By ice rivers
Merle Seton had three masks that pretty much summed up his life; Albert Einstein....Oliver Hardy and Edgar Allen Poe. Everybody recognized Albert and Oliver. Nobody recognized Poe. They thought he was just some weird looking, threatening guy with a moustache.
When Covid came around and everybody decided to wear masks, Merlefigured he'd wear his Edgar Allen Poe mask for sitz and giggles. The mask covered his face but not his nose or mouth.
The masquerade didn't go over well
Nobody knew what the hell it was "supposed to be" and were pretty pissed off about it.
Merle was a regular at a smoke shop where he bought his scratch off lottery tickets. Everybody knew him there including Coyote Man and Grace.
Coyote got his nickname because one day on the way to work he ran over a coyote which fucked up his car. Insurance covered the damage. Coyote scratched off the insurance dividend premium and in the marathon scratching won five grand in the process. He took a grand of it and bought a "professional" digital camera.
God knows what Coyote was taking pictures of.
He also bought his old man a wheel chair. His old man had Covid.
Merle figured Coyote was about his age. When Coyote told Merle about buying the wheel chair for his Dad, Merle asked Coyote "how old's your Dad?". Coyote is big and bald. He works night shift maintenance and he works hard goddamned it. When Coyote told Merle how old his dad was, Merle was amazed to find out that Coyote's Dad was younger than he.
The Smoke Shop started getting real particular about letting people into the shop during Covid. You had to wear a mask. Merle deicded to wear his Edgar Allen Poe mask into the shop one morning. The mask didn't quite cover up his mouth and nose. Nobody recognized him. Nobody was amused.
Grace who sells the scratch offs told Merle that he couldn't buy a ticket without a mask.
Merle lowered his voice into deep bass and told Grace "Jesus Christ, Mayum...can't you see that I'm wearing a mask."
Grace said "that's not a mask...it doesn't cover your face. I'm not selling you a ticket"
"Whaddya mean it doesn't cover my face....you don't even know who I am."
"Whoever you are, don't come in here without a mask."
Merle had a Marilyn Monroe Covid face mask in his car. Merle went out to his car and put the Marilyn Monroe Covid mask over the nostrils and mouth of his Poe Mask. Now,Merle waa double masked, He added his Lone Ranger eye mask just for grins which made him triple masked.
Merle walked back into the shop and asked for five 3 dollar scratch offs.
Coyote, who only buys $20 scratch offs had just won $600 . He was happy.
She didn't want to sell Merle the tickets.
Merle asked Coyote if he would buy Merle the tickets.
Coyote, still happy from his winnning agreed.
Coyote bought the tickets for Merle
Merle went outside and smoked a Black and Mild Jazz (plastic tip)
He won fify bucks.
Grace didn't want to cash the tickets for Merle cuz he "didnt' buy them."
Merle gave the tickets to Coyote. Coyote handed the tickets to Grace.
Grace handed Coyote two twenties and two fives.
Coyote gave Merle the money right in front of Grace.
Merle gave Coyote $5 for his trouble
"I see what you're doing," said Grace." Don't ever do that again."
Merle said he wouldn't and added "Nevermore"
She didn't get it.
Neither did Coyote.
Merle could care less.
Merle had a fifty bucks bucks.
He bought his wife a dozen roses and pocketed the rest.
Coyote embarked on a long losing streak.