Jai - I Wanna Take You To A...

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  04/17/2008
RL: 12/16/2010

Pizza Palace -- Albuquerque

  Pizza Palace is a bustling restaurant filled with all types of people -- an interesting and thorough cross-section of humanity. The low prices and frequent specials attract everyone from hungry college kids to curmudgeonly old people; from pasty late-night nerds taking a break from MMOs to families with screaming, marinara-smeared toddlers. Pizza Palace is open 24/7 except for holidays, with a happy hour from four to seven, and offers just about every topping commonly or uncommonly found upon pizzas. The menu also includes a variety of non-pizza food options such as pasta, sandwiches, and salads, for freakish pizza-haters dragged here by their friends. Eat in, get it to go, or call from home for delivery!
  The restaurant has a reputation for hiring stoners and slackers, but it's a mostly clean place with booths and tables on the inside, plus an outdoor patio area for smokers and people with dogs. The floor is a checkerboard pattern of black and white linoleum squares, and all the chairs and booths are red. Each table is covered with a fresh sheet of butcher paper and is equipped with a little cup of crayons along with the napkins, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Neon signs in the restaurant windows announce PIZZA! and BUDWEISER!, and CORONA!, along with the always-lit OPEN! sign. Video games both archaic and current tempt children to scream at their parents for quarters, and a karaoke area reminds tipsy customers that beer makes you an excellent singer.

~*~places are available here~*~

Obvious exits:
Out <O>  

It is very firmly 'too early'. Or, depending on when you woke, 'too late'. Too much time in one direction or other however, and as such most sensible people are at home asleep, tucked up warm in their beds. Nieve, not being sensible, is out getting a post-midnight snack. She's not been here long, just enough to order herself a large meat-feast pizza and glass of pepsi, now sat on a stool at the counter, legs dangling.

Damian is singing! SINGING! This isn't unusual though, he is a student of the Pizza Palace School For Ungifted Vocalists, and enjoys the free pizza slices he gets for singing embarrassing songs picked out by staff. Course, at the moment he's not singing anything particularly embarrassing, actually finishing up doing Satellite by Guster. This prompts the person that's just served Nieve to mention to his co-worker, "Did we put in any more Tenacious D?"

Wednesday night is not generally one where the taxis are running nonstop, and Jai is apparently in a 'stop' period, since he strolls on in just in time to catch the end of Damian's performance, and claps and whistles for him as he heads toward the counter to order.

Lucid suffles in looking tired, he has on bunny slippers and a bathrobe over his labcoat... hes carrying his computer bag with him and looks like a cranky child whos been woken up mid nap.

People come in. Nieve seems mildly bemused by this, quite accustomed to being the only night owl around apart from the waitstaff. She swivels on her stool to regard the singing sensation that is Damian, lifting her hands and clapping enthusiastically when he finishes the song. "Azucar! Encore!" Then a second comes in - Jai gets a curious look and a cheerful smile if he looks her way, though her attention is mostly on the singer. Caught behind these two, Lucid gets barely a glance; maybe she respects the 'ohgodtooearly' aura.

Lucid shuffles over to Damian and pulls out an Iphone.

The guy working the cash machine needs better entertainment than this shit if he's gotta be at work at twofuckingo'clock in the morning. The hell with this. He comes around the counter while Damian is, with great embarrassment and modesty, taking a bow. The guy fiddles with the karaoke machine for a minute and Damian looks at the display as music starts, "...Why do you hate me?" he asks with a look of perfect innocence, like a puppy asking why, why must you kick me you great pink bastard. Huff. With a grin the guy wanders back to his post, and Damian takes a breath before saying loudly into the microphone when the lyrics start, "I WANNA TAKE YOU TO A GAY BAR!" He is considerate enough to do a dorky little dance while singing, but he's no pole dancing Lincoln.

Lucid fidles with the screen on his iphone and a digital voice says "Hey Damian? can you spot me a something cafinated and some meat on meat on meat on pIzza? I got a job but I dont get paid for a week." comming from the little handheld.

