Oliver Booth & the Evil Socialite by David Desmond

Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chapter One
The unrelenting summertime storms keep northerners away from their seasonal homes in Palm Beach until late November, leading locals to believe that the true celebration of Thanksgiving should take place in April when all of the snowbirds head north once again. On Labor Day, the town is typically quiet, but all of its shops and restaurants remain open and eager to serve those locals who choose to venture out into the heavy tropical humidity.
At the restaurant Ta-boó, an anchor of the high-end shopping street known as Worth Avenue and an establishment that had been frequented by celebrities in bygone days that were still remembered, although perhaps a bit foggily, by many residents of the island, a parking valet accepted a stub from a departing diner and his much younger female companion.
“Bring me my Bentley, boy, and snap to it,” demanded Jack Phlapp, the elderly diner, who looked down to inspect the parking valet’s badge, which displayed the name Oliver. “Aren’t you a little old to be a parking valet?” asked the old man with a sneer.
Oliver ignored the man’s question as he glanced at the ticket, his heavyset body stewing in his undersized poncho.
“And don’t get the seats wet!” Phlapp added irritably.
“Well, then, how do you propose that I retrieve your vehicle?” asked Oliver.
“Your problem, not mine,” responded the elderly man.
“Your problem, not mine,” he repeated as he turned away to talk to the young woman.
Oliver trotted uncomfortably across Worth Avenue to the spot where the Bentley had been parked by another valet during the preceding shift. In the darkness and driving rain and with poor visibility, Oliver pushed each of the buttons on the key, hoping that one of them would unlock the doors. Instead, the trunk popped open, revealing a case of vodka and a Costco-sized box of Depends adult undergarments. Oliver smirked as he slammed the trunk shut and climbed into the driver’s seat. He pulled the Bentley out of its parking space and backed it down Worth Avenue to the loading zone in front of the restaurant. Oliver stepped out of the car and stood next to the open door with an expectant look.
“An umbrella, boy, escort me with an umbrella!” demanded Phlapp. Oliver walked around the car to retrieve an umbrella from behind the valet stand and attempted to lead the elderly man back to the driver’s seat. “No, not there. I’m not driving, she’s driving,” said Phlapp, pointing at the girl. “My eyes aren’t what they used to be and I have trouble seeing at night.”
“That extra cocktail can certainly affect our vision as we get older, can’t it?” replied Oliver, needling Phlapp with false sympathy. “Just wait here and I’ll help your daughter stay dry as she gets into the car,” he added with an innocent expression.
“I didn’t have an extra cocktail, son, I had my regular number, and she’s not my daughter. If she plays her cards right, she just might end up as the next Mrs. Phlapp, but until that day comes, you’ll help me first. Now hold my cane for me.”
As Oliver helped Phlapp into the passenger seat, his young companion ran around to the other side of the car, opened the door, and dove in to escape the rain, the puddle that Oliver had left on the driver’s seat saturating the fabric of her very expensive party dress. Now as irritated as her elderly boyfriend, the young woman yanked her door shut and drove off, splashing Oliver’s legs and leaving him with neither a tip nor a word of thanks.
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Genre – Fiction / Humour

Rating – PG

Connect with David Desmond on his

Website http://daviddesmond.net/


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