Joe the plumber had to dive into that bar. Had to order a double scotch then another. Had to meet her. And was never seen again. Alf the air conditioning technician same fate. Men who pick up Mel in the Donegal Bar are like gone forever. Mel’s a harp so a natural born poet. Ask for a little music and she sounds off like a juke box. “Mary, the Rose of Tralee.” Cobras are sentimental. Joe and Alf get the concert with the double scotch and the walk into oblivion in Mel’s apartment just ‘round the corner.
Listen, you gotta hand it to her. Mel has her own idea of night time celebrations that are a far cry from beer, pretzels and sex in front of the television which is what Joe and Alf basically want. Once Mel sheds her clothes, she sheds her skin and becomes Mel the serpent that Saint Patrick forgot to charm out of Ireland. So Joe the plumber tunnels through her while in the background, the folks on American Idol booming canned happiness disappear in a hiss. It would take her months to digest Joe. No one says the snake in the Garden had to be a man; women talk better to women and maybe it was just giving Eve a recipe for apple pie.
No one really misses Joe or Alf past the mandatory display of grief set forth in Part One of Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett complains that she’s gotta wear black after Charles Hamilton’s death which is tough for a civil war widow and outright intolerable for those living on canned happiness. Mrs Joe and Mrs Alf forget the dear departed and go to Walmart on sale days. Life is for the living. Mel returns to her human form and her job doing nails in a 7th Avenue upscale boutique. She likes the glam.
Then William Patrick Ryan steps into the boutique and into her life. More a copper acting like a casting director even if he was a casting director acting like a copper. You can be certain of nothing nowadays. Accosts her at the Donegal in an underhanded smooth as silk Sam Spade way but she doesn’t catch on at first and drops him for Alf. Then he sees her leave with Alf and he does his gumshoe number taking pix on the fire escape while they go at it . The next day he drops by the nail boutique leaves his card. He’s like a director of art films dealing in wrestling and guarantees instant fame on cable TV. Cobras are curious so she goes.
It really is a wrestling match with her opponent all tan and like this huge huge giant. You’d never believe it. Steroids galore. Mel is not phased out; cobras are courageous. The cameras move in. Huge huge crowd. Ref on the PA : “In this corner Manny the Mongoose vs Mel the Python lady.” That really set bells a-ringing in her harp head and Mel instantly stops the fight with “I wanna see Ryan and like right now!” Ryan mutters to himself “Oh dames” and they go off ina backroom.
Mel is like, “I’m not fighting as a python. I’m a cobra.” Ryan pulls out the contract and points to the clause stating that the party will be known as the Python lady. If she refuses, he goes to the police with the pix. He’s got her he thinks. Mel spits poison into his eyes. Cobras are touchy. Then she storms outta the backroom and whips Rikki Tikki Tavi into jungle jam as millions of fascinated wrestling fans watch it happen live.
She can’t wait until the last bow and then she says to Ryan. “Oh Bill dear, wanna give you something you’ve been dreaming about” and Bill thinks it’s the Rose of Tralee. They step into his office and Mel makes apple pie outta him. Cobras are vengeful.
Copyright © Diana Pollin