Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Pre-Game

"In Case You Forget..."
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

So all the fun I had at the B News Neighborhood pub quiz Sunday followed a pretty tense hour at Bernice's. To give you an understanding of what I'm talking about, I suggest reading this first, for some back story.

Anyway, I belly to the bar at Bernice's, order a beer, take a seat at one of the high tables and wait for Kevin and his girlfriend to arrive. There are a few of the old Puffer's regulars in the bar, but, like then, I mainly kept to myself, nodded when they acknowledged my presence, drank my beer and ate my tacos from Erendira (al pastor is the way to go there).

That's when one of the former bartenders came up to me and said that she read what I wrote about the sale. "It was really good," she said. I thanked her then returned to my beer. Over the following minutes she kept coming back up to me, showing me a Led Zeppelin skullcap she received for Christmas, and we enjoyed some back-and-forth. Nothing more.

It all went downhill when she introduced me to her husband. "This is the guy who gave you all the information," she said. I assured her that he wasn't, and he started to give me the stink-eye, not because of the article, but because I was talking to his wife.

Not even ten minutes later I notice them arguing at the bar. Well, not so much arguing as him getting worked up and her trying to calm him down. Listening in, which wasn't hard to do, I realized they're arguing over me.

"Who is he?" he asked.

"He's a writer, I knew him from Puffer's," she'd say.

"I don't know him."

"Yeah you do."

"You say I do, but I don't."

"He's a funny guy."

That set him off further. Motioning in my direction, I heard him say, "How about if I rip his head off and shit down his throat? I'd think that would be funny." At that point I started draining back my beer, in case I needed the bottle to keep that from happening, and thanking the fates I ordered a large Lithuanian lager. I've been in sticky situations on on five continents, but I haven't been in an actual fight in ages. I'm sure if he wished to escalate things and try to make good on his wish to shit down my throat, I could hold my own in preventing it. But no one wants to get into a fight.

"He's a good writer," she tried to assure him, unknowingly giving him an invitation to whip my ass by letting him know I was a writer. I don't know what happened after that, but Kevin walked in shortly after and I caught him up on everything.

"You really know how to make friends and influence people, don't you, Chuckles," he said.

I sure do.

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