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A Bizarre Act of Kindness

Every once in a while, it's good
To step out of the everyday
And do something a little strange.

Thus it was, that
One fine May night,
After several hours of drunken debauchery in honor of a friend's imminent nuptials,
I found myself sitting at the bar in a dingy strip club.

And as I sat there
Sipping a warm Budweiser and studying the thighs of the dancer who stood on the bar in front of me,
A man walked in and sat down next to me.

Now, throughout my life, I've apparently given off
Some sort of strange glow, a weird aura
That attracts the truly bizarre and twisted people,
And makes them want to tell me their story.

Tonight was no exception.

"Wow," said my new companion, watching the dancers shake their stuff, "this is too much."
I muttered something non-committal but agreeable.
"No, you don't understand," he continued, "I just got out of jail today."

Now, after a six-pack or two, I'm a pretty friendly guy,
So to make conversation, and because I was too toasted to think before I spoke, I asked, "So, what were you in for?"

He paused, but that aura of mine must have made him talkative,
For he replied,
"I killed a guy in a barfight."

I made a mental note to make sure to be polite to this guy.

He went on to tell me how it was self-defense, but he got time anyway,
(And I don't know, maybe it was true)
And how he just got out today
To find out his wife had left him;
And thus he had washed up on the barstool next to mine.

Now the whole time he was talking,
The dancers kept going by.
And I was slipping dollar bills in their G-strings, because...
Well, why not? That's what you do. It's traditional.
It's invigorating. It's a real mood lifter.

So I suggested it to my new friend,
But he had spent his last cash on an overpriced beer.
So I gave him a single, so he could buy the cheap thrill.

This was, from his reaction, the first nice thing
Anyone had done for him in years.
He shook my hand and called me a saint,
Even told the dancer where his dollar had come from.

We talked a little more before he left;
And I like to think
That my bizarre act of kindness
Might have helped restore his faith in humanity -

Or, maybe I just reminded him that with the right sob story,
You can get some sucker to pay for your cheap thrills.

I'm not sure which.

Next: Poetic License Up: Bizarre Acts of Poetry Previous: ``I burned all my

Tom Swiss