“Then, let’s do it!” Judy smiled at the rest of the group, waiting for an affirmation. Wendy and Meredith nodded and shrugged. Karen seemed to not care. Jack always wore a grin, so it was hard to tell with him. Larry hadn’t paid any attention to the discussion to begin with.
Nadine stood and walked back behind the café counter. “Absolutely,” she said. “Nothing fills the place up more than a bad poet with a top-of-the-line sound system.”
“That’s not fair,” Judy scolded.
Nadine’s remark made the others chuckle.
“Look, I’m all for an open mic night, you know I am,” Nadine said, “I’m just sayin’. It’s a lot of money.”
Having spoken her mind, Nadine returned to her duties. Judy looked around the circle at the rest of the writers’ group. “Anybody else have an objection?”
The group muttered ‘no.’ Jack reached for his wallet and took out 2 twenties, handing them to Judy as he stood to leave. “To get the ball rolling.”
The others followed suit with whatever they had on hand or promised to send her a check later in the week. As they left, Judy went up to the café counter to confront Nadine.
“That was not necessary.”
“Oh, c’mon, Judy. It is a lot of money! For what you guys are talking about, you don’t need a set up like that.”
“We’re trying to help you, too, you know. You opened this place with the hopes people would think of it as a hangout. We could just as well meet in one of our homes, or at the Katty Korner, for that matter.”
Nadine ignored Judy’s idle threat while she finished making a mocha with extra whipped cream and nutmeg sprinkle on top. She handed it to her sister with an apologetic smile. Judy reluctantly took it. “I’m just sayin’, as well, you know.”
“And, I definitely appreciate it. I really do. It is a good idea. It’ll get the evening crowd in, especially now that I have my beer and wine license. I mean, at least your friends and their friends will come. Just…I mean, why not consider just getting one of those inexpensive karaoke setups?”
“You can’t hold a microphone and hold pages or a book and read. Makes people look like a clumsy twerp when they turn a page or adjust the microphone height. A headset just sits there, on your head, and you don’t have to think about it.”
“Yeah, OK, but a mix deck and two big speakers? You really don’t need all that.”
“You could use it for music groups, or something. We’d keep it here.”
“I’m not…anyway, if I do have music in here, it’ll be unplugged. Or they can bring their own stuff.”
Judy took a long sip of her mocha. “Well,” she began, as she licked the excess whipped cream from her lips, “I’m not going to give the money back.”
“Jude! What the hell! Of course, you will.”
“Here,” Judy pealed off a twenty and handed it to Nadine. “Here’s your return now.”
“Not now. You haven’t bought anything yet. Anyway, I don’t want it.”
“What do you want me to do with it?!”
“Put it in the urn with your cat’s cremains, for all I care.”
Judy drank the last of her mocha and handed back the mug. “How come you never liked my cat?”
“I liked your cat just fine. That’s not what I meant.”
“I don’t get you. You can be such a snark. Anyway, thanks for the mocha.”
“You bet. Now, forget about the expensive set up.”
“Yeah, OK,” Judy replied. She took in a deep breath and lifted her posture. “It’ll be fun. An open mic night will be a lot of fun. And, if people really like it, we’ll do it, like, every week! I’m excited!”
“Me, too. I’m sure everyone will have a good time. Only, never let Larry read first. Save his to the end, after everyone’s had a least a couple of beers in them.”
Judy laughed. “Agreed!”
Prompts from Un-OLWG this week are: Put them in the urn with the cremains; a bad poet with a good microphone; a rather clumsy girl