An Oblique Obligation

November 17, 2009

I’m at the bar with Anonymous Doug, going through our fourth pitcher of Wes Anderson Wheat Beer: The beer that makes you stare listlessly and not have any inflection in your voice, like most of the characters in his movies.  And just as we pour ourselves some fresh pints, Ninja Vicki comes jumping down from the ceiling to join us, and by her eyes peeking out from over her ninja mask, she seems troubled.

“I got tricked into going on a date with Tag Larkin tonight,”  Ninja Vicki says, taking my beer and drinking it.

“How the hell do you get tricked into going on a date with someone?”  I say.  “Furthermore, how do you get tricked by Tag Larkin?”

“I don’t know!”  Ninja Vicki says.  “All I know is he’s going to be waiting for me at 7pm at Codependent’s.”

“Love their beer selection,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “You’re going to have a good time there.”

“I’m not showing up,” Ninja Vicki says.

“You’re going to stand up Tag Larkin?”  I say.

“No one stands up Tag Larkin,”  says Anonymous Doug.

“Well, I’m gonna,”  says Ninja Vicki.

“Vicki… no one stands up Tag Larkin,” Anonymous Doug repeats.  “It’s like fighting on holy ground in Highlander.  You just don’t do it.”

“Well, I’m gonna,”  says Ninja Vicki.

“The last time a woman stood up Tag Larkin was August 28th, 2005,” Anonymous Doug says.  “The next day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.”

“That’s a coincidence and you know it,”  says Ninja Vicki.

“December 25th, 2004… Tag Larkin is stood up on a Christmas date,”  Anonymous Doug says.  “The next day the Tsunami hits Indonesia and kills 300,000 people.”

“Tag Larkin does not have the power of hurricanes and tsunamis,” Ninja Vicki says.

“And let’s never forget the evening of September 10th, 2001 when Tag Larkin sat all alone at the Rib House waiting all night for an online date who never showed,”  says Anonymous Doug.   “No one stands up Tag Larkin.”

“But… Tag Larkin tricked me,”  says Ninja Vicki.  “He said I wasn’t fun or interesting and I said I was too and I could prove it and I then he said to meet him for dinner and I said yes.”

“Yes… Tag Larkin played you like a cheap fiddle there,” I say sarcastically.  “Especially when he asked you out and you said yes.”

“What part of Nobody Stands Up Tag Larkin are you struggling with?”  Anonymous Doug says.  “Now go put on something pretty and have a nice time with Tag Larkin so that we don’t have another national tragedy.”

Ninja Vicki finishes the rest of my beer and jumps back up to the ceiling to leave.

“Is all that stuff about Katrina and Tsunami and 9/11 and Tag Larkin true?”  I say.

“Fuck if I know,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “But do you really want Tag Larkin walking around town for the next few weeks pissed off about being stood up?”

Anonymous Doug is the smartest man I know who isn’t Batman.

To be continued…





  1. so, i’m new at this stuff…just how does a ninja drink through their ninja masks?

    • They lift it up slightly. Or the slip a straw underneath. Depends on the drink.

  2. My train was late on September 10. that’s why I didn’t make it to the rib house in time

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