Saturday Night Before the Election In a Rough Bar.
I'd had enough.
My employer is threatening excessing or even layoffs...
Drudge Report is reporting every time one of Obama's distant relatives farts...
and my wife is threatening to leave me, if - among other reasons - I go to Florida to help Barack.
So... it's time to get loaded.
I am as they say here, "Burn't out." Sometimes they leave out the t so it is "I am burn out." But for those among you who love to correct my and other people's misspellings and grammatical errors... I know it is "burned out."
Some people say "editing is fun." I say, why bother. I don't have enough time left in my life to care about editing properly.
If you can read it, I hope you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it then all the anal editing in the world won't change that.
Any way... it is the last Saturday Night before the election and I am burned the F*** out.
I see my sometimes partner in crime at work and I say, "Let's go."
He doesn't ask where. Instead he says, "What time?"
I say nine o'clock, and it's on.
We won't be going to the roughest place in town. He tells me at 9 when he shows up that it has been taken over by REAL bikers tonight... making it doubly rough.
I may be burned out... but I don't want to die.
I just want to forget.
So we go as the Rolling Stones song says, "Down the Road Apiece"... as in "Mama's cooking chicken fried in bacon grease, come on along boys it's just down the road apiece..." You know, where "The drummer is a cat they call Charlie McCoy, You know that cat with that rubber leg boy."
The parking lot is not as crowded as I thought it would be on Halloween night. This is the first time I have been here in over a year. I spent about $70.00 dollars that time... which is pretty much for me. I'm pretty much of a tightwad. Except to people. In the last couple of months I gave a hundred dollar bill to a soldier who had just come out of the hospital for his third wound after his third Iraq tour and was visiting his dad. Both he AND his dad told the army he was not going back. Actually I gave the money to his dad to give to his son after they left me. I didn't want to embarrass him and give it to him directly. The guy had no job and the Army was calling saying "When are you coming back?" and his dad - a veteran as well - was telling them "What part of he's not coming back do you not understand?"
I also gave a hundred dollar bill to a woman I knew who could not pay her rent this month and who told me she might actually have to live in her car. I couldn't believe it, but she assured to me she was NOT kidding.
But I'm not writing this for anyone to think "Oh, Will's such a great guy," cause if you have read anything in the past I have written you must know by now that I don't care what 99 percent of people think. (Make that 50 percent, and you probably know which half that is. Hint: The word begins with R.)
I'm just writing this so that you will know that in most cases I am a tightwad. But if you touch my heart... I'm a softie. I guess I really am a bleeding Independent.
So after that detour... back to the bar.
We pull into the parking lot and there is an old guy - younger than me - probably in his forties - and he is just standing around outside. I know what he is going to do. It's an old bar tactic. He's going to go in right before or right after us... so it appears he's with us and not alone.
I know this tactic because I don't like to go in a bar alone. Let the people inside think you have friends... even if you don't.
So he goes in right before us.
There is a five dollar cover charge and they ask my friend who goes in before me if he was paying for both of us. Friend says, "Nah, Dad can pay for his own."
What a wise ass. We make our way through the drinkers and millers about and find our way to an empty table with our backs against the wall - of course.
My brother in law - dead now, thank God - once was standing at a bar and got hit in the back of the head with a beer bottle so hard it split the knees out of his jeans and knocked both his shoes off. (At least that's what my sister said, and I hope it is true.)
A Beautiful blond waitress in her twenties comes and asks the proverbially question, "What'll you have?"
My friend says, "A Bud Light," and I, trying to be funny, say, "A Geritol."
She says, "Aww, you're not THAT old," which translated means, "You're old, but you're not as old as SOME of the geezers that come in here."
And then I make the decision that will change my night.
I tell her just give me a coke. She says "You must be the DD. (Designated Driver).
I say, "Yeah, I'm the old DD."
But I'm really not. It's just that I realized that no matter how bad things are for me (and possibly for the nation) right now... my getting drunk and doing something stupid is not going to help any of them.
And before long I see a guy who did not make the same decision, come by the table. His balance is way off, he is veering left and right as he walks, and he turns a full circle and looks at me, then spins on around heading toward the pool tables.
The waitress brings our drinks and I start nursing mine and looking around. I am a people watcher.
I see another waitress... and I recognize her as one of the moms from the school my daughter went to last year. She acknowledges me, sees my friend and evidently knows him as well and comes and sits down to talk with him. It is too noisy - the music is too loud - to hear anything they say.
Some people are dancing. I remember an English Professor I had a long time ago saying that Dancing is something that looks absurd... unless you are doing it.
He is right. There is a big fat woman dancing and I'm thinking, maybe she shouldn't be doing that... and then I realize, hey, she's having fun and I'm sitting here on my also fat ass, not having any.
She is winning, hands down.
The waitress leaves and I ask my friend, "What did she say?"
He said, she was talking about how rough it is to be a waitress here. They fine you 20 bucks if you're late, 40 bucks if you leave early and 80 bucks if you don't show up for your shift at all... and how she is only going to get 3 hours sleep tonight.
I look out across the smoke hazy room... and enjoy the music. Over there, is a woman who is and should be dancing.
She feels the music... and she turns it into a sensuous movement. The movement my college prof would say was "a mating ritual," showing all that she is ready - a prime candidate for procreation with a suitable male.
It appears to me, several males are ready to apply for the job, if the one with her now is unable to fill the requirements.
I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a guy today, where we talked abut there are certain species of insects that wait for a bug to leave his female bug, then sneak in and inseminate her, and rush right out again.
I was telling the guy, there doesn't seem to be much difference between bugs and us... except we vote occaisionally.
A young woman is sitting to my left with her male friend. She is as they say, "all legs." All the way up to her neck. But I hear her talk, and there is nothing "up there" which to me, negates any benefits of being so leggy.
The guy gets up to go to the bathroom and she is giggly and says to me, see that guy behind me, down the wall?
I nod, and she says, "That was my probation officer." She laughs. "I'm not on probation anymore, but it's funny to see him here. He's with his wife."
I look again and the blond haired guy is looking toward the woman. "OK," I say, good luck with that.
Waitress 2 comes back and starts talking with my friend again.
Then in the door walks two couples, and one of the women looks just like a tall, blond haired Sarah Palin. I can't believe it. She's got the hair all bunned up and wearing those glasses.
It has all got to be done on purpose.
I nudge my friend, and he takes note of it, and goes back to chatting up the waitress.
The Sarah look-alike sits down with her friends two tables away from us and I glance over at her several times as the night progresses. After a while she is sitting on boyfriend's or husband's lap, and after another while they are kissing.
There is a LOUD roar and over by the television set the crowd that has been watching, the football game goes crazy: Evidently underdog Texas Tech has just beat Texas.
Then the place settles down again. Just drinking, just dancing, just watching... and just having our ear drums continuously split.
I look around. There are white people, black people, and hispanics. The place is integrated. And I think...
Maybe Alabama is indeed changing.
For there hasn't been a single fight in this mixture.
I look at my watch, and we have been there about two hours.
And I think... about time.
With only three days to go before maybe one of the most important decisions ever made in this country is made...
Nobody in the place gives a damn.
Sometimes it's nice to go where Nobody knows your name.
And for a brief time...
don't care what the future may hold.
I tell my friend "I'm ready to go."
He is too. He is not an old geezer...
But like everybody else following my lead...
We are all on our way.
Total money spent: $10.00
Value of getting away from it all momentarily: