Green Is My . . .
By Audrey W.
Chet caught up to Roy and Johnny as they walked across the apparatus bay. Shift had just ended and the two paramedics were on their way to the locker room.
“Hey, you guys doing anything special today?” Chet wondered.
Roy and Johnny both stopped, and Gage gave the stocky fireman a baffled expression. “Why? What’s today?”
“Have you forgotten? It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!”
“Oh, yeah,” Roy said, remembering. “Joanne told me on the phone last night she was baking shamrock shaped cookies for a party in Jennifer’s classroom today.”
“You celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, Chet?” Johnny asked.
“What do you think with a name like Kelly? It’s not exactly German or French, ya know.”
“Good point. So what do you do?”
“Well, the last few years, I haven’t done too much, except go to friends’ parties. But I got an idea for this year. Wanna hear it?”
“Sure, Chet.” Johnny said, as he and Roy started walking again. “Shoot.”
“Well, I’m gonna eat and drink everything green today.”
Roy pushed on the door to the locker room, holding it open behind him for the other two.
“You mean like lettuce and brussel sprouts?” Gage wondered. He screwed up his face. “Yeck!”
“No, no,” Chet explained as he opened his locker. “Like this morning, I know of a place that serves green eggs and green ham, with green jelly on the toast. So I’ll have breakfast there.”
“Why don’t you just go home and eat a moldy piece of bread? Probably won’t make you half as sick,” Johnny snorted.
“It’s just food coloring, John. It won’t make me sick.”
Roy grinned at the exchange between his partner and Kelly. “What about lunch, Chet? What do you do then? A green hamburger?”
“No, but I can have a green milk shake with my regular hamburger and fries. So whatdaya say? You guys want to join me for breakfast?”
Johnny glanced at Roy, grinning, then shook his head. “Uh, no thanks. But if you want, I’ll stop over later this afternoon with some beer!”
“How about you, Roy? Want to have a Saint Patrick’s Day breakfast?”
“No, Chet, I’d better get home. But I’ll see if I can join you guys later for a beer. It’ll depend on Joanne’s plans and the kids.”
“What about Mike or Marco?” Gage asked, buttoning his yellow shirt. “Did you ask them?”
“Yeah, it was a no go. The only green thing Marco said he wants to eat are chili peppers and Mike isn’t into anything green, unless it’s supposed to be that color.”
Johnny closed his locker and sighed. “Okay. I’ll go for the green breakfast. But, you’re buyin’ and I’m not doing lunch!”
Roy looked at his partner incredulously. Picturing Johnny eating green colored food was hard enough. Picturing he and Chet eating it together in a restaurant was even more out in left field.
“I’ll see you two Leprechauns later,” Roy said as he walked out the door. He couldn’t get the smile off his face picturing the two men out together. It was like oil and water trying to mix.
“Ha ha!” Johnny called out as the door swung shut behind Roy. He looked at Chet, who was now in his regular clothes as well. A green t-shirt with a Leprechaun on it and blue jeans. “You really gonna wear that?”
Chet looked down at his chest, holding his arms out to his sides. “What’s wrong with it?”
“Nothin’,” Gage grumbled. “I just hope it’s dark in the restaurant.”
“Well, where’s your green?”
“In my wallet, where it’s gonna stay ‘til I buy the beer.”
“You’ve got no holiday spirit, Gage. You ready?”
“Sure. I’ll follow behind in the Rover. Remember, you’re buyin. . .and that includes the tip.”
“I know, I know," Chet said in an annoyed tone, as he followed Johnny out the door.
Johnny and Chet walked out of the restaurant, their bellies full.
“You know, I gotta hand it to ya, Chester B. This was a pretty good idea you had.” Johnny patted his own stomach. “I don’t see how you’re gonna eat lunch after all we ate in there, though.”
Chet looked at Johnny, a pouty expression on his face. “You know, that waitress didn’t have to laugh and point at my shirt.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. No one noticed.”
“Yeah, right. All those people just happen to be looking the same direction - our direction - at the same time.”
