(I suppose I should finish this thing up. Here goes folks.)
The Night Larry Downs Went Home (conclusion)
Larry reached out and tapped on my shoulder. "Check it out, man. Looks like trouble."
He nodded toward a corner table where an inebriated guy in a rumpled suit was looming over a tired looking thirty-something woman. As I looked, he was raising his voice over the band.
"Bitch! You slut! Get your hussy ass up outa here and come home."
I couldn't hear her reply, but her drooping head shook from side to side. Too tired to deal with the jerk. The rest of the patrons were keeping a half eye on the scene. Folks come here to kick back and don't take kindly to trouble makers.
"I said you're coming home with me! And right now!" The guy reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small pistol. The whole place went quiet and still. The woman's eyes were wide, more in surprise than fear. I suspect she'd seen the gun brought out before, but only in more private arguments.
Larry leaned over my shoulder. "You know," he whispered, "it says in the Bible that there's no greater gift than to give one's life for one's friends."
"Really? Sorry, I'm not up on the Bible."
"And you a prophet? Yeah, Gospel of John, chapter 15. So what do you think?"
"I don't do prophecy for the big guys. They've got their own prophets. And I don't do scriptures. I get my word straight from the source. As for what I think... is she a friend of yours?"
"Details, details. Never saw her before in my life. Principle should still hold, right?"
I thought about this while dealing with the immediate problem. As soon as people saw the gun wouldn't fire, they would deal with the jerk.
"Well, you're supposed to do good because it's right, not to gain celestial brownie points. But then, Christian theology has never been my strong point. Hell, of of the People's of the Book are opaque to me."
Larry pondered this for a moment as the guy's gestures became more intent. With a shrug, he got up and started over, mumbling "Well, I can probably take him down safely anyway. He's not that big."
Since I knew Larry had a good bit of judo under his belt, I wasn't worried. Gunpowder to talcum powder may not be as impressive as bread and wine to flesh and blood, but it's a lot funnier and more useful under the circumstances. Larry reached the guy and tapped him on the shoulder. Drunk jerk spins around, yells "Fuck off!" and pulls the trigger.
Nada. Drunk looks down at the gun, having pulled the trigger by reflex more than intent but still - it should have fired.
Larry takes the gun away from the guy, looking at it with a frown, and then drops it and puts the guy into an arm bar hold of some kind while someone calls the police. Ten minutes later, it was all a topic of conversation instead of a crisis. Once the woman had finished talking to the police, she came over to thank Larry.
He bought her a beer, had one himself, they talked for a while and eventually, Larry went home with her. His view on virtue having shifted somewhat over the evening.
I just had another beer and wondered what the cops would make of the bullets filled with talcum powder.