RACCCafe: A Return to the RACCCafe
robrogers72 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 13:41:54 PST 2010
"Are you sure I'm allowed to use the bathroom in here?"
Malcolm asked, as he and Easily-Discovered Man Lite entered
through the swinging doors of the cafe. "I have to go like
a... like a..."
A racehorse at the other end of the bar cocked one
eyebrow and folded his two front legs over his chest.
"...like something that really has to use the
bathroom," Malcolm finished.
"Of course you can," said Lite, nodding to the
bartender as he took a seat at the bar. "Although the
whole place is out of continuity, so you might end up
having to go again as soon as you leave."
"You don't know?" Malcolm asked, placing a white
cardboard pizza box on the bar beside Lite. "I thought
you came in here all the time?"
"I've only been here once," Lite said, unfolding
a copy of the Net.ropolis Daily Observer. "They don't
"But you've been on the 'net since 1993," Malcolm
said. "The last ninja joke you told was at least three
presidential administrations old."
"Doesn't matter," Lite said, his nose buried in the
sports section. "I turned 18 around 1999... or was that
1998? When did 'Birth of a Villain' end?"
"SPOILERS!" the racehorse gasped, clapping his hoofs
over his ears. The bartender rolled his eyes.
"Anyway," Lite said. "It's all part of the Archie
Curse. On the one hand, I'll never be able to order a
drink in a bar, rent a car, or understand the game of
"On the other hand," Malcolm said, "you'll be able
to continue dating high school girls well into the next
decade without anyone thinking it's odd. You're basically
Edward from 'Twilight' without the sparkles."
"You guys ordering, or what?" the bartender asked.
"Mr. Paprika for me," Lite said.
"I'll have the same," Malcolm said. "Listen, whatever
you do, don't let anybody touch the pizza. I'm bringing it
to the Tibetan monastery on the other side of town, and you
know how particular they are."
"I wouldn't give it a second thought," Lite said, as
Malcolm headed for the laboratory and a tall, exceptionally
well-dressed man entered the cafe.
"Jack!" the man said, greeting the bartender. "Love what
you've done with the place. So much better than that dreadful
Chooters franchise we had a few years ago. And... could that
be...Easily-Discovered Man Lite?"
"Obsequious Lad," Lite muttered, giving up the attempt to
hide behind his newspaper.
"It's Obsequious Man these days, old boy. Not all of us are
slaves to the shifting timeline, thank God. But adolescence looks
good on you. It does. Really. So what are you doing these days?
You're not still running around in that comedy series, are you?"
"On occasion," Lite said.
"Oh, well, don't get me wrong," Obsequious Man said.
"People still like comedies, I don't care what the New Yorker
says. Besides, I'm sure something will open up for you. You're
still young, after all. Or is that a sore subject? I never know
what to say these days. I've been so busy, you know, doing all
these postmodern series lately, those meta-meta-meta-metahuman
fictional, or is that metafictional human? I'm sure I don't
know, although it's all very exciting."
The racehorse grumbled something into his tequila.
"Say, is that pizza?" Obsequious Man asked, noticing the
cardboard box on the bar for the first time. "Would anybody
mind if I just helped myself to a slice? It smells divine."
The bartender shook his head. Obsequious Man turned to
Lite, who shrugged.
"Knock yourself out," Lite said, sipping his Mr. Paprika.
A pale light emerged from within the box as Obsequious Man
lifted the lid. Lite covered his face with the newspaper, while
the bartender ducked below the bar. The racehorse placed a pair
of blinders on his head.
Obsequious Man opened the box. A ghastly gray light, a
sickly, shimmering radiance like the hangover of God, flooded
the room, throwing Obsequious Man's face into sharp relief.
"It's...beautiful," he choked, and then disintegrated.
"I think I'll skip the Mr. Paprika after all," Malcolm said,
the breeze from the bathroom door scattering the ash that had
been Obsequious Man throughout the cafe. "You about ready to
"I'd say my work here is done," Lite said, folding up the
newspaper. "Just out of curiosity, what kind of pizza did those
monks order, anyway?"
"The usual," Malcolm said, picking up the pizza as Lite
paid his tab. "They asked me to make them one with everything."
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