Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The guy's a big fat nobody

I'm really not there like I used to be. I only miss the convenience the place offered to waste an occasional lunch hour and the time after work I picked up from not going there, I'm enjoying better than if I were there.

Before I infrequented the place, some of the new help got to know me. I feel it would be rude not to show up every once in awhile, especially because they know I still go there every Friday when Jen's working. If I were smarter I would just leave before the early Friday evening shift change but an hour doesn't seem enough time to accomplish whatever it is I'm doing there; it's not just about the drinking.

I try to visit everyone that knows me by name on one of their solo shifts at least once a month. I hadn't been in on one of Michelle's shift since six weeks prior. She placed a beer at my chair before I even sat.

There was a weird uneasy vibe in the place or maybe it was just me hating on the three guys sitting at table fourteen. The mood changed a bit for the better when the manager walked it and then changed back when I overheard him say "I can't fight all three of them. I'll just call the cops." At least my vibe was shared by someone else.

When Shawn first walked in, the fat self-important leader of the trio shouted a generic greeting at him.

"You remember me right? You're the manager, right?"

"Guy, I see a thousand people a day."

"Oh. You don't remember me? What's your name?"

After Shawn answered, Jimmy offered his name and his right hand.

"Let me introduce you to my boys."

I had to turn away but before I did I found out the one that looked like a heroin addict was named Frank. Frank couldn't sit still for more that three minutes and couldn't make up his mind on whether or not he wanted to wear his woolen hat. The other member of the group was fairly quiet and went up for the free appetizers at least four times and he devoured his food like he was homeless.

I was put at ease when they left.

My ease left when an older guy sat next to me. I had seen him once before and just like that time he offered to buy me a beer and just like last time I told him that the one I was working on was doing me just fine. And also just like before, I got a weird vibe off of this guy.

He offers to buy beers like it's something worth more than a dollar fifty and there is an air about his offer: a beer for you soul. So far I haven't found a need to be owned for a dollar and a half.

The bartender carded him but he didn't have proper ID and started to make a scene. I always wonder what the deal is when someone makes a scene. He only had an ID card, usually if someone only has an ID card, they have either done time or had their license revoked neither is a good candidate for intoxication.

I was minding my own business the best I could, I was even turned away from him to give a sense of privacy until he got louder with the bartender. I tried to calm the guy down but he was too incensed. It seemed like all of his honor was contingent on him getting a beer at this establishment. And then just like before he bypassed my objections for a beer and told the bartender to get me one. He was told he couldn't buy any beer for anybody until he showed a valid ID.

"Did you have to show ID?" he asked of me.

I wanted to say that I was indeed carded but I wasn't. I didn't care about lying to the guy and a lie could have helped the bartender out but I was bothered that she would then know me as a liar even if I would just be a white liar. I answered the best I could.

"They know me, but when we first met, they did."

I must have answered well because Michelle then placed a cold pint in front of my warming half of one. When the manager returned from his errand he promptly asked the guy to leave.

"I'll leave but I'll leave on my own," he said in parting.

'Foolish pride' came to mind.

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