“Just hop in Lolita, and tell Sam the Man all your problems,” Sam said, leaning out of his car window and unleashing a toothy smile.

Sam and Whit have been best friends since Sam threw a live frog at Whit in second grade. Sam named his car Lolita because it’s eleven-years-old and a tease; it never started the first time you tried.

“You can’t refer to yourself as Sam the Man if no one else calls you Sam the Man. Also, I’ve lost my sense of smell.” Whit said, swooping in to Sam’s huge Buick Regal.

Sam stared at him in stunned silence before quickly shaking his head.

“Wait, what? How? Maybe you have nose cancer, they’re gonna have to amputate that schnoz of yours. You could look like Voldemort!” Sam shouted excitedly.

“Don’t use the dark lord’s name so casually,” Whit said, shuddering. “I suffered from some head trauma a couple of weeks ago and my sense of smell faded away.”

“What kind of head trauma? Like flipping off a dirt bike during a stunt kind of head trauma?”

“No, a different kind. I sort of…fell off my bed,” Whit said, trying to keep his eyes fixed on the road.

Sam whipped his head to the right, mouth agape, and whipped it back to the road, swallowing a laugh.

“Are you going to get it back?” He asked. “Your sense of smell, I mean, not your dignity.”

“The doctor told me I could start smelling again spontaneously, as for my dignity-”

Before Whit could finish his sentence, Sam whipped into a parking space and slammed on his breaks in front of a building with bright red neon letters that spelled out ‘Sharp Shooters.’

Sharp Shooters is a pool hall that Sam and Whit had yet to play pool at. It was full with old biker men whose faces match the texture of their leather jackets, and bleach-blonde girls in their twenties with the voices of seventy-year-old chain smokers. They figured that this was the only place in town where they could be the most attractive guys in the room.

They sat at the bar, and the bartender, an older woman named Birdie, shuffled over and gave them two cans of root beer.

“Thank you Birdie,” Sam said. “I must say, you’re looking quite ravishing today.”

“Call me when you aren’t old enough to be my grandson,” she replied with a wink and walked to the other end of the bar to refill the beers of a drunken couple cooing at each other.

Sam followed a blonde girl wearing head-to-toe black leather and bright red lipstick with his eyes as she walked past the bar and he sighed deeply.

“I bet that girl would love a piece of Sam the Man, but sadly, girls who wear red lipstick are not to be trusted,” he reverted his eyes back to Whit, “too unpredictable.”

“If you keep calling yourself Sam the Man you will end up alone in your parent’s basement surrounded by newspapers from the fifties and empty cans of sardines,” Whit said, pulling the tab off his soda can and dropping it in his root beer.

“Well the joke’s on you because my parents don’t even have a basement.”

A band finished setting up their instruments on the small stage in the corner of the pool hall, and introduced themselves as The Fist-faces. The lead singer proceeded to scream-sing into the microphone about a girl named Tiffany and how she broke his heart.

“Well, you don’t have to be able to smell to know that’s crap music,” Sam said. “Let’s get out of here.”

On the highway, a black Escalade cut Sam off and he hit the brakes so hard Whit’s face smashed into the dashboard, causing his nose to spurt with blood.

Whit’s mom was a legal secretary turned late-blooming hippie who had a knack for turning delicious food disgusting. Tonight she made patchouli and tofu lasagna for dinner, and to Whit’s delight, it smelled awful. He ate seconds.

Related Stories

More from Jillian Price/ Contributing Writer

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In Arts_and_life

Maha Qadri Magazine Editor

In the midst of light shows, art exhibits and spectators, a dancer and a violinist put on a performance that…