The Bettys

They awakened, one by one, in the near darkness of what they guessed from the napkins strewn on the floor was a Denny’s restaurant. None of the men knew why they were there, and each of them had a similar story – they had all been walking down the street when a white van with a stenciled portrait of Richard Nixon on the side pulled out behind them, two beefy men with chloroform-soaked rags jumped out, and next thing they were here, among strangers, in the near darkness.

“Well, let’s not be strangers any more,” said a short man in a red turtleneck. He introduced himself as Betty, and the room gasped – every single man there – all twenty of them – was named Betty. They talked longer, but could find nothing else that might explain why they, each of them, had been kidnapped.

The door to the upstairs was locked, but it sounded as though people were still in the restaurant. There were noises, glasses dropped and shattered, a child crying, that made them even suspect that the people upstairs might be unsuspecting patrons that knew nothing of the basement Betty conspiracy.

They marshaled their efforts. Two Bettys searched the walls for ways out, while four more Bettys inspected the door lock. After considerable effort, they made a Betty chain and collectively slammed 40 Betty shoulders into the door, which collapsed under the weight of all those unusual names brought together. They fell through the door, a Betty tide billowing out into the restaurant, and the patrons of the restaurant paused with forks halfway to their lips.

The line cook saw it all, and ran immediately to the manager’s office. “The Bettys have escaped!” the cook said.

“Alas,” said the manager, “thus is foiled my Betty-ful plan.”

Written on 12/2/16 at Nox Craft Cocktails for a man who said he appreciated a good shaggy-dog story.