A Tough Crowd

“Hey, Art, do you want to hang out after work?” Bert asked.

Art was putting on his coat, but he paused when Bert asked his question. “What do you have in mind?” he asked.

“Well, there’s this great juice bar nearby,” Bert said. He picked up his coat.

Art zipped up his coat. “I don’t really like health food,” he said.

Bert laughed. “Neither do I.  Luckily that’s not all they serve.” He started to put on his coat. “They make the best ice cream sundaes in town. I think it’s the homemade ice cream. They go fast. If we head over now we might get one. Plus we’d avoid the rougher crowd.”

“Why is there a rough crowd?” Art asked.

“It’s not a big deal,” Bert said. “The place is just really popular and attracts all types.   We’ll be fine. Especially if we go early.”

”I do like ice cream,” Art said. “So I guess I’ll go.”

Art followed Bert to the juice bar. He still wasn’t so sure about this. Once inside, they discovered a crowd already there waiting. “There’s still some seats at the counter,” a server said, “but you won’t be able to sit together. If you want a table, you’ll have to wait.”

They sat at the end of a bench by the door and began to wait. It was a long wait. “They’re probably out of ice cream,” Art whispered. “Let’s just go.”

“Wait another fifteen minutes,” Bert whispered back. “It’s really good ice cream.”

Just then, the door slammed open and a herd of bulls charged into the restaurant. They were big and strong.   Some had whiskers and small beards.   Several had nose rings or a big metal earring with numbers imprinted on it.

“We want a round of wheatgrass juice,” the one in front said. He strode towards the counter, the light glinting off his sharp horns.

“Are those cows?” Art whispered. Bert stomped on his foot and shushed him. One of the bulls twitched an ear and glanced in their direction.   Bert smiled, but it looked like he felt a little ill. The bull looked away.

As soon as the herd passed them, Bert pulled on Art’s arm and stood to leave.   Art followed him out. There was a pack of motorcycles parked outside.

“Cows ride motorcycles?” Art asked. “Since when?”

“They’re bulls,” Bert said. “And try not to be so loud. They’re mean when they get angry.”

“Bulls? Don’t they only get mad if you wear red?” Art asked.

“That’s a myth.” Bert paused at his car and leaned against the door. “They don’t like sudden movements or people in their personal space.   They carry their weapons around in the open and charge at people and stab them with little warning. They’re pretty harsh.”

“But bulls on motorcycles? I thought they just stood in fields looking majestic or something,” Art said.

“Oh, bulls are the original bikers,” Bert said. “They’re born wearing leather, you know.”

“I guess that’s true,” Art said.

Bert opened his car door. “I guess no ice cream today. Do you want to try another time?”

“No,” Art said. “I’m sure it’s tasty ice cream, but I don’t think it’s the right atmosphere for me.   Honestly it was a little scary.”

“I understand,” Bert said. “It’s too bad, though. It really is good ice cream.”

“I make pretty good homemade ice cream,” Art said. “You should come over sometime and try it and tell me how it compares.”

“Sure,” Bert said. “When’s the next time you’re making some?”

“Come over Saturday around noon. You can meet my family. Bring your favorite sundae topping,” Art said.

“Sounds great,” Bert said. “I’ll be there.”

Art waved and walked to his car. Bert waved back and sat down. He pulled his car door closed. They drove away and never came back.