Dan’s apartment was pretty nice for a bachelor pad. The furniture was a mahogany leather and the accessories actually went with the decor except for what looks like a mutated elephant hit with a melting ray that sat prominently to one side of the ebony table in front of the couch. The focus of the living room was the eighty-four inch flat screen equipped with the best surround sound system available. The whole system had all the bells and whistles, and maybe a conga drum thrown in. That’s why it was almost comical that all this technology was being used to blast the Muppet Movie in all its theatrical glory.
An open pizza box took up the other half of the ebony table. Dan reached in and took the second to last slice. After opening his beer bottle he placed the bottle opener back into the elephant.
Ruthie looked amused by the whole show. “Why do you keep that? It is so ugly.”
Dan looked at it from a few different angles. “It’s not ugly. It has character. It’s an important piece of art.”
“Yeah right,” Ruthie said. “When did I make that? When I was eight?”
Dan thought about it for a second. “Ten, but who’s counting. It’s perfect for holding my treasures.”
Ruthie started to count off the contents. “It holds your bottle opener, a backup set of car keys, and a ticket stub from a Bon Jovi concert that you didn’t go to because of a snow storm.”
“Exactly. So what’s your point?” Dan asked.
Ruthie sighed. “Not exactly something people would be breaking in to steal.”
Dan took a bite of pizza. He responded with his mouth still full. “Without that bottle opener you wouldn’t be enjoying your little treat.”
Ruthie held up her almost empty bottle. “Yeah, well it’s not my fault you don’t have anything else to drink.”
“Well, just remember this is a once a year thing,” said Dan. “You know how much trouble I can get for serving a minor?”
“Unless you’re going to arrest yourself I don’t think you need to worry.” Ruthie went back to watching the movie.
Dan thought about what she said. He tilted his head and smiled. “Maybe I should do just that. I have the right to remain silent.”
Ruthie gave him a harsh look. “Please do. I’m trying to watch a movie here.”
“This isn’t a movie, Dan said. “It’s legalized torture.”
“This is a classic,” Ruthie countered.
Dan waved his finger in front of her. “No, no, no. Casablanca is a classic.”
Ruthie scrunched her nose. “Casablanca is just old.”
Dan was at a loss for words and stared back at the TV. After about thirty more seconds he had had enough. “Why don’t we do something else? Want to go pull over speeders?”
“But we have three more movies to go after this,” Ruthie pointed out. “You don’t want to miss Who Shot Roger Rabbit. That at least is a murder mystery.”
“I’m vice, not homicide,” Dan said. “Besides tomorrow I need to get up early.”
Ruthie gave a rough laugh. “That means before noon. Stop being such an old grump”
Dan took a throw pillow and tested it for its namesake. Ruthie almost spilled her beer dodging it. “That’s better,” Ruthie said. “You should let the inner child out more.”
“Where did you hear that?” Dan asked incredulously.
“On Jerry Springer,” Ruthie said.
Dan shook his head in disbelief. “Tell Jerry when you see him that my inner child ran away from home a long time ago.”