<OOC> Damian says, "For your karaoke pleasure! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTN6Du3MCgI"

Lucid pauses midtype and peers up at Damian looking confused by the song.

Jai gives Nieve a curious look as well, seeming to particularly notice her hair and its charms, and he grins back at her, leaning on the counter to order and idly pushing a little basket of sugar packets toward her. And then the song comes on, and he cracks up laughing. "Damiaaaaaaaaaannnn!" he calls approvingly to the guy, pulling a lighter out of his pocket just so that he can flip it open and hold up the flame. The guy working the counter snickers, and then points out the fire sprinklers. Alas.

It so happens that Nieve's pizza is delivered around about now. It is clearly a carnivore's delight, with the bread and tomato and cheese really only a canvas for the half-dozen types of meat laden heavily on the top. Pepperoni, spicy beef, chicken, bacon, ham and sausage meat at least - and at 18 inches, probably far too big for a small girl like her. Hrm. Then, happily, she hears the computer-voice talking from Lucid's phone. She waves a hand at him, trying to get his attention without speaking to interrupt the awesome singing, and points at the giant pizza in front of her. "Share?" she offers, before picking up a first slice to eat. Nom. Jai gets a wave along with the smile, because she's friendly like that.

Perhaps its the presence of a familiar face that helps with notions of stage fright while singing this particular song. Perhaps it's the fact that Jai, as that familiar person, is a dude, and it just helps the whole tune. He points at the cab driver, and asks him through the mic, "Now tell me do ya? Uh do ya have any money? I wanna spend all your money! At the gay bar! Gay bar! Gay bar!" Oh but he doesn't just ask him this question, no no, that would be too mundane. He throws in a little sexy dance, all hip wiggle and probably-had-a-few-beers-tonight leering. Strangely, he's the one taking money out of his own pants and offering it towards Lucid, when it should totally be the other way around.

Lucid fiddles with something on his Iphone grins up at Damian winks and then shuffles over to Nieve and the little Iphone says "Thank you, that is kind.. Im Lucid.. that up there is Damian.. and this." he Points at Jai "Is Jai"

"This is in fact Jai," Jai agrees, grinning at Damian's performance, sexy dance and all, "Nice to meet you. And hey, Lucid." He takes a moment to order a Coke and a couple slices of hawaiian for himself, and then claims one of the seats at the counter to wait for it while watching the show. He keeps a couple ones out after paying, so that he can wave them at his friend.

"Jai, Damian, Lucid. I'm Nieve," the dreadlocked girl offers in return, between munches of meat-laden pizza. The entertainment draws her eye while she eats, and she too pulls out a few one-spots to wave at Damian, and tuck into clothing if he gets close enough. Apparently, 2am is awesome-o'clock at Pizza Palace.

It's about halfway through informing EVERYONE that 'I've got something to put in you' at the gay bar that the karaoke machine glitches with a bit of feedback hiss and whine, starting into a weird techno number mid beat. "See? This is what you get for abusing my good nature!" Damian tells Pizza Palace staff from where he's performing, "The gods will smote your stereo!" OR it's possible that Damian amuses the gods and they've just clapped imperiously from on high, saying 'oh good show jester, do it again!' for the song that starts is not some generic club tune or dorkishly singable hip hop track. Oh no. And Damian is forced to blush, blush, BLUSH like a ripe tomato as he begins singing Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor, by Flight of the Concords.

Damian certainly isn't gonna pass up free monies, especially since he just gave some away as it is. And god, if he's going to have to say all these DIRTY WORDS, he might as well let people stuff money in his pants, and so his groove shaking takes him that'a'way. This would have been on the last part I typed, had I been paying any sort of attention.

"Oh, =you're= Nieve," Jai says, looking over at her, still with a grin, and looking her over, "Like snow? I heard you met Petra and Wren, and some how did not all go get extremely drunk. Which may have been because I was asleep, and if so, I deeply apologize." He tucks two dollars into Damian's waistband and one into a bit of dread jewelry that looks like it can take it, and then there's a change in the music, and he starts laughing again and protests, "There's only one!"

