During a time when it was hip to be bad, three teenagers thought they were the epitome of the word. Coraghessan Boyleâ€™s short story, â€œGreasy Lake,â€ the three young men seek adventure at a local hangout. After playing a practical joke on one of their friends at Greasy Lake, the three teens quickly realize that they are in for more adventure than they had bargained for. By the end of the night, the narrator of the story matures significantly after he and his friends, Digby and Jeff, run into some people more â€œbadâ€ than themselves.
The bars and clubs are closing and they had cruised the strip 67 times. There is nothing left for the three boys to do but head up to Greasy Lake. Upon arriving at the lake, Digby recognizes a mint â€™57 Chevy as his friend Tony Lovettâ€™s car. After beating on the horn and strobing their lights at the Chevy, they exit their vehicle in hopes of catching a glimpse of their friend engaging in some kind of sexual act. As they near the Chevy, a very bad character with greasy jeans steps out of the car. The narrator receives a swift kick in the jaw that knocks him to the ground. To his defense Digby delivers â€œa savage kung fu blow to the greasy characterâ€™s collar boneâ€ (114). Unimpressed by the blow, the greasy man knocks Digby to the ground with a swift roundhouse. Meanwhile, Jeff jumps on the manâ€™s back and bites his ear while the narrator grabs the tire iron from beneath the driverâ€™s seat. He had kept the tire iron under his seat because â€œbad characters always keep tire irons under the driverâ€™s seatâ€ (114). The narrator swings the tire iron at the greasy character and it strikes him across his ear. The man collapses from the blow. .
The instant before the narrator swings the tire iron at the greasy man, he had already begun to imagine the conversation between himself and the detective working the murder case.