that his middle name is Fuller. So the gorgeous man who just walked in is none other than Buttie Fuller Schitt. ”
I could tell what a sensitive issue this was for Bobo. I held in a burst of laughter that would have sprayed wine all over the table.
I could see Max swallowing his laughter. “So apart from the obvious impediment of his name, what kept you from pursuing him?”
Bobo shook his head. “My punishment from the gods is that I know somewhere in a cosmopolitan city at a sophisticated cocktail party walks Butterfield Fuller Schitt IV. In other words my darlings, the name didn’t stop me. He’s straight!”
“So sorry,” I said, touching his arm.
“Karma,” Bobo said. Suddenly, a look of horror came across his face. “Oh, no! This is too cruel!” Putting his hand in front of his face, he slid down in his chair trying to hide. “He’s coming this way!”
“Buck up! Be brave, we’re with you,” I said, patting his hand.
Buttie burst into our little circle. With a booming voice, he said, “Do my eyes deceive me? If it’s not my old college bro!” He slapped Bobo on the back. “You old sea dog! Good to see you! What’s that saying from the old movie? ”Of all the gin joints ……. something, something, something. Can’t remember. It’s such an old, corny movie.” He laughed loudly. “Haven’t seen you since that time the class went to the zoo!”
Bobo looked terrified. “Please, Buttie!” he pleaded. “Not in front of my friends!” He shifted his eyes from Max to me.
Buttie guffawed again. “Well, that’s something I’ll never forget, Monkey Fart!”
Bobo shot Buttie an acid look. “Let it go, Buttie.”
With a sinister smile on his face, Max asked, “Would you care to join us?”
I could have killed him.
“Thanks, but no,” Buttie said. “I’m with business friends. Great seeing you again, Monkey Fart!” He slapped Bobo on the back again and was off.
Bobo sat there, teeth clenched, fuming. “If either one of you ever, ever says anything to anyone about this especially to Cutlass, I’ll have the mob after you quicker than you can say Feng-shui!”
I put a finger to my lips, “Sealed forever. Your secrets are ours, dear!”
We would never, ever say anything to anyone. Your past is safe with us, Monkey Fart!