Camels                                                                 GREEN  12.3

      The hour is still early when Lex and Stan make their way unsteadily to the DownUnder, and upon entering, to their great surprise, it's none other than Red sitting in the captain’s seat at the head of the bar. He has returned from his brief, uh, sabbatical. Not only that, but Red's Wife is also in the house, a commanding presence on the left side of the bar. No one has ever seen the two of them together in the same location before. Actually, they don't really appear to be together tonight, they seem to be here separately.
      Red is chatting up a ungainly brunette that Stan has seen wandering around the town on occasion. She appears teary-eyed and more than a little wasted. She is talking to Red in wet whispers, head-to-head, creating a little private zone for the two of them. Disturbingly, the girl seems to find Red quite comforting.
      Red looks as though he has lost a fair amount of weight, maybe as much as twenty pounds, and he appears to be freshly scrubbed. As a matter of fact, Red looks much better than anyone would ever have expected. He is the picture of health. His clothes are not only new, but also somewhat stylish, and furthermore they fit him. His beard is nicely trimmed, and wait, is that a diamond earring that he's wearing?

      There is more than one good show to watch tonight.
      Around the corner by the jukebox, Red's Wife is also working on a love connection. She is totally slammed, and has a frightened young man constrained by the loops of his jeans. He looks like he may have walked into the joint by mistake. He is perhaps twenty-three, slight, blond hair in a collegiate cut, his face panicked. He keeps glancing around the room, as though he is searching for someone to rescue him. It is possible that he had friends when he first walked in, but they’ve all abandoned him now.
      Susan and Melinda are sitting at a small wobbly table pushed over into the corner. It's nine-fifteen and the band will be coming on soon. The little table they've chosen is a fine spot to sit. There won’t be much of a view of the band, but it has a good sight line of the bar, where the real entertainment promises to be taking place. It’s a two ring circus, Red and Red's Wife. This could be explosive. This could be hilarious - hell, this already is hilarious. That's precisely the reason Melinda picked this table in the first place - it's the perfect seat for spying.
      Lex imagines that the girls have been anxiously waiting on him to show up and give them a report on his session with Stan, but Susan and Melinda seem to be having a grand time without his assistance. They can see every inch of Red, who is now sitting with his back against the bar, legs spread wide, with the brunette occupying the space in between. He is doing something odd with the girl’s hair. What the hell is he doing, anyway? He's got a long strand of her hair and it looks like he's trying to clean his fingers with it.
      Unfortunately for Susan and Melinda, their seats only allow them to see Red's Wife from the waist up, which is a bummer. If something really neat starts to happen, they're going to have to stand up and crane their necks for a better view. Maybe they should ask her to move to the other side of the bar.

      Selar walks cautiously into the DownUnder. Wow, what a scene this is! The place is much as he had imagined, although smaller and much louder than what he has been led to expect of bars from what he’s seen on television. The room is full of happy looking people smoking cigarettes and having a good time. It is dark enough for Selar to feel that he can blend right in. The room is simultaneously scary and exciting to him.

      Susan sees Stan before he spots her, and she studies his face for signs of change before she speaks. He looks pretty wasted, but he’s grinning, and that gives her cause to be hopeful. She can't help but notice that Stan and Lex are in need of a little additional stimulation. The Bear Farts seem to have made them somewhat sluggish. She orders coffee for Lex - Okay Lex, an Irish Coffee -and pulls Stan over to her side.
      "Stan" she says, smiling sweetly and discretely placing a small vial of coke in his palm, "would you mind putting this away in the car for me? I’m parked out in back. Careful. It's pretty outrageous."

      What a good girl! Stan gets a big old goofy smile on his face as he heads out to the parking lot.
       ‘Di Duh Doo Da, Dida Dida Doo Da’ he hums on his way outside. He just can’t help himself. ‘Brandy, you’re a fine girl. What a good wife you would be…’ What sort of crap is this going through my head, Stan wonders. 'Brandy' by The Looking Glass? Insidious bubble gum music performed by Belgians? On the other hand, who cares? As he opens the car door and unscrews the lid of the vial, Stan is singing out loud. 'But my life, my love and my lady, is the sea'.

      ‘Di Duh Doo Da, Dida Dida Doo Da’.

      "Hooray," Susan whispers to Melinda. "I think that Stan is back to normal."
      "Lex rules," whispers Melinda.
      “I rule,” says Lex.

