The younger Secret had a double ear infection this weekend (two! two infections in one!!), so we stayed close to home. On Saturday afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore, and told Toney I was going to walk to the dive bar.
She was trying to get something done on her computer, and seemed to like to the idea just fine: “Yes, go. Go to the dive bar,” she said.
It was a beautiful day, and the bar is about a mile from our house. The weather was very football-season, and it smelled like half the town had fireplaces going, or fire pits, or other things that produce great-smelling smoke. Fall puts me a good mood… plus, there was draft beer in the near future.
I probably hadn’t been to that dump in more than a year. Toney absolutely refuses to set foot inside, because it looks like the kind of place you’d go if you had a hankering for a knife fight. But it’s not nearly as bad as it appears from the street. I don’t think.
I walked through the battered screen door, and every head ratcheted to the left, to see if it was someone they knew. Disappointed, they all turned back to the three or four TVs hanging above the bar. They had the volume turned up on one of the football games they were watching, but other than that… it was completely silent in there.
“Lager,” I told the bartender.
“Bottle or draft?”
“Two fifty,” he said.
Lager, of course, is northeastern Pennsylvania shorthand for Yuengling. Nobody calls it “Yuengling,” it’s simply “lager.”
I took a look around. I’ve always referred to the place as a dive bar, but might have to amend my descriptor. Check it out. It’s certainly a dive, but old man bar might be more accurate. I felt like a young whipper-snapper sitting in there.
I don’t think the guy beside me ever took a drink of his beer. He was there when I arrived, and he was there when I left, with the same amount of beer in his glass. Never spoke a word to anyone. The man beside him was completely mute, as well. Oh, it was one raucous bunch.
I noticed there were ashtrays there, even though it’s against the law to smoke in bars and restaurants. Whatever. And here’s their lineup of draft beers: Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Yuengling Lager.
In the old days they always had one microbrew, usually Victory Hop Devil, but apparently that didn’t go over very well…
I sat there and nursed my beer, exchanged a few text messages with Metten, and a morbidly obese gentleman eventually arrived and livened up the joint. He was probably in his early 30s, and was excessively invested in one of the football games. He sat down in the middle of the bar, and started hollering at the TVs on the wall.
“Ohhhh my gooooood! What’s the matter wit’ you?? You had it right in your haaaaaaands!!”
I found it interesting that a man who probably has to use a rag and wooden spoon to wash his own ass, thought it was appropriate to criticize world class athletes. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he had to stop for a rest, between his car and the barstool.
I had three beers, while soaking up the ambience of the place (and when I say ambience, I mean cigarette smoke and Lectric Shave), and left my standard tip on the bar: one dollar for each beer consumed. It seemed like a lot, under the circumstances, but I’m governed by a certain set of rules. What do you think? Did I over-tip?
While walking home I had to use the bathroom — right now. I very seriously considered going up into the woods, and just letting it go; my clothing seemed to be designed for such endeavors. But then I saw a port-o-potty, beside a youth soccer field.
The gods of waste elimination were smiling on me!
And while in that phone booth of unspeakable funk, I started thinking about all the different names I’ve heard people use to describe those things. Just recently I heard another one: Job Johnny. What have you heard them called? It seems like everybody has a different name for ’em.
I’ll leave you now with a question from the Stealing Clive Bull‘s Topics desk. It’s loosely related to today’s update… very loosely.
Recently Clive asked his callers to tell him where they live, roughly, and whether or not they’d feel comfortable walking around their neighborhood alone, at midnight.
I would, because we live in a full-on Leave it to Beaver town. In fact, the only place I’ve ever lived where I WOULDN’T have felt comfortable walking around alone at midnight, was an apartment in Atlanta. It was a place on Bonaventure Avenue, a few doors down from the notorious shithole “residence hotel,” the Clermont. When the sun went down there, it became an iffy proposition…
What about you? How would you answer Clive’s question?
And I’ll see you guys tomorrow.
Have a great day!