“Well, it really doesn’t matter. It’s not like you’ll ever see any of them again. And if you do, it’s probably gonna be on a call and they’ll be so glad to see you, today won’t even come to mind.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Whataya mean you guess I’m right? I am right.”
“Okay. You’re right.”
The two men walked over to their cars that were parked side by side.
As he saw Johnny getting in to his Land Rover, Chet called over, “You sure you don’t want to do the lunch thing? A green milk shake isn’t bad!”
Johnny shook his head. “Nah, I’ll just stick to the beer later. I’ll be at your place at 5 o’clock. Sound good?”
“Sure! And call Roy later to see what he’s up to.”
Chet waited while Johnny drove out of the lot. He watched the Rover head down the street, then stared a moment at the restaurant. He was going to have to change his shirt before going out for lunch.
At 5:15, Johnny knocked on the door at Chet’s apartment, the packs of beer in his right hand. Not getting an answer, he shrugged and traded glances with Roy.
“That’s strange. His car’s here.”
Roy shifted a plate of shamrock cookies to his left hand and gave a couple of hard knocks on the door.
In a few seconds the door opened slowly.
“Alright, I’m coming,” a familiar voice mumbled from the other side.
When the door was all the way open, a very miserable looking Chet was revealed.
“What happened to you?” Johnny asked stepping in and continuing to stare at Chet. “You look. . .well, you look kinda green! Are you okay?”
“Don’t make me explain. Just thinking about it makes me sick.”
“Here’s some extra shamrock cookies we had,” Roy said, offering the plate. “Maybe they’ll cheer you up.”
“Yeah, and speaking of cheers, lets have some beer!” Johnny held up two six-packs of the bottled brew. “Thanks to you, I got in the spirit of the holiday and bought food coloring so we can have green beer.”
Chet moaned. “No more green, please.”
“What’s wrong? What happened to the big plans of green food and drink for a day?” Johnny asked, as he set the beer on the floor. “And where in the world is your green shirt? Chet, you didn’t let the waitress get to you. . .”
Chet shook his head at Roy. “Never mind. It’s not important.” He walked over to his couch and plopped down. “You guys want to know what happened? Okay. I went out for lunch. I had my hamburger, fries and green milk shake. Everything was going according to plan.”
“Yeah, so?” Johnny leaned against the wall, waiting for the rest of the story.
“So, I was almost home again, when I heard on the radio, they were having a contest. An eat-as-many-green-things-as-you-can contest. And I felt good after eating lunch . . .I wasn’t too full, so I thought, why not?”
“Oh, Chet, you didn’t.”
Kelly slowly nodded at Gage. “I did. I ate a little of everything you could imagine. Green beans, green apple, spinach, green jello. . .you get the idea.”
Johnny snickered. “Yeah, I get the idea you need your stomach pumped.”
“How did you fit all that in on top of a hamburger, fries and a milk shake?” Roy asked. He couldn’t believe so much could fit in one man’s belly.
“I was okay, till I ate the green banana. . .I mean it was really green. Like it had just been pulled off the tree.” Chet looked down and shook his head. “Man, those things are better ripe.” His gaze went back to his friends. “But once I ate that, it all caught up to me. I wish I could just throw up.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t.”
Roy grinned at his partner’s comment. He had to agree.
“What did you get for your participation in this consumption of greenery?”
“Man, Roy, you’ve worked with Brice one too may times,” Johnny snorted.
The older paramedic rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to Chet, who was now stretched out on the couch, moaning.
“Did you win anything?” Roy asked, giving Johnny a quick glance to see if he approved this time.
Kelly sat up and reached down beside the couch. He pulled up his hand and placed a green cellophane covered top hat with a green shamrock on it on his head.
“That’s it?” Johnny couldn’t help but grin.
“No. . .I won first prize, so this was just part of it.”
“Coupons for a year’s worth of free Green Giant vegetables.”
The two paramedics laughed, as Johnny broke out the beer. Chet slumped down on the couch holding his stomach.
I think I’ll change my last name to Kellyheim next Saint Patrick’s Day and forget the Irish bloodline.
Thanks for the beta read, Kenda! :o)