Henry Rollins and the Better Butter Bacon Burger

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Axel How

"The fuck is this bullshit?"

"I'm sorry?"

Tammy stared down at the terrifying man at table three with a fear born of network news and Cinemax movies about biker gangs. It also didn't help that her boyfriend, Bobby, had just bought a box set of that show Sons of Anarchy, or whatever it was called. Seemed like a whole lot of motorcycles and sex and tattoos and no real story. Not like the shows Tammy liked. NCIS, now that was a show. Mark Harmon. He was plain old dreamy, and never disrespectful like this punk. Dirty Mister California biker.

"I said, What. The. Fuck. Is. This. Bullshit. Question mark."

Oh he had a potty mouth, this one. He also had a couple of arms like like a bear, all covered with black ink, like some kind of wild man in the National Geographics. His eyes were a bottomless pit of darkness, evil and mean.

"We don't go for that kind of talk in here, young man."

"Young? Do I look fucki... I am probably old enough to be your brother-daddy! Where is the goddamn manager?"

"Well, I will get him right now, and you'd better hope he doesn't throw you right out of here on your butt, mister!"

Tammy stepped carefully back to the counter, eyeballing the beast-man all the way. No way was he sneaking up on her, tearing her clothes, having his way with her, like they did on the TV. She let him know she was wise to his demon ways. Two fingers, her eyes to his direction. I'm watchin' you, fella. He sat there, shaking his grey-black head, throwing his arms up and swearing a long stream of curses. Tammy's feet ached, swollen and tired and probably, maybe, just a little too fat. Have to lay off the amaretto shakes and double-chili fries. Tammy set her wide pink ass on a tiny stool, eyes still sharp as a hawk on the musclehead jerk and his black-coal eyes. His eyebrows were like live caterpillars, he probably had that coat of dark brush hair all over his body, like her uncle Cal. Lord, how she hated uncle Cal and his stale beer-and-cigarette breath, always grabbing her softies under her Sunday school dress. And what was with that brother-daddy crack? Big meanie sounded like a northerner, or worse, Californian. Keepin' these eyes on you, devil fiend! Tammy carefully worked her long pink nails through a wandering tuft of pale yellow, cotton-candy hair and shouted back into the kitchen.

"Lloyd! Got a problem out here. This fella wants to see you!"

Now, you're gonna get it, Mister California biker. One long nail caught in the hairspray-lacquered web of her hair and Tammy yelped as she yanked her hand free, the nail a sure goner. She smiled a wide, toothy grin as Lloyd grumbled and groped his way out of the back, huffing and puffing as he hefted his weight around the tight corners and squeezed through the swinging door.

"Hellzapoppin', Tammy! Hell's goin' on out here?"

She just pointed, using her mouth to chew and pop her stale pink gum.

"You got some kinda problem there, man?"

Lloyd fairly waddled to the booth and plunked down, one wide ass-cheek taking up what space he could fall into.

"This is bullshit, man. Are you people out of your fucking minds?"

"I don't get ya, pal." Lloyd mumbled, reaching out to snake a fry, flipping it back into his mouth like he was a trained seal.

"This burger. This cockamamie retardation of Diner cuisine. What in the sweet bloody fuck is this supposed to be?"

"That there is the pride of Arkadelphia. What the heckfire's your problem, fella?"

Mister California biker held his hands out in front of him, knifing the air as he talked.

"What's my problem? Seriously? Are you that stupid? Look at this thing."

He batted the top bun away from the mess of lettuce, bacon, tomato...

"Is this a stick of butter? This is, like, literally, just a stick of fucking butter with garnish."

"And bacon. That's the best part, the bacon."

"It's raw!"

"Stove's broke."

"The stove is broken? How are you open? This is ridiculous, and a health code violation, I'm sure. Are you people special or something? Am I on camera? Is Ashton Fucking Kutcher going to jump out from behind that chair?"


Lloyd threw a confused glance towards Tammy, still parked at the counter trying to reattach her disfigured nail.

"That new boy on Two and a Half Men. The new Charlie Sheen fella."

"Is he comin' to town?"

Mister California biker stood up, muscles knotted and tight, shoulders bulging through his tight black t-shirt and upended the table.


He kicked a black booted foot into the door as the remains of his Better Butter Bacon Burger slid slowly down the incline of the formica tabletop, leaving a greasy smear behind. The door swung wide, smashing into the outside wall before rattling back against the jam. Lloyd reached down with a wheeze and righted the table, licking the butter from his fingers before standing up with a creak and a moan. He waddled back to where Tammy sat like some truck stop Buddha, meditating on the bubble gum hue of her pudgy fingertips. They watched as the man stomped back and forth in the parking lot, throwing his hands to the sky and hollering obscenities to the heavens.

"Strange fella." Tammy offered.


"Didn't like the butter burger."


"I think he was from California."

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