When we had Art, there was no room here for anything else. If you鈥檙e tired of standing around, the rumor went, just pick your feet up. They stood in line out the door, around the parking lot and back. They got food at the Starvin鈥?Marvin鈥檚 down the road and had picnics in the street, they had to wait so long. All just to take hold of the harness strapped to Art鈥檚 back and have their turn flinging that damn midget as far as they could. We had waitresses too, the biggest waitresses available--six-foot-one the shortest of them. They broke up fights when the bouncers had trouble getting through the crowd, and they had free reign to clock any wise-ass copping a feel. It was easy to scam drinks, then, for then it was too busy for anyone to check up on you: a push here, a slide on the other end. A good bartender could clear a couple bills before he even started emptying his jar.
Now there鈥檚 supposed to be room in back for a kitchen, a deli, maybe, somewhere to make sandwiches, but these new owners don鈥檛 know a thing about running a place like this. The old guy, Sam, sold out long ago. His wife and two daughters left him soon after Art, like they knew things were only going to pot, and Sam, he cracked--put every bit of his money into land, and bought up a long tract outside Palatka. I heard he tried bringing his wife back by promising to build a house, but there鈥檚 no money to build a house. All he has is land, and he likes to sit back and admire the view. I hear he鈥檚 put up a roof, perched on the ends of two-by-four鈥檚, and there he鈥檚 got a cot, a 12-gauge with no ammunition, a tool chest, a r