Lucid smiles at Damian and claps as he joins Nieve and picks up a slice and takes a bite, then fiddles with his iphone.

Lucid fidles with the screen on his iphone and a digital voice says "Hello Nieve, your new here? I dont see your name in the local directory listing and Ive not scaned your face before."" comming from the little handheld.

"Like Snow," Nieve agrees cheerfully, nodding to Jai's assessment. "Only, not cold or wet." The choice of song by the Jukebox makes her grin, just a little bit, the girl recognising the opening chords. "An' si, yes, I am new around here. Rolled into town like.. uh." Pause, check watch. "Sixteen hours ago." And then there's pizza being nommed, and a onespot bill being tucked into Damian's hair, under a dreadlock.

Damian wont let his dear friends go unmolested, if they're going to poke fun at him, he's going to shove a mic at them and get them to sing backup vocals at times. Except for Lucid, Damian makes the little weirdo's phone sing backup vocals. Which totally fits too, considering the sound of the song! During the musical break, he returns to put the mic back since he hasn't got a disco ball crotch and cant give the performance everything it deserves. But oh my god, if he *did* have a disco ball crotch. You'd all be fucking *doomed*. His tan skin quite red from deep embarrassment, he slinks back towards Jai, Lucid, and Nieve, positively cowering now that he hasn't got any showmanship forcing him to be all upright and tall. "I think they're trying to kill me, Jai!" he whines suspiciously of the PP staff. Haha. PP staff. Any how, he dislodges money from pants and hair and adds, "Hey! I made four bucks!" And so a career was born.

Someday, there will be disco-ball codpieces for all. Someday! Today there will just be an arm around Damian's shoulders, for a comforting squeeze and all. "If they were going to kill you, it'd be arsenic in the pizza or something. Way faster than embarrassment," Jai assures him. "Anyway, you're getting really good. Where'd you roll from, Nieve? Did you owe Petra a dollar?"

Lucid fidles with the screen on his iphone and a digital voice says "No Damian you weer realy good it was funny!" comming from the little handheld.

"I'unno who Petra is, but don't owe anyone money," Nieve assures Jai - sure, she met Petra, but the only name she got was 'Imp'. Oh, girls and their tricky ways. "So, did Wren tell you how awesome I was?" she asks the cabbie cheerfully, offering Damian a slice of her meat-feast pizza now that he's no longer strutting his stuff with the microphone. "He's right. You were good. Should totally charge more for your services as a cabaret singer."

Damian mumbles something unintelligable about naw, naw, wasn't all that good, damned evil pizza people. "What is 'cabaret'?" he asks the lot in general, that word not entered into his vocabulary just yet. "Why thank you, how very nice of you!" he tells Nieve with a great beaming smile made entirely out of sunshine, taking the slice and enjoying it like a ravenous hungry thing. Food ninjas can be anywhere at any time, and they will take your food if you don't eat it quickly. Or at least, that's what his pseudo prison lunch room syndrom paranoia seems to say.

Jai looks fleetingly confused, and then just amused, replying to Nieve, "I heard general but brief approval." He shakes his head at the eating of Nieve's pizza, telling Damian, "Dude, don't they owe you half the store by now? They better be letting you stock up your pizza points or something. And I think cabaret is basically performing in a restaurant or nightclub, so you're already doing it. Also, it's a musical."

Lucid fidles with the screen on his iphone and a digital voice says "Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue-a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance being introduced by a master of ceremonies or emcee" comming from the little handheld.

Approval? Nieve beams at this, and promptly finishes her pizza slice, so she can sip from her pepsi. "So, you come down here to do random acts of music at 2am every day? 'cause I got nothin' better to do with my mornings an' this is more fun than sleep." That is probably directed at Damian, but really whoever feels like answering. Lucid's comprehensive explanation gets a curious look from the dreadlocked girl and she asks, "Reading from Wikipedia?"

Lucid smiles and nods to Nieve and takes a big bite of pizza and munches on it.

