Cardinals

“Win?” It was my friend, the Monk, shouting. “There is no winning in life; it’s an illusion. A hundred years from now, people will ask? Bill, Wes, what did they win? A childish drinking game? Who cares.” Somewhat outraged Bill howled: ” I’ll care, damn it!” the previous evening, I had attained the exalted rank of Cardinal ( Once a Cardinal, Always a Cardinal!), but Bill had, at last, made Pope. As cardinals – the College of Cardinals – all of us had processed around our favorite bar, the Harvard Gardens, and gotten thrown out and banned. Bill maintained, in his hungover state, that it had all been worthwhile. From that evening forward, when inquired: ” are you a Pope?” his response would be – you bet your Gucci clad ass!
The depth of our hangover necessitated liberal amounts of freshly prepared cola from Fox’s drug store down the street. Foxie had an old-time soda fountain and prepared the drink fresh from the syrup. The secret mixture that Foxie made would eat your stomach out if you had it too often, but would cut the recovery time on a hangover to two hours. We were hitting the two-hour mark, and Bill felt feisty enough to swing back at the Monk’s piety.
The Teahead of the August Moon chose that moment to pop his head out of his bedroom. Pointing his index finger at us, he declared: “out, and don’t come back.”
Periodically the landlord, other tenants, the current resident feature of the Teahead’s affection, caused a general eviction. When this happened, we all packed our bags and decamped for other digs. Eventually, the Teahead relented, and we all dribbled back into a reconstituted Folkie Palace. This time it appeared as though the eviction would stick.
After our banning at the Harvard Gardens had been forgiven or forgotten, the entire troupe of evictees gathered to discuss the situation. After a while, we decided that as a unit, we didn’t need the Teahead, and could create our own Folkie Palace. The stumbling block to this was the first month’s rent and security deposit. The reason we all resided at the Folkie Palace was our total lack of economic status. Bill and I considered ourselves to be Pius Itinerants, brothers of the road – vagrants. The Monk was medically unemployable, Mike the Vike was too involved in illegal substances, and was known to every landlord on Beacon Hill as an undesirable. The others were more irregular in attendance at the Palace and could be re-homed more easily.
We decided to send a delegation to the Teahead with peace offerings. Bill and I were elected to go. Me because I was the Palace’s resident jongleur or troubadour and Bill because his regularly refreshed murals decorated the halls and walls of the Palace. We arrived with precious gifts of a case of beer, pizza, and donuts.
As we arrived, Andy, the Teadhead’s longest-lasting girlfriend, was bumping an enormous suitcase down the stairs. We helped her move all her goods downstairs and into a waiting Checker Cab. At the top of the stairs was a forlorn Teahead. We entered, presented the appreciated beer (Narragannett in Giant Imperial Quarts) pizza, and donuts. Of course, we stayed to commiserate with our friend. He was lonely. His love had deserted him. Friends inconsiderately decamped to other places leaving him isolated.
We insisted that his friends were waiting for him only three blocks away and that we would send a committee to Andy as soon as things calmed down. Calmly we lead him to a reunion at the Harvard Gardens.

After being evicted from the Gardens due to the Teahead’s loud maudlin behavior, we went back to the Folkie Palace to resume our interrupted life.

“Win?” quoth the Monk. “why it’s nothing if you can’t help a friend.”
“Be quiet ou there!” yelled the newly risen Pope John.