JQ

Sluggerz Sports Bar:

“You wanna know why I didn’t come to work today?” Jeff asked.

“Sure,” Denton said.

Jeff took a swig from his beer bottle.  “My grandma died last night.”

“Damn.  I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Thanks.  She was admitted to the hospital just a few hours earlier.  She died before I could visit her.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah.”

“So what did she die of?”

“Pneumonia, allegedly.”

“Allegedly?”

“The doctor they gave her was named Marla Rosenberg.

“Oh.”

“Guess I shouldn’t’ve posted that JQ stuff, huh?”  (JQ meant Jewish Question in alt-right argot.)

“Yeah, ha ha.”

No response.

“You serious?”

No response.

“Come on, Jeff.  Old people die of pneumonia all the time.  And your grandma was old as hell, no offense.”

“Thanks, rabbi.”

“The Jews aren’t behind everything.”

Shalom, rabbi.”

“That paranoid crap hurts our cause.”

“Shalom!”

Neither man said anything for a few moments.

Then:

“At least it wasn’t Dr. Apu for a change, in the hospital,” Denton said.

Jeff smiled.

“There we go.  Your grandma would have wanted you to smile.”

“I guess.”

“To her.”

“To her.  And to paranoia.”

Denton hesitated a moment.

“What the hell—to paranoia,” he said.

They clinked their beer bottles together.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews
July 8-9, 2017 (revised July 16, 2017)

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