"The trouble with men, Garn," Alys Brangwin commented as the
bartender passed over a flask containing her special order, then
stopped before finishing the sentence.
"Having trouble putting it into words?" Garn asked.
"Having trouble narrowing it down to just one thing."
Garn might--miracles have been known to happen--have tried to
up for his gender, but just then the batwing doors at the front of
tavern creaked as they swung open, and Joss Howland walked into the
"Wonderful," Alys noted with a grimace. "A perfect example."
"Alys!" he cried out upon seeing her. Joss was, she had to admit,
cute. Actually, he was what several of her friends would have termed
a "hot piece of--"
No, Alys stopped herself, I don't even want to think of
him in those terms. She'd just finished eating, after all, and
wanted to keep her lunch down.
The problem with Joss was that while cute, built, and skilled in
battle, he had the mental capacity of firewood. Chief among the
concepts he found difficult to absorb were, "I don't want to go out
with you," "I don't find you in the least bit attractive," and "Go
away, you worm-eaten sack of pus."
"I'll have one of what she's having," Joss told Garn as he sat
down next to Alys.
"Um, Joss, are you sure you want that. She's--" Garn began, but
was quickly interrupted.
"Hey, did I stutter? When a man's interested in a lady, he takes
an interest in the things she likes. I want one of what she's got!"
Garn glanced at Alys for guidance. She just shrugged.
"Joss knows what he wants. Give him the same thing you gave me."
Garn nodded, then mixed up a second flask, which he sat in front
of the burly hunter.
"Y'see? A man's gotta show a girl he's paying attention to her,"
Joss intoned, and drained half of the flask. It took no more than
three seconds for his eyes to roll up in his head and his body to
crash to the floor.
"I tried to tell him," Garn observed.
"Look at it this way. Now I know that the sleeping potion