"Not every day." Damian answers, inhaling his pizza at record speed like usual, "Just if I'm around and bored. And hungry." Pizza crust is not left to waste either, and quickly sucked into the black hole that is Damian's mouth before he fetches a napkin to clean his hands. Once they're clean enough to suit him - and that's pretty clean - he begins unwinding one of the spun wire trinkets out of his dreads, which he then attempts to apply to one of Nieve's dreads. "Ha, you sound just like Squishipedia." he says to Lucid. "You're right though, I should cash in, try and get a free pizza or something. I'm hungry."

"You should," Jai agrees somewhat distractedly, munching a slice of his pizza and watching the transfer of dread-jewelry closely.

There's a little squee from Nieve as she's the recipient of a wire charm, holding stock still while Damian winds it onto one of her dreadlocks. Then, in typical girly fashion, she flounces off to the bathroom so she can check it out in the mirror. Preeeetty.

Damian beams as well when Nieve squees and boings off. There, you've witnessed Damian actually making some retarded, clumsy thing vaguely resembling hitting on a girl. Or just plain old hippie love, the world may never know. "I'm gonna at least get something to drink. Either of you guys want anything?"

Lucid nods and tapes a few keys on his iphone and the little digital voice says "Mountian dew please!"

"Already got a Coke," Jai says, lifting the glass, "and this time no one around prone to stealing it. So I'm good, thanks, man." He glances off the way Nieve went, and grins at Damian, "Clearly you're starting a trend. Soon we'll all have sparkly dreads and the world will be awesome."

Damian fetches sodas, a couple slices of cheese pizza with extra cheese and also some cheese (the *only* no-meat food he will concent to eat, because surely this much cheese equals having eaten part of a cow), and also some monkey bread. He is assured by guy not ringing him up that it is in fact made with real monkey. Mostly going for the premade stuff as it is, he's able to return quickly and give Lucid his soda and also offer the two, "Monkey bits?"

Lucid just grins and takes the soda... ahhhh 'cafine' his big eyes start to come alive as finaly he refuels his addiction.

"Hell yes, I will eat those damn monkeys to death," Jai says, ripping off a bit of the monkey bread, and then ripping it into smaller bits before he starts eating them.

Lucid has disconnected. (And is assumed to have left.)

[Brief cut.]

From out of the bathroom comes prancing a Nieve, holding up the dreadlock with the wire charm around it like some kind of trophy. She looks pleased with her gift, and so sidles on over and attempts to choke Damian to death. Or, alternatively, apply a hug to whichever part of him (arm, torso, leg) is easiest to establish a hold on. "Gracias! It's very pretty."

Damian is inhaling cheese pizza with extra cheese and some more cheese on it at speeds that make it impossible to actually appriciate the food itself as having any sort of taste. He has a coke as well as some monkey bread on the counter, and is babbling with Jai all happy and dorky-like. Still, Damian is the sort that's very quick to return hugs, and with enthusiasm, "I'm so glad you like it!" he says to Nieve.

"So. I'unno if Wren or Imp said to you but, I'm lookin' for decent places to hang around town. They had a few, but any more suggestions or warnin's would be good," Nieve voices to the two locals (or at least, more local than she is), with an air of hopeful expectation.

Something about what Nieve says makes Jai grin again, looking downright tickled, and he takes a long drink of his Coke before answering. "Well, it depends what you like doing. Here's always good; so's the Frontier, Blackbird, Rise and Shine's okay... Laura's is good, especially if you like tea; there's Nevermore for books and coffee, the parks and the cemetery are nice if you feel like being outdoors with the weather warming up, also up at Petroglyph, and there's nice hot springs up there. Oh, and the whole botanical garden/zoo area's not bad. There's Rhythm Nightclub if you feel like dancing. Depending how safe you feel in iffy areas there's Sharkbite if you want to play pool or something. You prolly want to stay out of the war zone, though; most people do. Want to, I mean. Not necessarily manage it. Prolly not much they didn't already mention."

