Andy Castro was the kind of guy who could blow through a thousand bucks in half an hour, and then live on his last twenty for week. Either way, he always seemed to be biting on a cigar with a plastic tip. I don't think I ever saw him light one.
I met him at DelFino's Grill. That's what the place is called, although you'd have to be an idiot to order food there. But nobody can screw up pouring whiskey from a bottle, and at DelFino's if you asked for it neat, they tended to pour a lot so it wouldn't look so lonely by itself in the glass.
"That's a smart hat," Andy told me when I sat at the bar next to him.
"Thanks." I had on my favorite brown fedora. I wasn't the original owner, and it was showing some wear after 50 years. I still thought it was a pretty smart hat, myself.
"You don't see those anymore," Andy said, taking the unlit cigar out of his mouth to take a bite from his cheeseburger. "Hey, Angie, this burger's all right!" Andy's hat was a Tommy Bahama refugee from the 90's that had probably once been white.
"Jack Daniel's, neat," I told Angie.
"You want that on the rocks?"
"No, neat," I said.
"He means he don't want nothin' in it," Andy roared, still chewing a tough mouthful of burnt hamburger.
Angie poured me half a rocks glass full of bourbon. I sipped it, and noticed Andy was watching me.
"You play Quick Draw?" he asked me.
"It's just an extra tax, on people who are bad at math."
"Oh, I see. Well you look like a smart guy, I bet you're good at math, huh?"
"I'm not bad at it," I said.
"Right. Hey, you want some advice from an old man?"
"Not really," I said, turning back to my drink.
"Good," Andy said, nodding approval, " 'cause sometimes it seems everybody who comes in this place wants my advice, and ain't none of it good. But you know what?"
"They always take it," Andy said. He scooped ketchup with a limp french fry.
"Hey, Angie, these fries stink! You ever change the oil in that thing?"
"Screw you, Andy."
This story is Completely Fabricated
Of Action and Ambition
5 days ago