Free Drinks

“Ok,” Tuke said, rubbing his hands together, “What’s up for tonight?”

“I don’t know,” said Hipps. “I’m feeling kind of blue. I’m thinking I just lost my long time faithful companion and well loved family dog Jasper.”

“Seriously?” said Tuke. “That’s a drag. And, didn’t we kill Jasper off three months ago?”

“That was Whiskers,” said Hipps. “Family cat.”

“Still…what a downer.”

It was Free Drink Tuesday. Tuke and Hips sat in parking lot of the Carmalita Bar and Grill trying to invent their next story. It had to be real enough to elicit sympathy or celebration, there had to be just enough backstory for them to make it believable, but not so complex that they got lost in the details, it had to be something they didn’t have to prove and it had to be strong enough that they would ultimately score free drinks.

“Look,” Tuke said, “If you want to kill something, how about your beloved Uncle Tilk?”

“We killed him already.”

“Yeah, but that was months ago and don’t you remember how he loved to drink and tell jokes and…I loved Uncle Tilk.”

“He wasn’t real.”

“He was real to me,” Tuke said. “And I’ll never forget him. God rest his soul.”

“I’m just not feeling that up tonight,” Hipps said.

The two in invented Free Drink Tuesday about a year and a half ago as a way to have fun, stay edgy and ultimately…cut down on the amount of money they spent on drinks their monthly outings. They liked drinking.

The idea bubbled up between them one night as they worked their way through a number of Couldersville’s prime drinking establishments. It seemed bartenders and servers were generally happy to part with a few free drinks when someone was celebrating something, or trying to get over something.

They tried it themselves and found great success on their birthdays. The problem was they only had two birthdays between them and their birthdays that sat months apart from each other. It hardly provided a regular opportunity for them to score free drinks on a more frequent basis.

It wasn’t until a simple off the cuff remark from Tuke put them on the path to drink prosperity. The moment of realization was still fresh in his mind. Tanya, server extraordinaire at Barker’s Pub on route 33, tipped the scales in their favor.

Hipps was blue, again, and after grabbing their table, Tanya approached.

“Good evening gentlemen,” Tanya said while smiling and placing small napkins before them. “What are you all celebrating tonight?”

Tuke looked at Hipps who looked down at his napkin and wallowed in the eight seconds of silence that passed between them as Tanya looked on.

“He’s depressed,” Tuke said causing Hipps’s head to shoot up. “Yes, he depressed because his girlfriend…his long time girlfriend…his fiancé…of seven years just left him…to join the Marines.”

Another moment of silence passed as Tuke felt Hipps’s glare burn into him. The moment seemed an eternity until Tanya tilted her head to the side, stuck her lower lip out in a pout and said, “Well that is just about the saddest story I’ve heard all day. This first one is on the house.”

Ding! Free Drink Tuesday was born.

Since that moment, and every month since then, they have celebrated various life events well worthy of free drinks including such glorious moments as Tuke’s liberation from his capture by Somalian pirates, buddy colonoscopy, the passing of dear Uncle Tilk, the passing of Whiskers, buddy vasectomy, Tuke’s being stuck by lightning eight times and Hipps’s awakening from a coma that coincided with the passing of the comet Maltese on leap day.

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