"It will be the most spectacular journalism you've ever read, Smooth," I finished, picking popcorn kernels out of my teeth with my hand. "Make room on your motherfucking shelves for a Pulitzer." I pointed to the shelving on his walls to help make my point, trying not to be discouraged when there weren't any. "A man of your stature should really be able to afford more flat surfaces," I scolded, fishing another kernel out from my gumline.
"I honestly can't hear a word you're saying. You keep putting your hand in your mouth."
"Your complimentary popcorn," I explained. "A good choice, by the way. I try to eat popcorn at every meal."
"It wasn't complimentary,"
"Let's agree to disagree. This article-"
"You eat popcorn every meal?" he asked, like it was some kind of big deal.
"Popcorn," I explained, "is one of the most highly nutritious foods available in modern supermarkets." I'd adopted a tone that let him know I was talking to someone with the intellect of a child. "Its pH content is through the roof. I wouldn't expect you to understand this, but the alkaline levels are also excellent."
"I know what alkaline and pH mean. You're just making things up. Anyway, you can't just eat popcorn. How do you go to the bathroom? You must crap solid popcorn logs."
I nodded silently. That part was actually true. I tried to stay focused. "Smooth, this article-"
"Take your hand out of your mouth!"
On the other 364 days the year, O'Malley's Pub is like any other bar in Brooklyn; a place to sit quietly in the dark, drink watery beer and possibly score some cocaine. But for pubs like O'Malley's, St. Patrick's Day is something akin to a Super Bowl. No expense has been spared tonight-whichever lights are still working have been turned on, every greasy surface has been festooned with cardboard shamrocks and the beer has been dyed a sickly neon green. Even the neighborhood cocaine salesman has caught the spirit, and sports a playful green felt top hat. It is perfect. For six hours now I have sat quietly in the dim light, drank green beer and observed St. Patrick's Day in action. I have also politely and repeatedly declined to buy drugs, on the grounds that I remembered to bring enough with me.