Garlic Joe entered and sat down at the bar. He pulled a clove of garlic out of his shirt pocket and began chewing it. The bar cleared.
Someone shouted from a table, “Hey, Joe, made any friends yet?”
“Nope.” Joe did not turn around.
The bartender approached him gingerly. “What’ll ya have?”
“A tap,” Joe said. He pulled out another clove.
The bartender drew the beer and brought it over. “Why do you eat that stuff, Joe?” he asked. “Can’t you see it drives people away?”
“Yep. Got rid of my mother-in-law.”
“I’ll bet your wife too.”
“Probably drove off the kids too,” the man at the table behind him said.
“Nope. Never made any.”
“I’ll bet,” the man behind him said. “No woman would put up with it.”
“No, she never did,” Joe said wistfully. He took a drink from his mug, shaking his head. “She never did.”
Copyright 2014 George Lowell Tollefson