“Hey,” said one of the two big bald guys on the patio at Max’s Memphis Ribs. “More beer.” Cleon’s eyelids closed a little bit – an interesting human expression. He turned to them. “Coming right up.” He went through the back door and into the restaurant. Then: surprise. Bernie smiled at the bald guys – rough-looking dudes, I know saw: one had a neck tattoo curling up from under his collar. “Ever tasted better ribs than these?” he said, all friendly like.
The one with the tattoo didn’t even look up. The other one, the one who’d ordered the beer, shrugged and said, “Maybe.”
“Yeah?” said Bernie. “Where?”
Why was Bernie talking to these guys? Not like him at all. I stopped chewing on the bone, panted a bit.
“L.A.,” said the guy.
“You guys from there?” said Bernie.
“What is this?” said the guy. “Twenty questions?” Now the tattooed one was looking over at us, too.
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