Oliver fought his way through the mall, shopping for Christmas presents. Pressed shoulder to shoulder with the crowd, he was swept helplessly along until he came face to face with Wes, an old school friend.
“Oli, how ya been?” asked Wes. Spittle flew from his mouth. That was the second thing Oliver noticed.
The first thing that greeted Oliver was his breath. The aroma was a complex blend of rotting flesh, faces, and skunk spray. Oliver tried to pull back, but the crowd pressed them together.
“I’m good,” said Oliver.
“You’re well. People do good things, but they are well,” laughed Wes.
Oliver turned his head slightly to avoid direct contact with the spit and stink. “I stand corrected,” he mumbled.
“Christmas shopping, eh? What a racket. I tell ya, the stores see ya comin’,” said Wes.
Oliver groaned. “Yeah, but you gotta do it anyway. Speaking of that, I gotta get going. I’m kinda in a hurry.”
Wes laughed. A spit bubble landed on Oliver’s shirt. “No worries. I gotta go, too. Merry Christmas, eh?”
“You too,” said Oliver, already elbowing his way out.
“Just one thing,” said Wes as he leaned in close, looking uncomfortable. “I didn’t wanna say anything, but you might wanna toss in a mint or somethin’. You’re breath could stop traffic.”