      Selar finds a tiny unclaimed space with a stool, right behind the cash register, beside the sturdy thigh of Red's Wife. He politely says hello and she glares at him. He quickly pops a couple of Tic-Tacs.
      Selar orders a Coke. He would like to take part in everything that's a part of America, as drinking surely is, but he doesn't want to have to drink an alcoholic beverage just yet. Will that be all right?
      It scares Selar sometimes when he encounters a drunken citizen in line at the store. These people were capable of snapping out at him at any time, for any crazy reason. In what way was it his fault if a customer were to select a Quarter Pounder Big Bite that was a bit too overdone? Some people like them that way. They buy them special.
      Selar thinks that it should be okay for him to just drink a soda. But merciful heavens, two dollars for a Coke? He could get a Super Big Gulp for less than that, and keep the cup.
      Selar opens the tin of Camel Turkish Jade Menthol Lights and sets them prominently on the bar top. The handsome camel faces the ceiling. Selar lights one and lets it slowly burn down in the ashtray. He still doesn't smoke, but he has nineteen more for sharing with any potential friend in need.


      Red's brunette is named Dora. Red now knows this because he has just called her Laura and had his face slapped for the mistake. It is a gesture from another era, but coming from Dora it seems somehow appropriate. Now she is crying real tears, and Red is clumsily trying to calm her down. He needs to convince her to stay with him a little while longer, at least until his wife leaves, or faced deadly embarrassment. Red buys her a shot of the bar’s finest tequila. Which is not really all that fine.
      The band begins to play. They are a fairly grizzled looking group, kind of like Concrete Blond gone tragically wrong. However, a bar band cannot afford to focus solely on appearances. They must live or die by their chops, so as is the custom of the Tsunami Peters Band, they kick off the evening with their biggest crowd pleaser, 'Mustang Sally'. It’s not the worst version you’ve ever heard. They plan to play it again later in their final set.

      Red's Wife grabs her terrified young captive and pulls him out onto the center of the dance floor. She pushes her leg hard into his crotch, and really starts to grind her thigh. She is wearing a yellow plastic rain parka, hood on, with ragged cutoffs underneath. She catches Melinda's eye for just a moment, and something flashes between them. Melinda holds Red's Wife in the twilight between contempt and fascination. There is starlight lurking in those eyes, and so much more. Stars eating stars.

     Stan returns from the parking lot, wide eyed and considerably more alert. "Wha'd I miss?" he shouts. Wow, that sounded loud. Stan is begining to face the fact that he has been fairly awful to be around lately. No fun at all.
    “You’re missing everything,” says Susan, pointing her index finger at Red, and nodding her head in the direction of the dreaded Red’s Wife.
    “Come on, Stan, we need to get up and dance so we can have a better view of the whole panorama. Red’s Wife is on a shark attack out there. We have to go watch now. Come.” Melinda joins them on the floor. It feels a little sticky.
      The three dance in a triangular formation, slowly circling clockwise so that at any given time two of them will be able to watch Red’s Wife and one of them will be able to keep an eye on Red. Lex is happily assessing the situation from his seat, nodding his head in time to the music. He has always liked ‘Mustang Sally’. Lex is thinking that he sure does have a lot of fun with this little group. Good guys, not like those weasels at work. Wonder what Connie would think of them… Not much, probably.
      Lex picks a new project,  shifting his attention to studying the way that Red restricts his eyes from moving within ninety degrees of the direction of his wife. What an asshole. That prick threatened me. He's dead meat. I’ll kick his ass. One of these days, I’ll do just that. Look at that sucker with his ugly girlfriend. He’s afraid to move his eyes in his wife’s direction, even when she's out there creating a scene.
      Fascinating thing to watch. Red has a red zone. Lex can’t wait to tell the others about this.
      Red's Wife has pushed her young gentleman friend up against her bar stool, and she commences dry humping him, slamming him hard against the rail. People are pointing and loudly hooting. Red sees nothing. Cindy frowns and looks undecidedly at the phone. Time to call upstairs?
      Selar keeps getting bumped around from the action, and one particularly hard jolt causes him to knock over his soda. The cola floods the bar and runs down the flank side, where it is quickly absorbed by the unfortunate young man's khakis.
      Oh no, Selar thinks, I've called unwanted attention to myself.
      Cindy approaches Selar - oh dear, they are going to ask me to leave in disgrace. Cindy looks at Red's Wife, makes a face, and apologizes to Selar for the incident. This is a remarkable turn of events. It gives Selar the opportunity to practice accepting an apology.
      "No, it is really my fault. I should have been more attentive to the things that were going on around me."
      "Aren't you sweet," Cindy says. "I'd be pissed off if that happened to me. I'm going to throw that bitch out on her ass just as soon as I get you another drink.  A real one. On me, okay."
      Selar says okay, even though there were several parts of Cindy’s response that he most assuredly did not properly understand.
      Cindy tops a glass off with ice, fills it halfway up from a square brown bottle with a black and white label on it, and then completes it with a frothy stream of Coca Cola. Whatever this drink is, it is most delicious. Selar decides that he will ask Cindy what the special flavoring is at his next opportunity.

