The bar was empty but for Hal and a young couple over at a corner table. Rick, the bartender, was drying the last load of glasses that had gone through the dishwasher down at Hal’s end of the bar. He dried each glass till it squeaked and then slid it base-first, upside down into slots above the bar.
“That is an amazing invention, Rick,” said Hal. He indicated the slots. “Where would you have room for all of those glasses if not for that?”
“Exactly,” said Rick.
“Admirable in its simplicity.”
Rick shrugged. “Works for me.”
“Probably busy tonight with all these trade show stooges?”
“Yeah, we had a pretty fair crowd.”
“I figured,” said Hal, nodding. “That’s why we’re here.”
“Where’s your company from?”
“The Big Smoke. Buying or selling?”
“Selling.” He raised his glass to Rick. “And lots of it, I hope.” He took a sip of his scotch.
“Are you the only one here from your company?”
“No, we’ve got a whole team here.”
“And they left you down here by yourself? Cruel bunch.”
“I’m here because I can’t sleep. You see, I’m the CEO, and of course they all blame the boss for everything. When it comes right down to it, they’re all sleeping soundly while I’m up worrying.”
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