At one minute after seven, Walter clocked out. Back in the corridors, after clockout, Tex grimaced, reached up and grasped his hair... and scalped himself. The brown rug came away, and about fifteen feet of long, blond locks tumbled down over his shoulders, nearly to his waist.

"Ahhh," he said, "free again!"

"What kind of freakshow is that?" Walt pointed.

"Oh," said Eunice, gathering her purse. "He's our resident musician, our what-is-it... countrypolitan artiste..."

"You know I hate that term," Tex chided.

"Actually, he is pretty good. On the guitar," the register lady's voice dropped, "his voice makes Bob Dylan sound like George Jones..."

"I'm eclectic..." Tex protested.

"Delusional," Eunice winked.

"So..." Walt leaned against the grill, "think you're the next George Jones? Worse things to be."

"Actually, I'd settle for bein' the next Hasil Adkins..."

"Who?" Walt frowned, trying to ignore the ripples between his spine and sphincter... not unlike the tides, they were, the angry surf...

"One man band. From back east, Kentucky, West Virginia, dead now... some jealous loser ran over him with an SUV for bangin his mother. Used to play guitar, drums with one of those foot pedals, sing about hotdogs..."

"Hotdogs?" Eunice echoed, removing her keys.

"Hotdogs. And chicken," Tex added.

"Could've cut a sponsorship deal with Mr. Z," Walt nodded. "Hotdogs!"

"Probably not," Tex disagreed. "Wanna go for beer?"

Walter realized that the kid was talking to him... wondering whether Tex needed an adult, with an adult's ID. It wasn't that bad of an idea, though... and then his colon spasmed...

"S'mother time," he waved, grinning insincerely, and hurried back into the Gents.