Bug Juice

Another late night at the convenience store, I was so tired that thinking was out of the question. It was a real battle just keeping my eyes open, a battle I was quickly losing. So I sat behind the counter rapidly drifting off to the land of Nod when a high-pitched voice broke through the veil of sleep.

I opened my eyes to find a rather large pig in front of the counter with a weasel standing on his back. I rubbed my eyes and blinked a few times but my rather odd late night customers were still there. They must have walked in while I was dozing off.

The weasel held out a small bottle of juice in his paws and said, "Excuse me, my good man, but I'd like to buy this."

"Oh good, a talking weasel," I thought to myself. "Obviously I've lost my mind." I didn't know what else to do, so I took the bottle and passed it by the barcode reader. I glanced at the cash register and announced as matter of fact a tone as I could manage under the circumstances, "That will be seventy-five cents."

The weasel ran his paw down his hip as if he were reaching into a pocket and produced three quarters out of nowhere. I looked at him in stunned disbelief. He just shrugged and said, "If Bugs Bunny can do that why can't I?"

Well, I couldn't argue with that. So, I decided that the best thing to do would be to shut my mouth and try not to look like a hayseed. The weasel pulled the cap off the bottle and took a deep swig, he immediately spat it out all over the floor.

"What's wrong, Timon?" the pig asked.

Lucky thing I was so tired or the world's weasel population would have suddenly declined by one. Instead I settled for some muttered cursing while I mopped up the mess Timon made.

"It tasted funny," the weasel complained.

"Let me try it," the pig suggested. Timon poured most of the remaining juice into the pig's mouth.

"I see what you mean, Timon," the pig said, then he added, "It tastes just like high fructose corn syrup and water."

Timon looked at me and said, "This wasn't what we thought it was, so we want our money back."

"What did you think it was?" I asked irritably.

"Bug juice," Timon answered with a straight face.

That would have actually been funny if I wasn't in such a bad mood. I gave out an exasperated sigh and demanded, "What gave you that idea?"

"Well, that IS what it says on the label," Timon answered indignantly.

"Yeah, but…" I began but the weasel cut me off.

"It's false advertising," he complained. "How can they call it bug juice if it doesn't have any bug juice in it?"

I rolled my eyes and said wearily, "I don't think I can give you a refund."

Timon put his paws on his hips and demanded, "Don't you know who I am?"

"No," I answered.

"Why I'm a star of stage, screen and television," Timon claimed haughtily.

"Oh," I responded less than enthusiastically.

"Haven't you ever seen 'The Lion King'?" he asked.

"No," I replied.

"How about 'Simba's Pride'?" he asked.

"Never heard of it," I answered.

"Then surely you've seen the 'Timon and Pumbaa Show'," he said.

"No," I responded.

"He must be one of those Philippines," the pig observed sagely.

"That's Philistines, Pumbaa," Timon corrected irritably. "There's an old saying that it's better to keep your mouth shut and let everybody think you're an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt. Pumbaa, my friend, that's advice you could definitely profit from."

"Now where was I?" Timon asked as he scratched his head thoughtfully. "Ah yes, the refund." He turned his attention back to me and said, "I feel it only fair to warn you that I have friends in very high places. The kind of people you wouldn't want to get pissed at you."

"Like who?" I asked incredulously.

"Well, it just so happens that my best friend is the King of the Pridelands," Timon boasted.

"I thought I was your best friend?" Pumbaa interjected sullenly.

"Can't a guy have more than one best friend?" Timon asked rhetorically.

"I guess so," Pumbaa answered.

"Now that we have that settled, why don't you let me do all the talking from now on?" Timon demanded.

"Sorry, Timon," Pumbaa replied contritely.

"Anyway," Timon continued. "He's not someone I'd want pissed at me."

"Do you have any idea what we do to kings who step out of their kingdom?" I asked malevolently.

"I thought you said you never saw 'The Lion King'," Timon said accusingly.

"I didn't," I responded.

"Then how come you can quote from the script?" he demanded.

"That was from 'The Lion King'?" I asked innocently. "I thought William Wallace said it."

"Who?" Timon asked.

"Never mind," I replied.

"Well I'll have you know that one of the hyenas from 'The Lion King' said it," Timon said haughtily. "I HATE hyenas."

"I'm sure the feeling's mutual," I observed.

"Obviously you have no idea who you're toying with, mister," Timon warned. "You don't realize that I am a master of the martial arts."

"Oh yeah, what style?" I demanded incredulously.

"No Can Do," He replied and then burst out laughing. "Get it? No Can Do? I kill myself sometimes."

Once Timon had recovered from laughing at his own joke, he stepped onto the counter and started whispering conspiratorially in my ear. "Personally I don't care if you give us our refund or not. You live and learn. Hakuna matata I always say. But Pumbaa here, he gets angry when he doesn't get his way. You don't want him to get angry, you wouldn't like him when he's angry."

"What's the pig gonna do, turn green?" I asked sarcastically.

"What did you call me?" Pumbaa demanded.

"You shouldn't have said that," Timon said nervously.

"Did you call me a PIG?" Pumbaa snorted angrily.

"You'd better give me that refund now before he trashes the place," Timon warned.

I opened the cash drawer and quickly handed Timon three quarters. He dropped them into his non-existent pocket and climbed back onto his partner's back.

"Come on, Pumbaa," Timon said. "I don't think he meant that as an insult. Let's get out of here."

"Where are we going?" Pumbaa asked.

"To the big city," Timon answered. "Just think Pumbaa, the bright lights, the night life, the cockroaches."

Then the pig walked out the door with the weasel perched on his back. I stared after them for several minutes with my mouth hanging open in utter disbelief. Obviously I needed a vacation.