An involuntary Friday-night get-together

The Lawn-Cutting Crew is a humor fiction blog. It's sort of like a comic strip, but without the drawings. It offers self-contained chapters and lots of laughs.

It was late Friday afternoon, and we had returned to the shop after completing all our accounts. Crew Leader Carl backed the truck and trailer into the shop, and the guys and I unloaded the garbage from the back.

As we were clocking out, Carl appeared behind me.

“Hey,” he said, whacking me on the shoulder, “it’s been a long week. Let’s go do some drinking.”

“Actually, I was going to meet my girlfriend tonight,” I said. “We were going to get dinner.”

“We’ll meet to the Stardust,” Carl said. “I might need a ride back. I plan on having a few.”

I turned to Francisco. “Does he not hear me when I speak?”

So Francisco and I both met Carl at the Stardust. It was a grungy, smoke-filled dive with ultra-dim lighting and a couple of pool tables. Neon Budweiser signs buzzed from the cobwebbed windows.

“As a young man, I never imagined that one day I would lead a crew,” Carl said, throwing back a couple of shots and sipping his beer. “You’re not the brightest pencils in the sharpener, but it’s my honor to lead and mentor you.”

I turned to Francisco. “How long have we been here?”

Twenty minutes, he mouthed. 

An old floozy approached us, holding a cigarette. “Got a light, sonny?” she asked. Her voice sounded like Vin Diesel. 

“I need another shot!” Carl said. “Who’s buying? I bought the last round.”

“Actually, Boss,” I said, “I bought the last round.”

“Oh,” Carl said. He threw back his head, chugged the remainder of his beer, and slammed the bottle on the counter. He slapped me on the back hard enough to knock me forward. “Well, then, Peter, you go ahead and buy this round. Be a pal.”

I looked at Francisco. “How long have we been here?”

Twenty-one minutes, he mouthed.

As the evening wore on, the place started to fill up. Cigarette smoke saturated the air. Old rock blasted from the jukebox.

A row of empty bottles and shot glasses lined the counter in front of Crew Leader Carl.

“I love you guys,” he said. “Do you know that? You’re my crew! My crew! I’m proud of you. Each and every one of you!”

He squinted, peering at me. “And I’m especially proud of you. I hope you know that … even though I can’t seem to remember your name at the moment.” 

I looked at Francisco, and he nodded.

“OK, Boss,” I said, standing up. Francisco did the same. “It’s time to hit the road. You’re officially drunk.”

Carl tilted his head back, his eyes rolling. “Huh? Why do you say that?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” I asked. “You’re saying kind things about us! That’s our tipoff right there.” 

Author: Allen

I’m a humorist and fiction writer, as well as the author of two books. One is a collection of humor, and one is a collection of short stories. Both books are available on Amazon. I always wanted to write a comic strip, but I can’t draw. Not even a stick-person. So that’s why “The Lawn-Cutting Crew” is a comic strip without drawings. I hope you enjoy!

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