Flipper Hands McCreary
by Michael Frissore

I met a mermaid once. I was hanging out by the naval base, as I often do, and this woman popped her head out of the water and said, "Can you help me with these fins?"

So I ran over like a gentleman, reached my hand out to her, and she knocked me unconscious with a buoy or something. When I woke up my wallet was gone and I heard Christmas music playing. It was July when I got knocked out.

I asked my friend John John, who was visiting me in the hospital, "Have I been asleep for six months?"

"No. Just messing with you," he said. "Let's get out of here. I have something to show you."

We left the hospital. John John didn't even let me check out. He rushed me out of there. I had a massive headache but he said it would go away once I saw his surprise.

John John was in the navy. He was like an E3 or something. Whenever he said he's an E3, I would say, "You sunk my battleship," and he'd laugh.

He also had these funny little flipper hands. He had them since birth and they were perfect for a navy guy, especially since he was always slapping me with them.

If I had known that what John John had to show me was at his apartment twenty blocks away, and that we had to walk because he somehow had left his car at home, I'd have said, "How about another time?"

Instead we walked the whole way, me still with a headache while listening to John John sell this thing he was in possession of like a carnival barker.

"This is the shit," he said. "You've gotta see this. This is the kinda shit you see in the armed forces."

Finally we arrived. John John had this tiny little place in the city and it smelled the second we entered. I grabbed a rag from the couch and put it over my nose. I woke up to John John slapping me in the face and throwing salt all over me.

"What the hell happened?" I said.

"You took my chloroform rag."

"Why the hell do you have a chloroform rag?"

"Dates, dude," he said. "Now wait here."

I stood up and distracted myself from the sick feeling with a picture on John John's kitchen table. It was of a beautiful woman, an amputee, standing on crutches nearly naked in front of a Christmas tree.

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