“Spare a light?”
Bud jumped, startled to see the entertainment rounding the corner, cigarette dangling from a proboscis extending out over its fourth left eye.
“Sure, just a sec.” Bud fumbled in his pockets, then pulled out a mini bic and sparked a small blue flame. The entertainment took a long drag, the proboscis contracting as the end of the cigarette glowed orange in the shade of the side of the house. There was a long, slow stream of blue gray smoke as the entertainment exhaled out of a cicada-like buzzing of flaps on its back.
“Oh, that’s good. Lifesaver man,” the entertainment sighed. It posted up on the wall of the house by Bud, one leg canted as if he was the Marlboro man from one of the old print ads. “Don’t tell your wife, yeh?”
Bud blew out a bit of smoke. “Nah man, no worries, she’d kill me too if she knew.” The entertainment chuckled. “What’s up then, you all done?”
“Nah, they’re doing gifts then I’ve got the big Fi-nall-ee. Rabbit time.”
“Right on.” Bud took another drag. “What’s that mean though, rabbit time?”
“Well, it’s my thing, I guess.” The entertainer stubbed out his cigarette. “Thumper goes in,” he threw the butt in what was now a gaping maw. “Thumper comes out,” he lifted his upper of two left arms, and held his right hand about a foot below where it met his upper shoulder joint catching the butt as it flew out with a fwump. “The kids eat it up.”
A door opened around the corner. “Bud?” His wife’s shrill voiced carried to their shady respite. “Have you seen the entertainment?” There was a pause, and then “Have you been smoking?”
“Shit,” Bud sighed. “Busted.”
The entertainment laughed. “Nah, you’re good. Helping me get ready for Thumper right?”
“If you say so.”
The entertainment smiled, only half exposing the maw where poor Thumper would be thrown, “I do. Let’s get on back in.”
Bud was already feeling better. “Yeah, let’s get on back in.”
They had turned the corner, headed back towards the party, when the entertainer stopped and looked back at Bud.
“Thanks again for the light.”