Set ’em Up Joe #amwriting

#3 in Snooty and the Book Cover. Find the others here.


Set ’em Up Joe


Brittany asks the hostess if we can have a booth. I would have preferred a table, a nice big table with chairs a huge distance apart. Brittany scoots the blonde in first (I still haven’t learned his name) and then she slides in followed by the other young one, still also unidentified.

There is no way I’m sitting in between Steve and Clayton so I slide in first and then realize my mistake. I should have had them slide in before me. Who knew seating arrangements were so difficult?

They all order their beers quickly while I’m still looking at the drink list. None of the wines are familiar and I’m about to order a water when Brittany speaks.

“She’ll have that bourbon barrel stout,” she says.

I glance up at her, uncertain as to whether I should be grateful or not. I certainly can’t tell from the gleam in her eye.

“And we’ll all have water, please,” Steve says.

“D’y’all want to just drink or should we get some apps?” Brittany asks.

“Food. Definitely, food,” the blonde says. He grins at me, but then Brittany is back to doodling with her fingernail on his forearm.

“I’m going to be a writer,” she says. “That’s what’s going on in that house we’re staying at.”

The men nod as if they already know.

“What are you going to write?” Blondie asks her.

“Hot, sexy romances. Steamy. I read a lot of them and I’ve also been doing my research, if you know what I mean,” Brittany says, waggling her very thin eyebrows.

“What about you? What are you going to write?” Blondie asks me.

I shrug. “I haven’t decided.”

“You should write erotic romances too. Women want an escape from their boring old lives. They want to read about sex,” Brittany says.

“Why don’t they just have it?” I ask.

“Have what?”

“Sex? Why just read about it?”

Clayton snorts and the other young guy chuckles.

Brittany rolls her eyes. “Because, duh, they read it and then they have it.”

That kind of makes sense.

The beers arrive and I stare at mine. It looks like sewage in a glass. “Is this like that Guinness stuff?”

“No. It’s local. If you like sweet beers, you’ll like that,” Steve says.

I take a sip. Oh! I nod and smile at Brittany. “That’s great. Thanks for ordering it.”

“No problem. I knew by looking at you that you would be a bourbon barrel stout-kind of girl.”

I ponder that for a moment, wondering what it is about me that would give that impression. Hopefully it’s better than snooty or Princess.

I take a few more sips. My British friend, Nell, would call this “wicked.” It is.

“You might want to slow down on that,” Steve says.

“But it’s so nice,” I say. “So, so nice.”

“It’s also 12% alcohol.”

“That’s not so bad, is it? I thought it was 100% alcohol,” I say.

“She’s not very bright, is she?” Brittany asks, shrugging her shoulders. “It’s a good thing she’s pretty.”

The two men sitting on either side of her nod their heads.

From somewhere I have attained courage. I extend my hand to blondie. “I’m Callie.”

“Mark,” he says.

I reach in front of Steve and across the table. “Callie.”


“Cool.” I sit back and feel like I might have a funny grin on my face.

Steve slides the water in front of me. “Have some of this.”

“That’s water.”


I sip from the straw and then reach for my stout. I can’t remember the last time I felt this good, this happy, this confident. Who knew about bourbon barrel stouts? They are like the elixir for stupid girl problems. So sweet, so chewy, so much like dessert in a glass.

“Cheers,” I say and lift the glass to my lips.

I am positive this is going to be a marvelous night. One to write about. All I need are a few more of these stouts.


end 6/26/2017

Sascha Darlington

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