Before the Mugging

The fiftieth group of shriners with bagpipes marched by, and Ted discovered where hate for the instrument came from. Just a bunch of shriners with hand-vacs stabbed with clarinets. Clearly, he was not drunk enough to enjoy the parade.

“I’m going to get another beer,” he told Roger, and left the throng. On the way, he thought about whether the swill dyed jade either used the same chemicals that colored the river, or simply was the river.

Ted thrust his foot up to take a step and made contact with a fleshy lump. He first thought it was a leg, but it yielded too easily to be something other than a handbag or dog.

“Oops, sorry,” Ted said and kept walking.

Then the dog laughed, in a high-pitched squeal.

“Wha?” Ted looked down for whatever he had smacked. All he found was a forest of jeans and legs. “What was that?” He thought he saw something lime-colored dash out of view, maybe a schnauser dressed for the holiday.

“Let’s see how you like it, eh?” he heard.

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