The girls didn’t understand why Phil had to be such a dick. Their mutual friend, Jack, being such a great guy made them question why he’d hang out with Phil. Phil was, unfortunately, included in their social gatherings because of his friendship with Jack though they continually tried to change his mind. They initially attempted to make nice with Phil, but his sexist comments and disrespect for most all females proven he was undeserving of any benefit of a doubt. Phil was, truly, a jerk.
He and Jack had known each other since grade school, but Tina and Phoebe felt no childhood loyalty to him. Their acquaintance came much later in life after he remained stuck his current state of perpetual adolescence. Much to their dismay, Jack brought him along when they went for pizza or a movie. At least a concert could drown out the volume of his bullshit.
Jack would try to explain away Phil’s behavior, make excuses for his inappropriateness, and blame Phil’s dad and brothers for their negative influence. But there was no valid justification in the girls’ minds. He’d gone too far one way too many times in proving himself a chauvinist bully.
Not only did Phil talk badly about the girls he’d somehow suckered into going out with — or to bed with — him, but also pointed hateful words at Tina and Phoebe. Typical insults were aimed at their looks, weight, how they dressed, and certainly their attitudes toward him. Any retaliation or defense tactics were only sour grapes according to Phil. Just them being bitches, he’d say.
The length of Phil’s shortly-cropped hair perfectly matched his temper, and he’d blast insults any time he heard Phoebe or Tina speak of a love interest or someone who’d invited her on a date. Jealousy popped out at the mere mention of a guy’s name. More than once he’d accusingly questioned Tina, “You gonna blue ball him, too?” She’d turned him down many times past and relished her wisdom.
To hear Phil tell it, someone would think it was her loss. “Yeah, I didn’t want that skank anyway. I know where’s she been and don’t want those sloppy seconds,” he’d lie.The darkening crimson in his face gave away the deceit, along with the subject being hidden from Jack, but Phil never realized his friend knew the truth.
Locker room lies ensued anyway. Phil made up stories of sexual conquests and fights won — each blurring into the reality of the other. Having seen them both in swimsuits many times bore an exaggerated nipple slip from Phoebe’s bikini top, and him brushing a hand across Tina’s butt spun into a story of her willingness for it to happen. To hear him tell it, they both wanted his scrawny ass.
No number of his dad’s ass-kickings made up for the terror Phil instilled in Tina. She cringed at the tumult of his blank stare piercing her skin and more than one instance of his rubbing against her in passing. Phil pathetically apologized, “Sorry … my bad,” and laughed about it afterward. She layered herself in as many clothes as possible when hearing of his impending presence and shuddered with dread in spite of herself.
Intense sibling rivalry was no excuse either. Phil was youngest of the brood, so he postured while his rage at being weakest simmered inside. He lashed out at anyone. Shit rolls downhill, as they say, and that’s where Tina and Phoebe were — right in its path.
An actual police chase was probably the only truth he extolled, his motocross bike winning out on a path through the woods that time. Driving legally was out of question after the latest DWI charge, so the officer would’ve recognized him were it not for the helmet he wore.
The night was perfect for an outdoor BBQ, except for one particular gatecrasher being there. Phil had once again tagged along with Jack uninvited, as sympathy for his buddy once again outweighed his manners. He was often heard claiming, “Phil’s a good dude — you just have to get to know him.” But that was the catch. Most people around there did. Jack was the only one paying Phil undeserved loyalty.
Spirits soared, much like the free beer flowing, and Jack soon disappeared to locate a makeshift outhouse behind the cover of some trees. Phil jumped at the chance of Jack’s absence opening the door of opportunity to openly harass Tina. He planted himself strategically near where she stood talking to Phoebe and was oblivious to him gesturing behind her.
Tina spun around at Phoebe’s urgent warning of him lurking there. With a small audience of others beside him, Phil motioned to his crotch and said,
“It’s just like Ballpark Franks – they plump when you cook ‘em. You might act like you’re not familiar, but we all know better, girl!”
Phil didn’t see how dangerously close Phoebe’s hand was to the grill. She reached for the extra long handle on a stainless steel BBQ spatula and took a strategically aimed swipe at the lower portion of his zipper with it. The shot landed as intended with a loud THWACK, drawing the attention of everyone within earshot.
As he clasped his hands between his legs, doubled over in pain and exclaiming guttural anguish, Phoebe had the last laugh. “Next time, Phil, it’s going on the grill!”
This post followed a prompt of plump at the Studio 30+ writing community, and this old ad slogan was the first thing that sprang to my mind. Ironically, the current relatively insensitive slogan for Ball Park Franks is: