74: “It sounds like a German porno”

Gord still hadn’t broken up with Janine. By this point, it had become comical, mostly for people who weren’t Gord. He, meanwhile, was convinced that he would never be able to end things with her. The tears were too much for him to go up against. He would be saddled with her for the rest of his life. They’d have a terrible life together, wrought with tears and poorly sighted dogs. Honestly, Howard the terribly wall-eyed pug was the best part of his inevitable future. He would gladly spend the rest of his life with Howard. They could go for long walks in the park. He could toss balls for Howard to miss completely. It would be lovely. But instead, he would have to spend the rest of his earthly days listening to Janine cry for trivial reasons.

“Maybe I could fake my own death,” Gord suggested forlornly to Finch and Amare one evening.

“I think it’s either that or kill her,” Finch offered, which was incredibly unhelpful.

There was one good thing about dating Janine and that was her unending supportiveness. She thought Gord was amazing for reasons unclear even to Gord. Because of this, she was always trying to help him out when she could. The publishing house she worked for was holding a book launch for one of their latest mystery novels and Janine managed to convince her boss to hire Gord and his choir for the musical entertainment. It was possible Gord had oversold his choir to Janine when they’d first begun dating and he was still trying to impress her. She may have thought it was much more than a church choir of elderly Presbyterians. But she had already asked her boss and her boss had already given the job to Gord and his choir under Janine’s express recommendation. He didn’t even have to audition, which was just as well because he was certain they would not have gotten the job if they had. His star singer was still cross at him for giving a solo to one of the other members, but he had brought in a ringer from a neighbouring United church. Her name was Eunice Bixby and she had the delicate voice of an angel. That at least was what Reverend Thompson had told Gord when he’d called up the church office to ask if any of their choir members would be interested in helping him out for a performance.

Janine  hadn’t given Gord much time to practice or arrange some new numbers for his choir to sing, which largely meant that they were stuck singing a handful of pop tunes from the 1970s and some sturdy hymns. He hoped no one would notice. The only reason they even knew the pop songs from the 1970s was because they had entered a disco-themed singing competition the previous year. They’d come in fourth of five, which wasn’t entirely heartening. On the other hand, they did know the words to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”.

They finished one hour set and stopped for a quick break. Janine’s boss had told them they were allowed to help themselves to the free appetizers and drinks the cocktail hour book launch provided. Eunice Bixby hit the bar unlike anyone Gord had ever seen. He was mildly concerned his star singer was going to return for the second set drunk off her ass. She was wearing a brown velvet suit and two different broaches. Gord himself grabbed six sausage rolls from a nearby waiter, who was weaving their way through the milling crowd, and snuck off to a corner to eat in peace, hopefully undisturbed by Janine. He’d only consumed two of his six sausage rolls when he was approached by a young woman in black. She was wearing a black dress, black tights, black boots, and a black jacket. Even her hair was black.

“This is the weirdest musical entertainment we’ve ever had at one of these things,” she told Gord, who assumed she was an employee. He also assumed she didn’t realize he was the choir director of said musical entertainment.

“You know I’m in the choir,” he told her, clutching onto his sausage rolls in one hand. The pastry was leaving buttery flakes on his palm and fingers. He hadn’t taken a napkin so he was either going to have to wipe them off on his nice dress pants, which would be uncouth, or lick them off, which would be both uncouth and disgusting.

“Yeah, that’s why I’m telling you,” she replied. “Was that ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ earlier?”

It was. It had been followed by a rousing rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”.

“Possibly,” was Gord’s evasive response.

“So yes then.”

“Yes.”

There was a slight pause. Gord contemplated whether or not he could continue eating his fistful of sausage rolls while she was with him. Considering it would likely involve him shoving more than one sausage roll in his mouth at a time, he figured he maybe shouldn’t.

“You can eat your handful of pastry-wrapped meat, by the way,” she told him after another minute. Gord turned to her in surprise. She laughed at him. “I’m not psychic. You’ve just got a handful of sausage I assume you want to eat. Also, I really want to see you try to eat that.”

Gord hesitated for a moment, not sure he wanted to eat his fistful of sausage roll in front of her now. He was feeling rather self-conscious. She was very beautiful and he felt he’d already made enough of a fool of himself.

“Do you think ‘handful of sausage’ is the best euphemism or the corniest?” She asked just as he had decided he was going to eat the sausage rolls after all. He had raised his hand slightly, but he let it drop at that. She laughed at him again.

“It sounds like a German porno,” he offered. “Oktoberfest-themed.”

“Lederhosen can be very sexy,” she replied. He decided to throw out his fistful of sausage rolls. He moved toward the garbage and she followed him.

“Oh no! Not the sausage rolls!” She cried in fake anguish before changing her voice about an octave higher and squeakier, presumably so that she could imitate sausage rolls more effectively. “‘Help us! We just want to be eaten! We were made to be eaten! Release us from your sweaty fist! Let us fulfill our destinies!’”

Gord stood in front of the garbage can with his closed hand raised above the opening, laughing to himself and trying to work out what he should do with the fucking sausage rolls. He turned to glare at her, but he was still laughing so it probably wasn’t very effective.

“Goddamn!” He exclaimed, still laughing. “What the hell am I supposed to do with the sausage rolls?”

“Did you not hear them?” She asked, feigning innocence.

“You’re the worst,” he told her, but he didn’t really mean it and he was still laughing so he was sure she could tell he didn’t mean it.

“Also, if you don’t know what to do with the sausage, get the hell out of this German porno,” she added. He could feel himself blushing.

“Screw it,” he said, before chucking his fistful of sausage rolls into the garbage can so that he wouldn’t waste any more of his life racked with indecision over a couple of hor d’oeuvres.

“Noooooo!” She cried in her tiny sausage voice as the food hit the bottom of the trashcan. Gord bit the bullet and wiped his flakey palm on his pant leg.

“There? You happy now?” He asked her.

“Why would I be happy about that?” She returned. “So many tiny sausage people lost their purpose in life today. And if we don’t have a purpose, what do we have?”

“The attention of strangers who make it impossible for you to eat your snacks?” Gord suggested in reply. She laughed at him.

“I’m Bobby,” she introduced herself.

“Gord.”

“You have a very nice mustache, Gord,” she replied. “So few men go for mustaches nowadays. It’s a travesty.”

“I can’t tell if you’re mocking me,” he admitted, narrowing his eyes at her suspiciously.

“I would never mock someone over a mustache,” she returned indignantly, but he still couldn’t tell if it was genuine or not.

He spent the rest of his break with Bobby, laughing about sausage rolls and German pornography until it came time for him to return to his choir for their second set. Later that evening, part way through Eunice’s solo in “Disco Inferno”, Gord caught Bobby’s eye in the crowd. She was watching him, grinning, and holding up two sausage rolls that she was making dance. Gord nearly choked on the opening of the chorus trying not to laugh.

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