Tracy shamefacedly mumbled the events that would unfold within a few minutes. She sounded like a witch rambling on about a long and arduous spell, only to pick up speed near the end in order to make the spell come true (Jane’s imagination was in high gear). Jane mulled over every word that fell from Tracy’s mouth. Quite suddenly she sat up straight, having grasped the full implication of them. Her heart constricted, torn apart by gaping, bleeding bullet holes. With clammy palms she grabbed hold of her glass as if it were a beacon of hope or a weapon of mass destruction which would obliterate the last couple of minutes. She wished she could wave her birthday wand and the nightmare would disappear in a cloud of smoke. She wondered if there was time to grab a straw from someone’s cocktail glass, jump over the deck’s railings and into the pond, becoming an invisible frogwoman; a trail of silver bubbles breaking the water’s surface for sufficient air, the only evidence of her existence. Surely then they would leave her alone!
Tracy and Kerry had in fact bought Jane a new and improved version of a lap dance. The “special” in Frankie Bananaz’ special, came in the form of an extremely sexy, male waiter who would take the lucky lady (in Jane’s case an extremely nervous lady) from her seat in the crowd and lie her on top of the bar’s counter. The special was accompanied by a banana, the bar’s signature fruit. Between Tracy’s description of the events and Jane’s innate and profuse pleading not to have anything to do with it, Kerry had asked their waitress to exchange the banana for something else, seeing as Jane was, you guessed it, allergic to bananas. The waitress came back telling Kerry that they only had a carrot. Of course, Jane was allergic to carrots too, but judging it to be the lesser of two evils, she stuck with the carrot.
The bar lights were dimmed, making way for stroboscopic lights in blues, greens, yellows and reds. Before Jane could escape, a deep, male voice boomed out of the loudspeakers, calling Jane like a lamb to the slaughter. The special had begun and Jane was the reluctant star.
Jane felt a masculine hand on her back, ushering her from her chair to the bar’s marble topped, shiny counter. She was halfway down the torturous path when Tracy and Kerry stood up and rushed to her side. She fervently hoped they would help her break free and run out the door where a nitrous filled escape car, driven by Michael Schumacher, waited to whisk them away, but they only said:
“Don’t forget these, Jane,” and stuck her cheap plastic wand in one hand and the tiara in the other. This helps, thought Jane; I can’t even defend myself with these useless items. She looked and felt sheepish; the only thing missing was some tangled wool, cloven feet and a high pitched “baaa-aaa” coming from her throat.