      ‘Mustang Sally’ may not be the world’s most romantic song, but holy cow, look at the passionate effect that it's having on the Red family. Red is nuzzling away with Dora, while Susan is going into hysterics watching the young man struggle with Red's Wife. The crazy woman has him totally crushed against the bar and is roughly fondling his crotch. He looks like he's getting ready to scream. Whether it’s in pleasure or pain is hard to gauge. The song ends, and Red's Wife grabs his balls for a hard squeeze. He makes a shrill gasping sound as she takes him by the shoulders and pushes him into a nearby table, yelling "Get the fuck away from my seat."
      Huh oh, trouble, table #3 is down, resulting in a group of newly dissatisfied customers. Cindy has been expecting something like this. She may have waited a little too long before acting, but now she quickly calls upstairs for Wallace to come down and help control the situation.
      The band has momentarily paused, watching the unfolding drama, unsure about launching into another song. Cindy yells out ‘Play!’, and they break into an unconvincing and ill-advised version of 'Bad to the Bone'.
      Lex has been forced by these recent events to rise to his feet. He really has no choice since he can't see enough of the action from where he’s sitting. He suddenly realizes that he has moved up to within punching distance of Red, and quickly takes another two paces forward. Incredibly, Red has still not looked in the direction of Red's Wife.
      Susan, Melinda, and Stan have dispensed with any pretense of dancing at this point. They are at front row central. Melinda runs back to the table to grab her drink. "Hurry on up" she tells Lex in passing.
      Selar is very much enjoying his Jack and Coke, as well as all of the lively entertainment. This is the most interesting place. He is certainly glad that he came here tonight.
      Cindy no longer has the luxury of waiting for Wallace to arrive. She must spring into action. She tells Red's Wife to leave right now or she's calling the cops. She is banned from the DownUnder forever.
      Red's Wife looks demonic. She stares hard at Cindy as she finishes up her drink, dribbling a little beer from the corner of her mouth and allowing it to roll down off her chin. She slowly stands back up from her recently reclaimed seat and pulls a wrinkled twenty out of her back pocket, throwing it down on the bar. That's awfully nice, Cindy thinks, people are usually reluctant to pay their tab when you kick them out, and they so seldom leave a tip. Then in a heartbeat, Red's Wife is over in front of Red, eyes shooting out yellow flaming fingers. She yanks the brunette from between Red’s legs and twists her around by an exposed bra strap.
      "Did you call me a lesbian?" she bellows. The band stops playing and the room stands still. “You called me a lesbian, didn't you bitch?”
      Before the startled girl has a chance to say ‘I beg your pardon’, Red's Wife has punched her soundly in the nose. Wallace comes running down the stairs just in time to stop the second blow, catching her fist in mid-air. Like Red, Red’s Wife knows her limits. This guy is way too big for her to mess with.
      Wallace is roughly pushing Red's Wife through the crowd - everyone's excited and on their feet by now - and as they are passing by the band she executes a quick spin away from Wallace and heads for the drummer. The drummer is in somewhat of a stupor, but still fully capable of playing. He freezes in time and space as she jerks his snare drum right off the stand and runs back to the bar with it. People are starting to abandon their checks and leaving in a fairly steady stream. Red's Wife is standing in front of the brunette, what’s-her-name, who is cowering and crying hysterically now, blood running down from her nose and dripping on to her baby pink tank top.
     You can tell what cartoon is taking place in the head of Red's Wife. It’s the one where the drum comes crashing down and the head pokes out of the other side with little stars dancing up above. Modern drumheads being quite resilient, however, the snare bounces off the poor girls head and goes flying through the air, where it lands in the middle of the only large table still occupied. Drinks are flying everywhere, sent hurtling into space at close to the speed of light. It is chaos. Stan barely suppresses a smile.
     Red's Wife is so totally busted. Cindy has called the police, and half a dozen of the remaining regulars have joined Wallace in constraining Red's Wife and carting her outside by the arms and legs to wait for the cruisers. She is shouting garbled curses at the top of her lungs.
      Lex has helpfully joined in on the transport team. He imagines that when he returns to the table, he will sit there smugly and wait until someone absolutely begs him to tell what happened with Red's Wife after the cops arrived. This will entail at least three fingers of their finest scotch. Or Johnny Walker. Or whatever the hell they've got.
      Whoa, thinks Red, looking up and around, she’s really has emptied the place.      I hate that bitch. I fucking hate that bitch. Goddamit!
      Red is now free to survey the whole 360 degrees of the DownUnder. He turns and scans. Tarnation! She’s cleared the fuckin place! Red's brunette had walked out moments earlier, sobbing and clutching the arm of a girlfriend who was going to give her a ride home. No one would have really expected Red to provide transportation. He had the best seat at the bar.
      Over in the corner, Stan notices the young man in the cola flavored pants who had been molested by Red's Wife. He is talking excitedly to a dark haired woman who has four inches, thirty-eight pounds, and twenty-five years on him. It takes all kinds.

