By Published On: November 3rd, 2020433 words2.2 min read

In a small town in western Ohio, there lived a janitor named Ridiculous Jim. Ridiculous Jim was the most faithful and hardworking employee at the local steel manufacturing company. Always early, Ridiculous Jim opened up shop, ate a cheese sandwich at lunch, and closed down the place every Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, he greeted the little old ladies at Our Lord and Redeemer’s Methodist Chapel.

Ridiculous Jim was not much for cooking and found himself at Dan’s Diner most nights. Most nights he ordered a mushroom and Swiss burger with fries and a chocolate shake. But on one particular October night, he ordered the soup. It was a cold night and the cream of mushroom sounded comforting. The comfort would last only so long. After two spoonfuls, Jim felt the tip of a pistol make contact in between his shoulder blades.

The man holding the gun was Dan, the owner of Dan’s Diner.

Slowly, Ridiculous Jim raised his hands and whispered, “You’re drunk again, Dan.”

“I mean it this time Jim. I’m going to repay you for what you did,” seethed Dan.

Years ago, when Dan and Ridiculous Jim were both 19, there had been a dispute over a potential girlfriend. Dan had gone on one date with June and was hoping desperately for another. Before that second date could happen, Ridiculous Jim ended up sleeping with June at a Saturday house party. Dan found out on Tuesday and fought Ridiculous Jim outside Ken’s Bar. The drunken brawl left both of them blacked out in an alley, and when June found out she (very smartly) never spoke to either of the grossly possessive boys again.

Since Dan and Ridiculous Jim were friends, they eventually made up and forgot about it. At least when they were sober. Whenever either one of them got really drunk, the shit came up again.

This was the fourth or fifth time Dan had gone so far as to pull a gun on Ridiculous Jim.

And Ridiculous Jim was getting tired of the antics.

He had had a rough day at work (a diarrhea plague must have hit the steel workers and toilet duty was brutal).

Ridiculous Jim’s patience had run out. He was cold and tired. And just wanted to eat his damn soup.

He spun one hundred and eighty degrees in his diner chair and grabbed the gun. Pointed it at Dan. And fired.

When the cops arrived inside, Ridiculous Jim was just putting the last spoonful of soup to his mouth. When the ambulance arrived, the bowl was empty.