As I was walking down the street yesterday morning in Greensboro, North Carolina, I heard the ring tone on my cell phone which indicated that my boss Riff was calling. It was a tune of doom and gloom, sort of a death march song. "Hello Riff."
"Don't try to butter me up butterball,I am royally pissed at you."
"I'm not too happy with you, either."
I could hear the shock in his voice as he asked, "What did you just say to me?"
"You heard me. You owe me money, you always owe me money."
"I'm not a freakin' money tree!"
"I only want you to pay me what I earn, and you are about $900 shy of that right now."
"That's a damn lie."
"No sir, it's an understatement. Check your books. No wait, you don't need to check your books, because you know full well you've been cheating me."
"You impudent little bastard!"
"If you're calling about the car in Greensboro, it's still not ready. It's at Firestone, and they say they will have it serviced by 5pm."
"And when will your delicate disposition allow you to deliver it to Wyoming, my little pussywillow?"
"Three days from now. It's quite a drive."
"Sure it is, but if you were any kind of man you'd drive the entire 1700 miles without stopping."
"Well, I guess I'm not that kind of man. Which is a crazy man."
"You are no kind of man at all." That's when I hung up.
As I walked along, I felt the stress and tension in my back, neck and shoulders. I drive and I write, and both jobs require long hours of sitting still in one place. I get very tense and sore, and knew I could use a good therapeutic massage. When I turned the corner, I saw a little house with a sign out front that read "THE HAPPY MONGOLIAN --Massage." It could not have been more fortuitous, and I walked right up to the front door and went in.
Inside, the lights were off but many candles were burning. A pretty young Asian girl ran out into the reception area and grabbed my hand. She was wearing a peek-a-boo nightgown and spoke in pidgin english "Hello, hello I'm Tina. You come, I give you good massage."
"Hang on," I said, pulling my hand away from her. "I just wanted to find out what your prices are."
Tina grabbed my hand again and held on tight. "$80 for massage, and you get happy ending."
"Happy ending. Very, very happy ending."
"Uh... I just want a good old therapeutic massage."
"Oh yeah, good ole thay-a-pootic, with happy ending."
"I don't want a happy ending."
"You like my happy ending!" She smiled and nodded knowingly.
"I just want a massage."
"We called Happy Mongolian because the Mongolian was fierce warrior." Tina held her hands up like claws and bared her teeth. "Grrrrrrr! They fierce, but we tame them with happy ending."
"But I don't want --"
"You don't like me? We got four more pretty girls in the back." She held up her hand and counted with fingers. "One, two, three, four." Then she leaned towards me and dropped her voice a few octaves as if to make a strong impression. "One, two, three, four."
I pulled my hand away again, and she tried to grab it again. I kept moving it around and she chased it with her own hand. "I don't think I want a massage today."
"How about just happy ending? Happy beginning, happy ending?"
"No, nothing, no happy. I have to go." As I turned to walk out, she quickly grabbed one of my butt cheeks and gave it a good squeeze.
"You come back. I love you!"
I left and went to Firestone to wait and watched the TV in their customer lounge. Just before 5pm, a promo came on for the local news. A reporters voice said, "And police raided The Happy Mongolian today for prostitution." The images showed Tina and the other girls being taken out in cuffs along with some male clients. So all in all, it did not appear to be a happy ending.