      Susan is getting a little over-excited. This is too much fun! Everyone else that remains in the bar has been keeping a respectfully shocked volume, but Susan is howling, and then Stan starts in, and within a few seconds everybody is laughing riotously. 
      Regardless of the other possible consequences from tonight’s actions, at least there are seats now available at the bar. Lex moves up to a stool as soon as he walks back in the door, Melinda goes up to join him, and Stan and Susan soon follow. Lex has just returned from his heroic vigil on Mill street. Oh boy, does he ever have some good stories to tell.
      Stan realizes that this is the absolute best time he's had since 907, the night he drank Lex's whiskey as they developed the operating principles for Fungal Propagation. That was a trip, Cindy delivering round after round, Patrick and Riley popping by with fresh plates of chicken wings and potato skins. He and Lex had built something brand new from scratch. It was a useless idea, but what the hey, it had been fun.
      Stan had never gotten to see Lex's finished briefing, but many others had. It was a rather intense composition in it’s own way. Arrows flowing, titles dissolving. Most people would never be able to comprehend it as a true thing of beauty.
      Rangler, just for a laugh, had sent copies to a few of his cronies who had cronies of their own, and before long half the people in Lex's section were chuckling over their own personal hard copy.
      There were other people who had seen the briefing and had found it not so much amusing as intriguing. Stan would freak if he knew that Lex had met with a couple of gentlemen from the State Department - they had come to see him - and on the spot he had been offered a job with a promotion and a staff and a secretary. Lex would have a significant position in the Knowledge Management section at State. They were a little bit vague on exactly what the job entailed. Lex fully intended, as he had been requested, to keep the entire matter to himself. No one had a need know about the contact. After all, there was no way on earth that Lex would have actually accepted this job, with its added gravitas and uncertain responsibilities. That wasn’t the point. It was all about the validation of his art.

