Abbott was a straight man. The heavy. The ladies’ man. And he couldn’t take the pressure. In the end, he would become irate when Lou shouted his name at him to get his attention. Somehow he made it work. For him.
Hey, Abbot… Hey, Abbot…
Then Abbott began viciously slapping Lou in the face for saying his name over and over. Lou said Abbo… —slap, Abbo…— slap —repeatedly until Lou was winded and Abbot’s inner rage was appeased. It shouldn’t have been like this. They were like brothers. Or something. Lived in the same flop house. They were having an argument about Betty Grabble. Betty! Both men were just batty about her. And for some reason they had repeated run-ins with America’s sweetheart, confounding all.
But do not bring up baseball to them. They are fans but they don’t understand the strange nicknames the players have these days such as Who or What, or Ida Know.
And the whole thing made many a vaudevillian angry, as the bit had been community property. But now it was identified only with Bud and Lou, who had not originated it, though with it they had made it. Big. That was the curse of radio and film. The question of just who was on first.
“Please don’t hit me anymore Abbot,” said Lou. It was an abusive relationship. It would never fly today. People would not stand for it. And if they did stand, they wouldn’t clap. Certainly. And if they clapped they wouldn’t laugh. Unless everyone else did. In that case all bets were off. Societal pressure.
A man came into the Mercantile searching for a map. He was looking to light out into the wilderness. The Shopkeep, a woman short on words, stood on a ladder doing inventory. Last thing she needed was a customer to bring her down. She looked at the man. “Get lost!” was what she said. That man’s name was Alfred Packer. No one remembers the shopkeep. She never done nothing of note.