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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Garlic Billy - Part I

It's a blistering day in the town of Frebobin,  and there is dust everywhere, blowing through the dirt streets, blowing into the parlours and barbershop and general store.  Wait!  There on the horizon, there is a speck, a small something, but it seems to be getting a little bigger, is it coming closer?  

Little Timmy Tooka watches the speck, and after a few minutes, there's no question about it, the speck is getting bigger!  Could it be?  Yes, there's someone coming across the desert!

An hour later the Stranger arrives on horseback, his chin resting on his poncho'd sternum, his sombrero covering his head.  He looks up, and is tan with black whiskers and blue eyes.  The Stranger sees Little Timmy Tooka.  

"Lad, water my horse."  

Tooka approaches, and the stranger flicks him a quarter-piece.  The Stranger dismounts.

"Sure, mister" says Timmy Tooka.  

The Stranger walks on over to Demont's, the local chop house.  A sign says "Best Garlic Chicken in Town."  Tooka quickly ties up the horse and follows the stranger into the chophouse.

When the Stranger enters, all eyes point in his direction.  Blackjack Billy stops dealing cards, Sally the Whore stops chatting with Adulterous Pete, etc.  The Stranger heads to the bar.

"Give me a whiskey and some of that garlic chicken," says the Stranger.

Demont, the bar tender and proprietor, pours a whiskey, and the Stranger downs it.  "One more."

Not long after the so-called garlic chicken arrives.  The Stranger already knows, but just to be sure, he cuts a piece of the chicken and tastes.  His fist pounds the bar.  THUD!!!  Everyone stops and stares.

"What is this?" demands the Stranger.

"That's our garlic chicken," says Demont.

"Oh yeah?  And where's the garlic"

"Well, see mister, this isn't like the old times.  We do the best we can.  We use a garlic.....powder."

"I knew it!  No self-respecting establishment advertises the best garlic chicken in town, only to use powder and not fresh garlic!"

"Sir, the sign, it's old, it's from the days when fresh garlic grew in abundance, and there was garlic for all."

The Stranger sighs.  "Garlic for all."

The Stranger sits quietly for a moment, and then gets up and walks towards the door.  All are watching him.

"Sir, just who are you?" asks Demont.

Without turning he says "Billy Garlic" and walks out, the doors swinging in his wake.

To be continued....