Three facts walk into a bar. One is Cold-Hard Fact, a completely ripped body builder with six-pack abs and a light sheen of Mazola oil.
The second is Political Fact, wearing a completely ripped-off shark skin suit with a fin velcroed to the back. Also, a Charlie Sheen of integrity.
The third is a Fact of Life, wearing nothing but a freshly scrubbed birthday suit and a bit of spinach between his teeth.
At the bar, sit the Antz brothers. The one to the right of the facts is the unshaven regular known as Ignorantz. On the other side is his effete snob brother, Arrogantz. He is so insufferably superior and smug that someone has surreptitiously slapped a “Hi, My Name is…” convention sticker on his back. They have penciled in “DICK.”
The barkeep, Your Average Joe, says “What’ll it be, boys?”
Cold-Hard Fact says “A glass of ice on the rocks.”
The barkeep replies “Sorry, but our daily rock shipment has been delayed.”
“Yeah,” laughs Ignorantz, “the driver got stoned. Haw!”
“In that case,” says Cold-Hard Fact. “I’ll have a gin and ironic.”
Meanwhile, Political Fact says “Gimme a Republican.”
Says Your Average Joe “You mean Old Grand Dad with a twist?”
“A twist of what?” asks Ignorantz.
“Fate,” says the Political Fact.
“We’re all out of twisted fate,” says the barkeep. “There’s been a high demand for it lately. How about a T Party?”
“That’s tequila and sympathy, but all we have left is diet sympathy. It’s made with artificial intelligence which has been labeled a carcinogen by the government — as if anyone cares what the government says. But just in case, the tequila makes you nasty and unconscionable.”
“Gimme one of those. Make it a double.”
“You want a lime with that?”
“Will it make my lips pucker?”
“You’re thinking of a mime.”
The Fact of Life interrupts to ask for a swizzle stick, extra swizzle, hold the stick.
Your Average Joe regards him suspiciously “You got I.D.? ”
Just then the door slams open and in barges a fat man holding a badge. “Fact Check!” shouts the chubby checker. “Everybody get your facts out where I can see ‘em.”
He looks hard at Political Fact. “You’re not a fact,” he says. “You’re a lying rumor.” He tears the velcro fin from his back, takes out an ink pad and stamps “Unconfirmed rubbish” on the specious fact’s hand.
Next he confronts Cold Hard Fact. “You’ve got the cold look,” says the fact checker, “but the question is, how hard are you?”
The fact throws him such a hard look that the checker immediately develops a six-pack ablative absolute. “Harder than a New York Times crossword puzzle,” he says coldly. “In ink. In Latin. In italics. In corduroy.”
The fact checker seems impressed. “Let’s say you’re a countertop. Would you be granite, wood or laminate?”
“Laminate,” says the Cold Hard Fact without blinking an eye.
“What?” The fact checker falls back a step. “Why would Cold Hard Fact choose soft, crappy laminate?”
The Cold Hard Fact chuckles. “It’s too hard to explain.”
The fact checker’s jaw drops. He picks it up, brushes it off, reconnects it and tries to grin but it comes out crooked. There’s a date with an oral surgeon in his future. (He’s thinking Taco Bell and a night of bowling.)
The checker then faces the Fact of Life and points rudely. “You call that a fact?”
Arrogantz bursts out laughing: “Looks more like a factoid.”
The humiliated Fact of Life turns to the barkeep. “Gimme a herringbone suit and a pair of brown Florsheims.”
Your Average Joe has seen and heard it all before.
“You want undies with that?”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2016, all rights reserved.