Yeah, OK, so one night this kid came in, six foot, husky, but baby-faced, and right away I pegged his as underage: old enough for the needle, maybe, but not for the bottle. I watched him while he circled the store, to make sure he didn’t steal anything, and also because, you know, it wasn’t exactly a chore to look at him. Eventually he picked out a liter of Stoli and brought it to the counter.
“I.D.?” I said, and waited for his pitch. A lot of them ha a spiel they’d go through, you know, “I was sick the day this photo was taken, that’s why it doesn’t look like me.” But this kid didn’t say a word, just handed me a driver’s license with the name Miles Davis on it. I checked the picture, and it’s this black guy with a trumpet.
Miles Davis. The jazz musician.
Yeah. So I looked at the kid, and there was maybe a hint of a smile on his lips, but other than he was completely straight-faced. And I’m like, “Miles Davis, huh?” And he just looked back at me, cool as can be, like, yep, that’s me. “You’re looking awfully pale tonight, Miles.” And he said: “I have a skin condition”.
Well, that was good enough as far as I concerned. If you can come up with a line like that and deliver it deadpan, you deserve a drink. So I went to give the tip jar a shake, but he was already there, slipping in a dollar. “You’re the man, Miles,” I said, and rang him up.