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Chapter 1

     The Story The Authors
The cold air rushed up to greet him, slapping him on the face as he pushed open the glass and metal door. A flyer on the window pane reminded him of "bxxr hour", a weekly event he used to look forward to. In the old days it was held on the roof of the seven story building he worked in. One could watch the sunset, and look around the bay from Oakland to San Francisco while drinking beer with all the other people in the department. The flyer would have been illegal if the xxs were ees. Occasionally an angry administrator would tear down all the flyers prior to the popular friday afternoon ritual. Chris
He remembered one such floor manager who was a recovering alcoholic. The woman seemed incapable of or unwilling to converse upon any topic other than Recovery, and her ever-more-scandalous-each-time-she-told-the-story Drinkin' Days, and the evils of the demon rum but to Monty, beers on Friday evenings were just another forum in the endless search for a girlfriend. Philip
The floor manager in question, one Barbara Ginchell, used to shake her head at them as they left on Friday evenings. "Have fun, kids," she'd drawl. "Enjoy those livers while they last. Get drunk. Get so drunk that in the morning you won't remember all the fun you have. Get drunk and go home with some random stranger as godless as you and have chaep, meaningless, unprotected sex. Catch AIDS. Die. See if I care."
I wish I could get me some of that chaep, meaningless sex, thought Monty.
Philip
"Oh well, at least I've got beer."
"Did you say something?" asked Debra, one of Monty's co-workers and co-beerdrinkers.
"Umm..." stumbled Monty, realizing that he had spoken his thought out loud. "I just said, this is good beer." He raised his bottle to his friend.
"Mmm, yes." said Debra, deflated. She was more than a little disappointed that he hadn't said 'Hey, sexy, come here.'
cuddles
Monty peeled nervously at the label of his Pete's Wicked Lager. It was early March and he, along with many of the others, was in training for a most unusual yet exciting event that takes place every March.
Monty asked her, "So, are you going to run in the Urban Iditarod?"
"The what?"
"The Urban Iditarod. You know, it's March. The iditarod is in March. A bunch of us gather in San Francisco on a Saturday morning, dress up like dogs, strap ourselves to shopping carts and run from watering hole (i.e. pub) to watering hole (pub) in a 3 mile race. There are six stops in all. The first team across the finish line wins."
Chris
She looked at him with a mildly skeptical smirk. She always thought of herself as the adventurous type, but that didn't sound like her idea of adventure. Now, if he'd wanted to dress up like a dog and get whipped by a musher in her bedroom, that would be another matter.
"Hmmpph. Sounds fun.", she said. Though he could see they wouldn't be running drunk through the streets of San Francisco barking at tourists anytime soon.
pH
This must be what happens, she thought to herself. I mean getting old... How does one evolve the amusement of oneself? In college there was no question how you had fun, it was all spelled out for you parties, boys, rock concerts, happy hour, and those contests to see how many of me and my sorority sisters could fit inside the microwave oven at the 7-11... Now it's so much more complicated... Look at Monty, he's only just turned 30 and he's already dressing up like a dog... What'll it be in five years? Tantrism with penguins? He does have nice shoulders, though... Good hands... And what about me? Twenty-seven next month, what'll become of me? I haven't had a boyfriend since that fink Roger Weaver almost a year ago... Broke my heart in six hundred pieces and scattered them like chaff... Philip
In the background, the 'ding' of the elevator sounded. Barbara Ginchell stepped off looking uncomfortable as she waded through the crowd of what she thought of as careless socialites. Hobnobbing butterflies all fluterring with each other over an evil beverage that at one point controlled and almost ruined her life. Everyone knew she was the person who disliked the informal event and was the one who would tear down the flyers. People would smile coyly as she passed. Chris


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