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The Coffee Chronicles

Episode 3: Husky and Starch Almost Meet God

Illustrations by Grant Reynolds

It seems the war has made our boys Husky, the skinny Tribune-type intellectual, and Starch, the chubby Enquirer-type intellectual, adventurous. Last time we met the two, they took an involuntary road trip (in other words, they were kidnapped; but a road trip is a road trip, don't ya think?) Starch's cousin Bert found his revenge on "un-Americans" by bombing national landmarks along the way, (There is nothing so American as ketchup, so the country's biggest ketchup bottle is certainly a landmark of national concern.) If you read episode two you'd know that they didn't really do anything to help stop the bombing, but they are still being treated as heroes. Even got a trip to Mexico from the Prez. of our frine country. And what did they do after thier eventful roadtrip: they went back to the Nugget to get another pancake sandwich and if that ain't American, well, I just don't know what is.

Waitress: Sorry. Oh, hi boys. Congrats on the prize. What'd they give ya?

Husky: Two round-trip tickets to Cancun, Mexico.

Starch: Yep. Southward bound.

Waitress: Well, we'll sure miss ya around here. Wonder what Angel will do with all that extra pancake sandwich batter.

Husky: Put it in the freezer.

Starch: Yep. We'll eat it cold, too.

Husky: They can thaw it, Starch.

Waitress: Aw, I'll get it to you boys, don't you worry.

Two hours later, in the O'Hare Airport security line, Husky has been reading the obits in The New York Times and he's feeling pretty paranoid about flying.

Strange Man: Beware of flying things! Beware of flying things!

Starch: Excuse me. Excuse me. Could we get by? We got special tickets!

Husky: And this guy, it says, was going to get married that weekend right after it happened. 76th floor.

Strange Man: The time has come. The sky will turn red. The water will turn yellow. Our air will come from the sea!

Our sustenance will come from the sky. Beware! Beware! Beware!

Strange Man is dragged away by airport security. He points at Starch as he leaves.

Strange Man: Don't say I didn't warn you. Open your eyes!

Starch: Aw, whatever buddy. Special tickets. Step aside. MOVE IT!

Husky: Starch, you can't act that way in airports anymore.

Starch: But Husky, we're gonna miss our plane. Look at this line.

Husky: Forget our plane. It says here this girl almost called in sick that day. 87th floor.

Woman with child: Excuse me, but could one of you gentlemen take my son to the bathroom?

Husky: I don't think we can help you. This guy didn't even work in the World Trade Center. See? He just wanted to see it.

Woman: Look, I wouldn't ask, except I've had to go to the back of the line four times. One more time, we'll miss our flight.

Husky: I don't want to be impolite ma'am, but the thing is, you just can't trust strangers in airports anymore.

Starch: I'll take him.

Woman: Thanks.

Husky: Starch, don't take him.

Woman: You're not as nice as your friend, are you Mr.?

Husky: Don't you read the papers?

Woman: I don't consider the Enquirer a viable paper.

Husky: This is The New York Times. I'm using the Enquirer to keep the snow off the good paper.

Woman: So you'll take him?

Husky: Lady, crazy people take other people's kids in airports.

Boy kid: Pleave Mifter. We'll miff chrifmaf.

Starch: Missing some teef, huh kid?

Boy: I'm four.

Woman: Just let your friend take him. You can hold his place.

Husky: We'll hold your place.

Woman: That's what the last one said and when I got back, he was gone.

Husky: Ma'am, it's not about being in line. When I get to the front, they're going to ask if anyone gave me anything to put in my luggage and...

Woman: No, they're gonna ask if you left your bags with anyone.

Husky: And my friend will have to say that he left his bag and we'll get searched and we'll miss our plane. The world is just not what it once was. Buildings fall beneath us.

Woman: I think you're using this hyped up security as an excuse to be an asshole.

Husky: Can you believe this woman, Starch? Starch? Oh shit.

Starch walks away with the little boy.

Woman: The good guy wins.

Husky turns back to his paper.

Later, on the airplane ...

Starch (singing): Ohhhh-Mexico. Suns so hot you know I have to go. Wait. Suns so bright you know I wanna go. Wait. Suns so-

Husky: Starch!

Starch: Down deway where the nights are gay and sun shone mighty on the mountain.

Husky: Brightly.

Starch: Sun's so bright.

Husky: No, Sun shown brightly on the mountaintop.

Starch: Here we come, Mexico!

Stewardess: Complimentary champagne for our two heroes. I saw you two on TV. Good job.

Husky: Thanks.

Starch: Do you have something stronger?

Stewardess: Not with me, sorry, but what would you like?

Starch: Captain Morgan?

Stewardess: We have Bacardi.

Husky: Two please.

Starch: Yummers. This is the life.

Husky: There's that woman. Jesus, on our flight.

Starch: Hey lady, over here.

Woman: Oh, hello. We're off to the bathroom again.

Husky: Why don't you take him, Starch?

Starch: Take it easy, buddy. Maybe I'll take mom to the bathroom.

Husky: You know, lady, there are bathrooms on the back of the plane too.

Starch: Husky!

Husky: I don't trust that lady.

Starch: What?

Husky: I don't like her and that kid is going too close to the cockpit.

Starch: She's a mom.

Husky: Good cover Starch, but this is my life. Hand me a blanket.

Starch: Take mine.

Husky: We should both have one. If the woman does anything at all, we're supposed to do something, like throw a blanket over her head.

Starch: Now you're talking.

Husky: I mean, like take out a gun or something.

Starch: Oh, guns aren't allowed on planes anymore, didn't ya hear?

Husky: Look Starch, I don't even trust myself walking up to the cockpit anymore.

Starch: What?

Husky: Look at how everyone watches the person going up to the bathroom by the cockpit.

Starch: So?

Husky: So what if one of us is just programmed to go up there and take over this plane?

Starch: Lady? Waitress? Nurse?

Stewardess: Yes.

Starch: Can we have a couple more Bacardis, nurse? My friend's afraid of flying.

Stewardess: Would you also like your meal now?

Husky: What is it, pretzels and a salami stick?

Stewardess: It's a special, compliments of the Golden Nugget.

Husky: Oh my god.

Starch: Hey, that's great.

Husky: The Last Supper!

Stewardess: Is he all right?

Starch: The war is getting to him.

Starch takes his stash of Enquirers out of the seat pocket.

Starch: Did you know Liz Taylor arrived on a UFO in 1902?

Husky: She's older than I thought.

Starch: And J-Lo is a bad kisser?

Husky: I don't have time for this. We have to be vigilant.

Starch: Do you think that woman's kid is a bomb?

Husky: Uh huh.

Starch: Should we throw our blankets on his head?

Husky: Please.

Starch: Buddy, what d'ya need to make you feel safe?

Husky: A beautiful nurse to bring me a Cap'n Morgan and a pancake sandwich.

Smoke begins to fill the cabin.

Starch: Oh my god!

Husky: What's that smell remind you of?

Starch: Oh my God!

The stewardess walks through the smoke in a sexy nurse's uniform, carrying a pile of flaming pancake sandwiches in one hand and a tray of champagne flutes filled with Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum in the other. Everybody on the plane yells O-PA! Starch sees a glow outside and looks out the window. No clouds, no mountains, no cities, no interstate grids, or fields of green and brown, but pancakes and eggs float through the sky trying to make themselves into sandwiches. The Golden Nugget waits below for Angel to finish the recipe and send breakfast down.

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