"Hot springs." Damian says with a nod of his head, and adds, "The desert is beautiful around here too, but really easy to get lost in, so you gotta be careful. And I dunno, I mean. The 'zone's just a place, if you know what you're doin' then it's not so bad. You just have to expect trouble and pretty much be okay with having that be part of the exploration. Not that I advocate pretty women wandering off in dangerous places, it's just. Some girls are scary. So whatever, right? And there's neat stuff to see pretty much everywhere. Oh! The Three Fools tavern has really good music, a couple people I know perform there sometimes. And.. And dude, the aquarium is *scary*. Don't go there. Ever."

"Zone? Warzone?" Seems nobody has yet mentioned the zone to Nieve, and she sounds vaguely curious. "Do I count as scary?" she wonders then, failing on that given she's apparently quite friendly. But maybe if you don't know her, and she's going 'grr'? "Aquarium, scary. Check. Never did like squid." She sips more pepsi. "Pool's okay, but I suck at it. I'm better watchin' and makin' sarky comments."

"Sarky comments are more fun anyway," Jai says, "And yeah -- most of the southeast area, between about 800 East on Lomas and 1500 East on Central or so, that's the 'zone. The gangs pretty much run that area, there's a lot of violence... it's not most people's idea of a good time. And I dunno, you don't seem scary right now, but maybe you know five flavours of kung fu. With flashing knives and various leaping and stuff. Hard to tell."

"I *know*, right!?" Damian replies to Nieve, as if she just agreed that she too understood something extremely important that no one else can fathom, "Squid are not right. They are not. right." He look to Jai then and asks very seriously, "Kung fu comes in flavors?" What is this kung fu you speak of, is it an ice cream, perhaps?

"They are just wrong," Nieve agrees with Damian, her tone of voice quite serious. Seems there's a little anti-squid sentiment going on here. "Maybe I do! An' it would be like in that song - everybody was Kung-Fu fighting!" Apparently, in her mind the Warzone is just like the set of a Carl Douglas music video - or maybe West Side Story. Who knows. "I could be badass. I'm not, but I totally could be." Firm nod, as if she's just proven she's hard enough for the 'zone. Let's hope she never visits it.

"'course it does. I like strawberry, myself. Those dudes are fast as lightning." Jai stifles a yawn, despite the fact that he's already made it through most of that soda, and it probably wasn't caffeine-free. "Oh, man. Woke up early today, and now I'm paying for it..."

Damian pfft's at Jai's excuse and says, "You're not even capable of waking up early, what are you talkin' about?"

"Depends when early is," Nieve remarks, checking her watch and shaking her head. "You should totally sleep, can't have you drivin' around all sleep-deprived and runnin' over old ladies who don't cross the road quick enough," she tells Jai, apparently aware of his livlihood. Petra did provide /some/ useful information. "'cause that's totally what people do when they're tired behind the wheel." Firm nod. Faxt, right?

Jai makes a face at Damian. "Dude, they were doing some kind of extra loud construction at like 10:30am, my next door neighbour started practicing the drums, and then a hundred ambulances went past! Even I can't sleep through that. So I figured I might as well drink a couple pots of coffee and see if people wanted to go places for lunch. And it's not like I got to sleep any earlier than usual the night before, so. Little tired." He grins at Nieve, nodding. "And I currently have a one hundred percent dead-old-lady-free record, which I wish to maintain."

Jai adds, "There's an award, y'know. Comes with one of those big shiny loving cups."

"S'good. I'd visit you in jail if you knocked one over, though," Nieve offers generously. "Might even bring a file or somethin'." She finishes her pepsi, waving at the bored and now almost somnambulant guy behind the counter for a refil, and then adding, "S'good though. Imp was right - you guys are good peoples." Aw, praise.

"Would it be in a cake? I love cake. Also, the classics." Jai finishes off his own soda, so the guy can do two at the same time, 'cause he's just considerate like that. "She was telling you about us? What'd she say? Because only the good parts are true. The rest is a product of her fevered imagination. Just so's you know."