      Stan orders a round of beers for the folks around the bar. There's just his group, Vicky, two scruffy guys he's never seen before, the guy from the Seven-Eleven, and oops, there’s Red. He’s still here?
      "Thanks for the drink, man" mumbles Red, barely looking Stan's way. Red is very red, lobster-hued.
      "Sure. Sorry about your old lady."
      The red goes up another notch. He is boiling. "She's not my old lady."
      "Okay, Red." Stan thinks about the possibility of antagonizing Red for a little while. He decides not to take the risk, and whispers to Cindy "You think you could've kicked her butt?"
      "Hell no" says Cindy emphatically. "Red's Wife would have eaten me alive."
      "I'm talking about Red's brunette." They both start giggling and they do try hard to hold it in, but it’s futile, they're snorting and snarkling and it's gotten Red's attention and he's glaring in their direction. Nobody has to paint him a picture. He knows they're talking about him.
      Red downs his beer in four long glugs and holds his stare for a long time, so everybody just goes ‘doo dee doo dee doo, how bout those Redskins, I think this year yeah yeah looks like the only ones gonna be getting anthrax all have blah blah blah some common ground, yeah, doo dee doo dee doo, see that Viper ain't that a beauty yeah yeah well everybody does love Raymond, how could you not blah blah blah…’
      And the storm slowly passes.
      "Can ya get me another beer Cindy? When you get the time." Red is mumbling to himself, but rather loudly. Worthless bartenders.
      Cindy is not listening. The Tsunami Peters Band have her surrounded. They are mucho upseto,
comprende?  During the excitement, the bass drum has been kicked in and someone has made off with the hi-hat. Somebody had better make this right.
      “I think your music just got my customers too excited, guys”, Cindy tells them. “You’re going to have to hold it down if you play here again.”
      Four new customers drift in from the street, peeking in tentatively, a bit spooked by the blue laser lights flashing from the three county cop cars parked out front. Cindy tells the new patrons that there will be no live music tonight, the band was just too wild. The four look at the instruments sitting on the stage, and think that they are being disrespected by the DownUnder. They skulk back outside, quiet and shame-faced.
      Well, this was fun while it lasted. There must be something else to do now. They’re going to have to move on out and find it. Don't want to sit down here with old Red all night. Get it on - Stan's back - it's a party night.
      "You know," slurs Lex, and then stops, having lost the thought.
      "You know what?" asks Melinda. Her cheeks are flush with excitement and her dark eyes sparkle. Her hair is damp at the temples. "You know what, Lex?" she repeats.
      "You know, I'd really like to see those Zombies that you guys were talking about last week." Lex's time frame is a bit off, but his heart is in the right place. The days have melded into one endless week for him.
      "Zombies?" says Susan, as she slowly transforms into a slow-witted flesh-eating creature from Hell.
      "Zombies?" says Melinda, the color draining out of her face, as her eyes sink back into her head.
      "Come on guys, stay. Another round on me," says Cindy. "Don't leave me here now. The place is almost empty." The two strangers have gone, as has Vicky. Cindy doesn't want to be stuck here with Red and the Seven-Eleven dude. The cops are still doing paperwork outside and there’s a scarcity of souls brave enough to venture in.
      Aww, shit. Cindy has been stuck here before with Red on an empty night. Sullen, morose, silent except for when he needs something - a change of the channel, another drink. She would offer to buy him a big ass drink, anything he wanted, if he would just get out so she could close up early.
      In reality, Red felt very protective of Cindy, a fact that no one, particularly Cindy, was aware of. To Red, she looked too frail to be tending this bar alone. Anything could happen, even if she did pack heat. After eleven, even Wallace was gone for the night, so there was no potential help upstairs. Oh yeah, Cindy could protect herself, Red gave her credit for that, but things could get out of hand around here after midnight. On a certain level, Red felt that he was staying to protect her.
      "Close it on down Cindy" says Stan, knowing that she can't. "Close it down and you can come with us."
      "I'll take the free drink" says Red.
      "Fuck you," Cindy says to Red. "This is my biggest tip night of the week and your wife just trashed the place. Don't you need to go bail her out or something?"
      "She's still outside," says Red, pointing to the door where blue slashes of light are still reflecting off the door window. "And she ain’t my fuckin wife."

     Red gives a blank glance across the bar just as Stan and Susan begin to walk out. Lex and Melinda have already slipped away through the back door.
      "Heyheyhey, y'all aren't already leavin, are ya?" Red says. It's like they're supposed to be friends or something. Susan is flagrantly rolling her eyes as Stan tells Red that they have to go back to his place and meet with some of his business associates.
      Red, having not been born yesterday, knows that this really means Melinda, that sexy little thing. And probably that guy Ex. And God knows who else. That goddamn Ex, how come he gets to waltz into town and all of a sudden he's such hot shit?
      Red knows the score. He's got eyes and ears. He knows they're heading off to watch 'Night of the Living Dead'. He would really like to have been invited over to Stan's place to watch the damn movie. Hell, he likes Zombies. Who doesn't?
      Red frowns at all the empty stools surrounding him, then moves across the bar to claim a seat with a real good view of Cindy's behind. She bends over the sink across from him as she collects and rinses the beer mugs. Fine ass. He could look at that all night.

