The guy sits at the bar and tells me, “This money…it looks so funny with these heads on them!” He almost laughs as he says this. It’s clear that the guy is from out of town, perhaps Swedish.
He buys another drink and tells me with that weird accent of his that he hopes that he can find another exchange service that will exchange Csonkas. I figured a Csonka was some sort of strange currency but in the course of our conversation, I come to understand that he’s not from our universe.
“Wait…wait…” I say. “You’re not Swedish.”
“No, no. No nations on my earth. We’re all one nation now. The great Larry Csonka united us.”
“Larry Csonka! He played fullback for the Dolphins here. He’s a legend in Miami!”
“In my universe, he introduced a series of scratch cards that got us to stop going to war. We got addicted to these scratch card games like you wouldn’t believe. All the nations just put down their guns and started playing.”
“So he never played football.”
That got me in a mood. I order a beer for myself but notice that my crazy friend doesn’t have any money.
“It’s okay. I’ll just go to an exchange and change out some of my Csonkas. Where’s a 24-hour interdimensional money exchange?”
“Oh wow, pal. You’re gone! I’m not sure you should drink anymore.”
He pulls out some funny money with old hags on them. “Who are those?”
“Those are from the Chamber of Nagging House Wives. They rule our planet now that the great Csonka has passed. They’re annoying to hear on television, but they balance the budget and we all have to eat our greens and be home in time for supper. Trust me, I’m enjoying this night out quite a bit. Your customs are strange and awesome. Can I trade you some Csonkas for dollars?”
I slap him on the back. “Wow, I’ve heard some whoppers in my time, but that one takes the cake.”
“I don’t understand your universe’s idioms exactly, but for now I will reject your marriage proposal. But about the Csonkas, what shall we do?”
I shake my head. “Listen, don’t worry about your funny money. The next one is on me.”
And the next one and the next one as it turned out. I loved this Swedish guy so much that I got him good and liquored up. By the time the night was over, though, I was sad to see him go. He stumbled into a taxi. I even had to give the taxi some money to make sure he got home alright.
My wife cussed me out good for giving that guy money. But what could I do? Any fan of Larry Csonka, the legend of Miami and toughest SOB to strap on a helmet, was a friend of mine.
A funny thing happened afterward, though. I got this strange email on my computer in that same strange dialect thanking me for the evening. Never remembered giving the guy my email.
Had this funny line in it too.
“You may not believe it, but in my universe, I’m a Csonkanairre — in other words, really, really rich. I’d like to repay your hospitality by taking you to my mega-palace on the top of Csonka Hills overlooking the great Parliament Building of Esteemed Nagging Hags.”
There is a strange symbol at the bottom I’m supposed to click. Probably a link to some strange Swedish super-computer virus that will end the world. But I think, what the hell.
“Honey,” I yell. “You’re about to meet your first Csonkanairre.”