A Bar Joke (Part II)

it's not funny, why are we laughing?…


It starts out like a bad joke.

The ones that the other guys at the fraternity liked to tell each other, worshipping their cheap beer and messing up the punch line. Not that it matters; they've heard the jokes (haha, do you know where your wallet is?) a million times before.

So, the man (call him kid, dare you) sits alone at a bar, waiting for the jewelry store across the street to close.

The plan isn't great; a three out of five chance of success.

It's not really about the money, it hasn't been for a while; there are easier ways, less risky ways. But the owner beats his wife (dad, no).

He looks at his glass, it's already half empty.

The door jingles as it swings open and the man looks up out of habit (dad, please).

A smiling couple walks in, glued to each other. Her cheeks are flushed, her smile bright. The young man looks down at her adoringly, at the new glittering ring.

(Liar, liar, you're not trying hard enough.)

The man, the one in wait, the one with the knowing blue eyes (it's the details, her fingernails), he wonders how much the ring cost them. It's a scam—the owner is fleecing them. The diamonds are synthetic; they'll lose their shine in a few days (ironic, no?).

The young man, the smiling one, looks up.

(This is the set-up.)

Ask the man at the counter what he's thinking in that moment, ask him to describe what he sees and he'd answer this, "Trapped."

So, a couple walks into a bar. There is another man at the counter.

A couple walks out of a bar. There's a women at the counter, wearing a plastic engagement ring.

The End

(So, maybe his glass was half-full after all.)