      And lookie who's sitting here right beside him. Red hadn't even noticed the turd when he was sitting in the center square. It's that friggin towelhead from the Seven-Eleven, that's who it is. Whoo, boy. Ain't he cool? Ain't he a fine looking piece of shit, all dressed up in fancy black clothes, wearin sunglasses at night. Faggot's even got an American flag pinned on his shirt collar. That definitely ain't right. That piece of Arab garbage, wearing a flag. He should feed that flag to the fucker. Sonofabitch is probably sending Osama all the pennies from the Diphtheria jar on the store counter.
      What to do, what to do, a potential confrontation...
      Understandable. An ass kicking is really quite warranted in this type of situation. It's unbelievable what's going down in this country nowadays. Ever since Clinton, they've let these foreigners come in and run around free and wild. They're all sneaking through the cracks, like cockroaches. You can't just sit there and let them get a foothold. Canada, Florida, Mexico. It's high time to seal up all those borders, seal them up nice and tight. But that still doesn't take care of the ones already on the inside.
      Red is sitting in the seat previously occupied by Red's Wife. Red feels much more thoughtful these days, after his cleansing period, high on the mountaintops. He remembers the flares. He has seen things lesser men could not even begin to comprehend. He no longer feels the need to react automatically to other people's words. He's a cool thinker. Now he allows himself more time to simmer over the questionable things he encounters. He is less likely to boil over unexpectedly. There is pleasure to be taken in planning. Certain things take time to come clearly into focus. Certain thoughts take longer to congeal.

      Red turns to Selar, tips his hat, and says "Howzit goin?"
      Selar recognizes Red as the angry man from the store. He remembers that he is not supposed to like him; the man has snapped out at him for no reason at all, but honestly, he is having such a good time tonight, he's more than willing to let it all pass. Water under the bridge, as Mohammed would have said. The DownUnder is such an entertaining place. Red is somebody additional that he can talk to.
      "Things are going very well for me," says Selar. "I am having quite an enjoyable time. What did you think of the big fight? I tell you, that was a most frightening woman."
      "Fight, huh? Must've missed it. Probably up in the John."
      Up in the john? What might that mean?
      "Oh no no. You could not possibly have missed it. You were sitting right over there, in the middle of it all." Selar points to Red's previous seat, now occupied by some punk with orange streaked hair. New customers are starting to drift in, surprised at all the empty stools.
      "The frightening woman hit your lady friend right in the face, and bounced a drum off the top of her head."
      "Oh yeah. Yeah. I do seem to remember that."
      My goodness, it certainly takes a lot to impress these Americans.
      "What's this you're smoking?" Red picks up the green tin of Camels.
      "These are Camel Turkish Jade Menthol Lights. They are brand new on the market. I think the box is most remarkable."
      Red removes one and lights it. "Don't mind if I try one, do you?"
      Selar doesn't mind. He brought them to share.
      Red studies the tin. "That's a good looking camel they got on here. I bet they got plenty of camels back where you come from."
      "No no, I have never seen a real camel before. I believe that most camels live in the Middle East and in Africa."
      'Yeah, right buddy,' Red thinks. 'You lying sack of shit'.
      Lies and deception. Misdirection. Treachery.

      Red has a plan. It's not a terribly sophisticated plan, but he does have a plan.
      "Hey Cindy, I wanna buy my friend here a Long Island Ice Tea".
      "That drink does not contain alcohol, does it?" Selar asks cautiously. "I do not drink alcohol. That is my personal decision." Selar is finishing his second Jack and Coke, and feeling a bit light-headed from it. He is worried that his statement might be misconstrued as rude. This gentleman is buying me a beverage, he thinks. It would be impolite to refuse.
      "Alcohol? Nah. You heard me. It's ice tea. The same kind they drink in Long Island. That's in New York, little buddy."
      "Well then, thank you very much. My name is Selar. What is yours?"
      "You can call me Milton." Red lets loose a girlish giggle and winks at Cindy. She stares back at him blankly, just wishing he would leave. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Red is up to no good.
      Selar watches Cindy manipulate the many bottles that are required to prepare this concoction. It must be a very good beverage to contain so many different flavorings. She puts a lemon wedge on the side of the glass and hands it over to Selar. "You okay drinking this thing, hon?"
      "Oh yes. I have had ice tea many times before" says Selar agreeably, taking a sip through the straw. "But rarely have I had one so delicious."