Another bombom overwon, and another round of drinks.
“And in Asia they grow it on purpose, but it doesn’t get cold enough here.”
...And another one of Duck’s drunk rants.
Aubrey came back to their table with more drinks. She handed one to Ned and just barely caught Duck saying “So they just. Keep. Fucking. Growing.”
Aubrey winced in sympathy.
“Kudzu again?” She asked to Ned who solemnly nodded.
“Kudzu again.” He said.
“ Fucking Kudzu. ” Duck said.
Now this wasn’t the only rant that Duck ever went on when drunk, but it was one of his favorites. Aubrey and Ned had figured out Duck’s interests pretty early on. It wasn’t that hard if you took even a few seconds listening to the guy. When he spoke, that is. Which he didn’t often do unprompted.
Still, his special interests were something he could go on about for ages, especially with the right people and the right drink in his hand.
Aubrey didn’t mind, she liked seeing him a enjoying himself, a bit more loosened up. And as far as she could tell, Ned just loved being around people period.
“Kudzu, pardon my words, can go sincerely prick it’s dick.” Aubrey said because she could only listen to his Kudzu rant so many times before feeling even just a little bit of hatred toward the plant.
Duck vehemently nodded. “It has eaten the whole south.”
Duck sips his beer and stares off into the distance, though Ned and Aubrey both know his silence won’t hold for long.
Ned raised one eyebrow at Aubrey. She hid her smile in her glass.
Duck slammed his glass back on the table. “Nasty invasive climbing vines.”
Ned nodded and patted Duck’s back.
“There’s only so much you can do, buddy.” Ned said.
“Only pulling them by hand or fire helps.” Duck said. While Duck sounded somber, Aubrey instantly perked up by the mention of fire.
“You burn it? But I thought.. With the trees.” Aubrey asked.
“Fires are actually quite common, just need to keep them under control. It cleans up the..” Duck waved vaguely around with his beer bottle. “Not for loblolly pine trees or other such scrubs. Burn right to the ground.”
Aubrey was intrigued. “But there are fires? In the forest?”
“Yeah, yeah. Helps clean. Wildfires are still bad but…” He trailed off. He had switched from whiskey to beer a while back, but the alcohol still wasn’t helping very much.
“But?” Ned prompted.
“Cogon grass!” Duck said. Aubrey meanwhile sneakily switched his beer with her coke. He’d thank her later.
“It thrives when it burns!” Duck exclaimed. A few of the guests at the cafe turned their heads at the loud noise. They went back to their own conversations when Aubrey gave them a thumbs up.
“Like Aubrey.” Ned said.
If it was possible to say :D out loud, Aubrey definitely would have.
Duck chuckled. “Fire and then douse it. Impossible.” He mumbled. He took a sip of his new drink and frowned. After examining the glass in his hand he shrugged and drunk it anyway.
Aubrey glanced outside.
“Aaaand I think that my que.” Aubrey said. “Let’s get you boys back home. I don’t wanna drive in pitch black.
“Some people care about safety, Ned.” She said, though she was smiling. She went to pay for the drinks. Ned had, somehow, saved her life today so it was her turn.
“Some people would rather not drive straight into bigfoot, Ned. ” She continued while they walked outside after paying.
“That was one time! And it was on purpose!”
“To be fair, that kinda makes it worse, in my opinion.” Duck said, already looking a bit more sober in the fresh air.
Aubrey gently shoved them toward the car.
“Come on boys.” She said, sneaking a peek at the beginning of a clear, starry night sky. “Bed time.”