On our first afternoon in Savannah, after leaving driving for 12 hours and 45 minutes, Caleb took me for a walk from our temporary apartment, located in the lush Troop Square, to the river front. Our first stop there was Wet Willie’s, a bar that serves daiquiris and margaritas in take-out cups. Delirious and stinky, we both needed something to keep us awake through the evening.
The flavors at Wet Willie include “Shock Treatment” and “Attitude Improvement.” I wanted to get the “Call a Cab,” made with grain alcohol, but was deterred by Caleb, who ordered me a Strawberry Daiquiri.
We took our drinks out to the river, where we were stopped every few minutes by a friendly Southerner who wanted to pet Franke. Our minor weapon was a major draw. “Isn’t she cute?” the woman drawled.
“I wouldn’t touch her,” I drawled back, only my accent was because after only a few sips, I was already slurring my speech. “She’ll bite your finger off.”
“Isn’t she a darling,” they said, forgiving her in their gentile way.
After a pace, we found a bench to sit on by the Georgia Queen, a river boat. Almost immediately, we were approached by a transient with bleary eyes.
“Look at this little thing!” he yelled. “She’s a cutie pie.”
“I wouldn’t touch her,” I said, beginning my spiel.
“What’s she gonna do to me?” he shouted. “She gonna bite me with her little rat teeth?”
“She might,” I said, as he bent down to pet her. Franke promptly bared her teeth, and started growling.
“What a little bitch!” he said, delighted. And then, directly to her: “I am gonna kick the shit out of you and throw your motherfucking ass in the goddamn river.” Then he started laughing his head off.
Caleb got pissed, but I laughed with the transient. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I’m proud as sin of being a wackadoo whisperer.
“Y’all have a great day,” he said. The he turned his back to us, and departed down the riverwalk, whistling all the way.
“Now that’s my kind of people,” I drawled to Caleb, and then sucked the daiquiri, rapidly melting in the humidity, up through my plastic straw.