My girlfriend wanted steak tips from this place we used to visit when we lived down the street. The food is very good and that was one reason but the biggest factor was a gift certificate someone gave us.
I, of course, had to go in. When I’m leaving the truck she tells me to make note of who’s there. I okay that instruction and enter the restaurant.
At the bar are people we know. Most of them greet me and we make a little small talk while waiting for the order. I was quite surprised to learn a couple of those people visit this site. I was even more shocked they like it.
“I never knew you were funny.” One guy said.
“You never paid me.” My standard response. I’m not one of those guys who’s on all the time. I punch in and punch out just like everyone else.
While talking to one guy another guy, someone we refer to as Smelly Guy for seriously proper reasons, keeps trying to get my attention. I keep signaling that I’ll be right there. But that’s not good enough. He keeps calling down the dozen or so seats.
“Hey, you want a beer? Want me to get you a beer?”
“No thanks,” I respond. “My order will be out in a minute.”
I’m finishing with one guy, shaking hands with another when Smelly Guy (who for some reason has an eye patch. I didn’t ask. I find curiosity kills many, many minutes of my life) sidles up to me.
“So, where ya been?”
“Around. We don’t get to this area much.”
“Oh, you should stop by more often.”
“We keep talking about it.”
“And where’s that lovely girlfriend of yours?”
“In the truck.” Smart enough to make me run the gauntlet.
And the conversation went on like that for the next couple of minutes. Let me say here that the moniker is not only fitting but exponentially so since we last spoke.
He kept pressing for attention and information. I kept deflecting and trying to find a clear air hole. Finally I had enough. I had to say hello to a couple at the end of the bar and the waitress was signaling for me.
I tried to close out the conversation with my patented easy let down. You know that one. It’s when you tell someone you’ll try to stop by over the weekend because it’s a specific time frame yet ambiguous enough so when you don’t show up you just say, ‘I said I’d try.’ And you’re home free!
But Smelly Eye Patch Guy kept going. I found myself in that place I go to when I clock in for work.
“Listen, if you keep it up I’m going to crawl up your ass and go spelunking with your polyps.”
I heard the guys behind me laugh.
“So that’s how you do it!” One of them said.
“I bet we’ll read that tomorrow!” The other one said.
And so you did.