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Chapter 1

     The Story The Authors
Barbara's friend Emmie watched her in disgust. Emmie was always the one who went to beer hour to be part of the "in" group, but never really drank beer, just a Coca Cola or two.
"Barbara," she called, "put your shirt back on. You look disgusting."

Barbara thought she heard Emmie telling her to put her shirt back on. No, Emmie couldn't have been calling to her. She didn't look disgusting. Besides, she found Monty really interesting.

Emmie saw that Barbara wasn't listening to her. She had to do something. Barbara was about to do something she would really regret once she was sober. "Hey Barbara," she called again, "I bet if you put your shirt back on and came back to the table, some even better man will admire your self control!" It wasn't exactly the truth. But hey, thought Emmie, some things are worse than lying.

Barbara paused for a brief moment to stare deeply into Monty's reddening face and without looking away yelled. "Hey Emmie, Go Fuck Yourself !" and with a butterfly toungue in Monty's ear whispered lasciviously "Fuckin' prude" She was down to only a pair of high heels by the time they made her office. Lanark
The door shut behind them with a resounding thuddd followed by a sharp, almost painful klik!
From the edge of the milling Happy Hour crowd, by craning her head very far to the left, Emmie could just see the door to Barbara's office. She stared at the door with undisguised hatred for the next five minutes while Duncan Grueber, the buck-toothed, carrot-topped Swiss guy from Accounts (who, rumor had it, had been demoted after he tried to cop a feel off Nugie Wall's unwilling secretary) blathered in her ear about his recent acquisition of a lawn-gnome. "That's great, Dunc. Give the little guy a big wet one for me." She blew said kiss at the uncomprehending Duncan, tossed back the rest of her vodka-cranberry, and making sure no one was following her tip-toed out into the darkened foyer and down the hall to Barb's office. She slipped down to her knees, put her ear to the dark mahogany, and listened.
The first thing she heard was Monty's howl a sound not of sultry Friday evening pleasures but of shock, surprise, and pain.
This was followed by a palpably bestial grunt from what she assumed was Barbara.
Next there began a low, metallic, vibratory whining kjjrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr as of a mosquitolike band saw which rose up in pitch each time it seemed to encounter resistance.
A female voice (not necessarily Barbara's) howled "RIDE IT! RIDE THE LOVE TRAIN! UNH UNH UNH UNH UNHHHHH-GAH!"
Monty's voice chittered like an electrified monkey, blubbered and begged and sibbed and then was silent.
Jesus, thought Emmie. Some people hide it so well. You look at them and you'd just never guess. Poor Monty. I wonder if I should call the cops? The paramedics? A priest?
She put her ear to the cool wood surface of the door and began to listen again at the precise moment the door was opened from within.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!" screamed Emmie as she was thrown across the room by the force of the door. When she looked up there was Barbara holding Monty's bloody head like a prize. The rest of the room she had been listening into was covered with gore. Oh my gosh, thought Emmie, Barbara's a psychotic killer maniac! Is she really crazy? Or is it just the beer and it will wear off and she will have this bigger-than-Jupiter guilt trip along with her hangover? Will she kill herself? Will she kill me? I should have made her put her blouse back on and sit at the table. Heck, I should have made her put away her martini in the first place. And now - "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!" Emmie screamed again as Barbara howled something I'd rather not repeat here and started towards her. Carolyn
Joselito, who had realized that he'd lost control of his charge and left the party long before Babs decapitated Monty, found himself in a dark hole-in-the-wall bar that was decorated in a tiki motiff drinking a pina colada out of a coconut with a huge spear of pineapple sticking out of it with a paper umbrella. He sat at the bar, comiserating with a few other failed higher powers who were drinking mai tais, blue hawaiians and pink ladies.
"People just don't fear God the way they used to." complained Merv, the one drinking the mai tai.
"I blame advertisers." said the higher power named Bernice with a touch of bitterness. "They make everyone look so smart and sexy when they drink. It's seductive, I tell you."
"Naw, it's peer pressure." lamented Stew, who knew Joselito from way back when they went to Higher Power school together. "How can we compete?" They all nodded their heads sadly and sipped their drinks.

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