Eyeing Jai, Nieve voices deadpan, "You cannot _seriously_ be expectin' me to tell you what she said? 'cause that'd be breaking some kind of girl-girl pact or somethin'." The way she says it, it's some kind of cardinal sin. "All good though. An' funny." Bright smile. "So how'd you get into bein' a cabby, anyway?"

"Aw, come on." Damian pleads now that he's finished ravaging the food supply that he had, "We'll just die if we don't know what expectations are being set about for us to live up to!"

"Less 'expecting' and more 'hoping'. I will bribe you with Damian's scrumptious monkey bread," Jai offers, gesturing to what remains of the treat in question. "And the promise not to tell her you told me. It's a good deal; this stuff's delicious." He grins at her, and the question gets a small shrug, "I wish it were an awesome story with, like, car chases and explosions and rescuing beautiful women, but basically, I finished high school, decided I wasn't going to college, and realised I had about three months before living at my parents' house and not having a job made me officially a loser. So I checked the paper and they were hiring cabbies, and I figured, well, I like people and I can drive, so hey. And lo, the world saw that it was good."

"Well." Nieve considers, apparently quite tempted by the monkey bread. Even better that it's not hers to begin with. "You were 'trustworthy' an' a decent guy to hang with," she tells Jai, offering just a morsel, and then grins at Damian. "Imp would totally do you, but agreed with Wren it'd be like doing her brother, 'cause you're so nice." Ohhh someone's stirring. And now, hand out for the bread! She's earned it, right?

Damian's expression says he.. just.. doesn't know how to take that. Should he be flattered? Should he ew? Does he have *any* clue what the hell Nieve even meant by that? He just stares at the woman with this lost and blank sort of look, which he then turns on Jai. Sandwich brother, make the world make sense again, because somehow it's gone all weird.

Jai reaches over for the monkey bread, tears it in half, and hands half of it to Nieve, holding the rest temporarily back. "What, no one's going to totally do me? Man, my life is full of woe. But at least I'm trustworthy. That's always a plus." He siiiighs theatrically, and rather grudgingly hands over the rest. Glancing over to Damian, he notes the expression, and reaches over to ruffle the guy's hair. "They like you. They think you're sweet and nice yet also cannot entirely avoid the allure of your sugar lumps."

"It's my fault," Nieve laments to Jai's comment. "They mentioned Damian as having dreads, I asked if he was hot, it went from there," she offers contritely. "Next time I will ask if you're hot, and see how that goes?" She reaches over to pat Damian's shoulder as if in sympathy. "It's a compliment, hermano." And now, the bread. Nom.

Damian just cant wrap his head around this, it's weird and awkward and also weird. "Um." he adds eloquently to the conversation, and then decides that drinking his soda would be best instead. His ears, they stay quite red.

Jai pauses, apparently considering this, and whatever it brings to mind makes him grin again. "Yes. Do that, please. It oughta be hilarious, and I wasn't using this ego anyway. Much. ...So they did of course say yes, right? I mean, c'mon. Look at him!" Gesture to Damian. Because if you can't make your buddy match the pizza sauce, what kind of friend are you, anyway?

"Totally," Nieve agrees cheerfully, finishing up her half of the monkey bread with every sign of enjoyment. "An' now, I have to go contemplate my death, 'cause I will totally be strung up for sharin' such secrets," she laments, sliding off her seat and straightening. "Come to my funeral, yeah?"

Damian whiiiines and tries to hide himself by tucking his hood up over his head. Jai is a terrible person. Pulling the stringsand hiding everything but eyes and nose, he looks up at the fleeing Nieve, "You are not gonna die!" he defends, "It was really good meeting you, though, in case you do."

"Te prometemos," Jai says, "we'll bring a monkey bread wreath for your casket and weep loudly in the third row. It was good meeting you even if you don't. But enjoy your contemplation. And your monkey bread." He offers the last of it to her, for the road.

"Gracias," Nieve tells Jai, for both the bread and the promise. And then, blowing a kiss to both of them, she prances out of the pizza palace, full of joy and food. A victory over 2am.