The Grim Reaper entered Charlene Shiner’s beauty shop via the back door, after hours, per agreement, and folded himself into a shampoo chair.
“Just the usual,” he said morosely, drawing a nail clipper out of the folds of his cloak and going at a few yellow hang-nails with a vengeance.
Char took one look at Grimmy’s head and slipped on latex gloves before touching him.
“What have you been using on your hair, atomic waste?” she said, peering at the gelatinous goo holding his comb-over in place.
“No editorializing -- I’m not in the mood,” Grimmy barked.
“Well look who got up on the wrong side of the bridge underpass this morning!” Char barked back, tolerating no lip in her own place of business.
Grimmy settled back in his chair with his knobby skull over the rim of the shampoo sink while Char ran hot water over his head, double long.
"In case you hadn’t noticed, deaths are way down, which puts me behind on my quotas.”
Char squeezed a gob of Head and Shoulders into her palm and started massaging, knowing from experience that he’d spill his problems after a vigorous scalp-scratching.
“Ceasefires everywhere, peaceful demonstrations, use of restraint, Rosh Hashana -- nobody’s killing anyone these days except the Mexicans.”
Char gave his withered ears two playful tugs and said, “Have you ever thought of branching out into another line of business ?”
“Well, I had been wanting to specialize in show business deaths, such as those Housewives of New York and those New Jersey shore people,” Grimmy said, "but that seemed too much like performing a public service."