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Every Grog Has Its Day
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Chapter 2: Life of the Party

“I really do like the whole bow tie thing, Murray.  It brings out your eyes,” commented Guybrush en route to the party that night.

“Well it took long enough to get on,” grumbled Murray.  “I had to glue it to my jaw bone, and I accidentally got my teeth locked together for an hour.”

“You have teeth?” Guybrush asked, confused.

Murray shrugged his shoulders, or at least the attempt was there.  “I got dentures.  Girls dig a guy with a great smile.”

“Well let’s see ‘em,” encouraged Guybrush.

Murray offered a toothy grin.  “Eeeeeee,” he beamed.

“I don’t know, Murray,” Guybrush teased, “that’s a bit cruel of you.  All those women are going to be ripping each other’s arms off to get to you when they see how wickedly dashing you are.”

“Gee thanks, Guybrush,” Murray growled happily as they approached the doorway to the party. “You really know how to flatter a body.”

“Or lack there of,” reminded Guybrush.

It wasn’t so much of a door as it was an entrance.  In fact, the whole thing resembled a half-sunken ship mired in mud. 

“That’s because it IS a half-sunken ship mired in mud,” explained Murray in response to Guybrush’s observation.  Even more foreboding was the bouncer, appropriately attired in a Grim Reaper hood, and equipped with an ominous scythe.

“Have we met before?” Guybrush asked him.

“You’re dead, aren’t you?” the solemn voice returned.

“Ha ha,” Guybrush laughed weakly.  “You’re really getting into the part.” 

Murray’s teeth sunk into Guybrush’s arm.

“Ow! Hey! What was that for?” he hissed.

Murray glared up at Guybrush.  “For all you know he COULD be the Grim Reaper.  A lot of celebrities show up at these conventions.  So play along.  And one other thing,”

“What’s that?”

“Make another mistake so I can bite you again.  I’m really starting to like these teeth.”

 Murray’s obvious post-mortem appearance granted the two of them entry, and once inside, Guybrush was immediately struck by the size of the room.

“This is bigger than the Governor’s mansion! How did they manage to make it look so small outside?”

“Ghost architects,” replied a voice close by. “They can hide anything.  Twice the real estate at half the taxed value.”

“Not bad,” nodded Guybrush, turning to see who had addressed him. 

She sat alone, and for a gaunt, ashen-faced spook, she still looked pretty good.  Just like a supermodel, Guybrush decided.

“My name is Amber,” she said, holding out one thin, sallow hand.

“Really?” Guybrush remarked, taking it in his own to shake, all the while hoping that it wouldn’t fall off as he held it. “That’s actually my mother’s name.”

“What a coincidence,” purred Amber.  “Are you sure we haven’t met before?  I know! You must have been at Phatt Island’s Buffet Week last year.”

“Uh, no, I’ve never been to the Buffet Week,” corrected Guybrush.

“Another coincidence,” asserted Amber, still clinging to Guybrush’s hand, “neither have I.”  Her eyes, pale and luminously glazed over, stared deeply into Guybrush’s.  “I knew you were different the first moment I saw you.”  Her glance swept over Guybrush’s nervous figure.  “Only a dead man with a most profound sense of humor would come dressed like Guybrush Threepwood for a joke.”

“Just wait til you here the punch line,” Guybrush murmured.

Amber apparently didn’t hear.  “Why don’t we go for a walk, someplace where we can be alone,” she suggested.  Her voice dropped lower as she leaned in closer.  “I know a lovely secluded tomb.”

“Sounds great!” Guybrush heartily agreed.  He pulled Murray up to eye-level.  “Whad’ya say, Murray?” he offered enticingly. “Wanna go?”  Guybrush all but forced Murray into Amber’s hands, who held him gingerly as though he would jump up and bite her.

“Hi there honey,” Murray smiled, his teeth outrageously bared, “Why don’t you and I go somewhere and neck? I know you’ve got no lips, and I don’t have a neck, but I could tell you my plans for world conquest.” 

Amber’s shriek was closely followed by a thwack and Murray’s cry of horror as he found himself being propelled through the air towards the back wall.  Bouncing off of that he splash-landed in the grog bowl, which several patrons were spiking with punch.

Amber turned expectantly back to Guybrush.  “Well, now that he’s taken care of, why don’t we take that walk?”

“I lied,” Guybrush said hastily.  “Amber is actually my wife’s name.”

Amber blinked, her cold mouth pursing itself.  “And is she going to be here tonight?” came the icy question.

“I rather expect her to appear at any moment,” Guybrush responded.

“Help! Help!”

Guybrush nodded in the direction of the grog bowl.  “I need to go help my friend.  Dying once was bad enough for him.”

Guybrush lifted the dripping skull from the grog.  “Thanks for yelling help, Murray, I needed a good excuse to get rid of her.”

“I didn’t cry for help, you PEA-BRAINED nitwit! I am ALL-POWERFUL! Besides, I was about to drink the whole thing, why would I want help?”

The skeleton across the table lifted a weary finger.  “It was me who yelled.”

“It was I,” corrected Murray.  “Not even the dead can escape the chokehold of grammar rules.” 

“Whatever,” replied the skeleton.  “I cried for help because he was ruining the flavor.  This isn’t just grog.  This is Lockjaw Island grog, made with that special secret ingredient.  It was brought here special tonight by the crew of the Scab-Picker.”

“That’s disgusting,” Guybrush said wryly.

“But oh, they’re scary,” shivered the skeleton.  “Why do you think there are so many undead folks wandering around recently?  It’s because they’ve been pillaging all the ships and islands around Lockjaw as of late.  And for some reason, the victims are staying around, just like what LeChuck used to do with people.  There’s some powerful voodoo floating about.”

“I’d like to meet some of these fearsome buccaneers,” said Guybrush.  “See any in here?”

“Well, their captain is the only one here right now, and he’s in a competition.  He won’t talk to anyone unless they can beat him,” pointed the skeleton. 

Guybrush looked in that direction, where a large group of rowdy pirates were hollering and cheering, waving grog mugs in the air emphatically.

“Well what’s the competition?” Guybrush asked, dipping a cup into the grog bowl.  “I might want to join.”

“Insult Strip Poker.”

“Well that doesn’t sound so difficult; I’m wearing layers anyway,” Guybrush shrugged, raising his mug to take a sip.

“It’s Insult Strip Limbs Poker.”

The mug dropped from Guybrush’s hands, the caustic liquid burning through the floor.

 “This might be a little harder than I thought,” said Guybrush.

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