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Fiction #342
(published August 9, 2007)
The Purple Mai Tai Tiki Lounge
by Karen Bradley
Knock, knock. "Five more minutes Mr. Iguana," said the stage manager of the Purple Mai Tai Tiki Lounge.

"Thanks Bill! I'm just about ready."

Larry looked in the mirror and unfastened the first three buttons of the only article of clothing he ever wore, a brightly colored satin shirt. He knew his fans wanted to see those first few inches of his dark and sexy chest scales. It drove 'em wild.

He tried to focus on the show; but his eyes riveted to the IRS audit papers lying on his dressing table. "Third Notice" said the red letters on the first page and on the envelope. Damn taxes, he thought.

Knock. Knock. "One more minute, Mr. Iguana," said the voice on the other side of the dressing room door.

"Ok, Ok. Here I come," Larry said, adjusting his shirt. He swaggered on his back legs to the stage's curtain. . His massive tail provided the balance he needed. A stage assistant shoved a wireless microphone in his face. He grabbed it without acknowledging them.

"Now, what you've all been waiting for, Mr. Larry Iguana!"

As soon as he heard the piano player strike the first few notes of the song that made him famous, Larry sauntered out onto the stage singing,

"Baby, you've broken my heart" he crooned, emphasizing the word, "heart."

He unfastened one more button. I haven't paid my taxes in three years. I could go to jail, he thought. The crowd of about 500 lizards, mainly female, went nuts. They cheered. They hollered. They toasted with their mai tais. Everyone in the front row carried shopping bags. Thick-bodied security guards with tails more powerful than Larry's, fought to keep them from climbing on stage.

"How could you leave me . . . " he threw his head back in one of his signature moves, finishing the line, "When I still love you . . . " while looking at the ceiling. It triggered the fans in the front row to reach in their bags and toss dead flies on stage. They were of the variety that a popular tabloid claimed were his favorite.

As he picked up one particularly juicy looking morsel and fed it to a middle-aged female lizard close to the stage, he wondered if there were any place on earth where he could legally live tax free. The fan nearly swooned.

Larry continued to sing, "I refuse to believe . . . " He descended the stairs to mingle with the crowd. "I'll never feel your touch again . . . " Once he was on their level, they became quiet and stopped throwing flies at him.

He looked out over the sea of green and tan faces. Two very large male lizards entered through the back door. Both were wearing dark jackets and sunglasses. One carried papers, the other, a set of handcuffs. As they meandered their way through the crowd, he saw the lettering on the backs of their jackets. IRS.

It was time for Larry to face the music.

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