International Writers Magazine:Standing
at the Bar
John M. Edwards
I was standing at the bar at the Jolly Trolley, staring at my Fullers
London Pride, when I decided I was so drunk I would indeed have
a hangover in the morning. The red label reminded me of the Protestant
solidity of London and the infinite possibilities of drinking yardarms
of lager in the afternoon.
noticed a burly blond man in a business suit with an elaborate mustache
drinking Carlsberg in the corner of the bar. I could tell he was
was a town of prosperous bourgeois burghers who commuted every day by
train into Manhattan, there were a lot of people from Europe living
and working in this typical Main Street USA Colonial town, founded before
the American Revolution. The cemetery across the street from the white
clapboard Church had gravestones from before the Revolution, around
1720, decorated with stylized figures with wings, which resembled mad
Mozarts, or even angels or vampires.
The cartoonist Charles Adams, of the Adams
Family, used to live here, as did the Stepfather, the notorious serial
killer who seemed as wholesome as a bowl of Grape Nuts. (This
is Yuel Gibbons. The taste reminds me of wild hickory nuts, Pumpkin!)
In the pub, the prosperous well-dressed American
and British moghuls and robber barons back from Wall Street (Americas
City) managed to hold the bearing of swank healthy sane
primates, who say Cheers! and Sorry! rather
than aggressive back-slapping John Bulls roaring Rather, raaather!!!
The American equivalent in show somehow always
reminded me of the money-mad characters from Michael Douglass
Wall Street, cleft-chinned weasels who make cold calls and say, Dont
yank my chain!
What about Little Denmark? the
businessman asked, tears of nostalgia welling up in his eyes.
Our Danish kroner are hard to trade
against the euro.
Ive been to the Copenhagen Jazz
Festival, I prouded. I saw the bassists Stanley Clarke and
Miroslav Vitous jam together. I also saw that statue of Hans Christian
The Little Mermaid! Oh, it is so beautiful!
The drunk Danes ruby-red lips parted open from his foam-speckled
mustache slightly, intent as welcoming as the nether region of a Penthouse
centerfold. In Little Denmark, we are well placed to make trades.
. . .
Id like to go back to Little
Denmark. I smiled.
The Dane wasnt laughing. He could tell
I was making fun of him.
Abruptly, I stumbled outside to an august
wind, ready to find my car in the rancid rain and outwit the bored Westfield
Police, who confined themselves to doling out DUIs to the rich trust-fund
babies who acted like soccer hooligans.
For good measure, I made the claw and used
my finger to paint the sky with lightning. Some people call it witchcraft;
I call it downright frightening.
Despite what the Dane had said about Little
Denmark, I decided the country was instead rather quite large.
I had in one night drunk their entire per capita beer consumption.
They own Greenland.
© John Edwards
John M. Edwards, a Bradford-Brewster Mayflower descendant and part owner
of CL&F (Americas oldest personal holding co.) has traveled
worldwidely (five continents plus). His stunts include getting stuck
in a military coup in the South Pacific, surviving a ferry sinking off
the coast of Southeast Asia, and working onsite for World Development
Bank meetings without an MBA degree. His work has appeared in such magazines
as CNN Traveller, Missouri Review, Salon.com, Grand Tour, Islands, Escape,
Endless Vacation, Condé Nast Traveler, Emerging Markets, Transitions
Abroad, Globe Traveling, Vagabondish, Big World, Trips, Dispatch, Travelblogger,
Literal Latté, Coffee Journal, Artdirect, Verge, Slab, Stellar,
Space & Time, Dark Horizons, BootsnAll, Hack Writers, Poetry Motel,
Richmond Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review,
and North American Review. He recently won a NATJA (North American Travel
Journalists Association) Award and a Solas Award. His travel zine, Unpleasant
Vacations, went belly up, but will return as a commercial quarterly.
He lives in an angsty industrial loft in New York City, nicknamed the
time capsule. His future bestsellers, Move and Fluid Borders,
have not yet hit the intray tables. His new work-in-progress, Dubya
Dubya Deux, is the story of T., a time traveler of the future who takes
his vehicle through the Doppelganger Effect and discovers a book
about an event hes never heard of, and instead of landing in 1945,
he arrives a century too late.
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