Taking a break from the monotony that has been the last three days of cleaning by myself (ok, not totally, I did get a killer tattoo this morning) I left to find something to eat. Someplace where the staff is friendly (I might get part of my tab comped), I thought, and where there is someone to talk to for a while. Driving by my first choice I didn't see the cars of my favorite conversationalists so I rolled on.
At my second choice I stopped and went in and sat at the bar and the bartender immediately popped open a cold Bud Light for me. Nice...if I drank Bud Light, plus I didn't recognize the cook.
Plan B scratched, I finished my "beer" and even though she refused to charge me, I tipped the bartender enough to cover the beer and the tip as she did feel bad about giving me bottled water.
Choice number three (possibly four, I was craving KFC a few hours before all this) looked promising, and the new cook has been doing a pretty good job the past couple of times I've been in. As I walked in the bartender was already opening a Corona for me and as I sat I scanned the room and noted that there wasn't anyone in view that I didn't want to talk to...I'll take it. I ordered a burger and settled in watching CNN. Then it happened, SOMEONE TO TALK TO sat next to me. He is an acquaintance I've know for years, not really a friend, but friendly enough, it could be a hell of a lot worse. Until he started in about the news, the president, the world, and then, as if all that wasn't bad enough, he had to start in on the French. I'm not a hardcore Francophile, but how the hell can you not like folks with over 200 kinds of cheese...and the breads...and the wine...and butter in fucking everything, and I've gotten tired of the bad rap they've had since they had the balls to stand up to pretty much everyone else in the world and say that maybe attacking Iraq wasn't quite the best idea we've ever had, so I bristled a little.
He was quiet for a minute, until the pirate story came back on. "Oughta just sink that fucker, teach 'em a lesson," he said as I considered asking for my food to go. "Haulin' anything that's worth a shit?"
"Just food...and crew of twenty," I answered.
"Fuck 'em, that's what we get for helping people."
"The French navy has killed more pirates than we have."
"Hmmmph, oughta just send a bunch of rednecks over there, we'd know how to handle them folks." In a wondrous example of my late-found ability to shut the hell up when saying something would lead to all kinds of fun and excitement, I did not mention that the military was still taking volunteers if he was truly interested in showing the boys and girls already over there how to "handle them folks." Several of my ex-bosses, a handful of attorneys and at least two judges would have been amazed.
"Yeah," I muttered, hoping this would shut him up. It didn't, but being a business owner himself, he asked the inevitable, "How's your place doin'."
"Slow but ok, you?"
"Same, ain't nobody buildin' shit."
I built a really nice one this morning, but I kept this information to myself.
This led to an acceptable conversation in which we both bitched about banks, credit, car loans, and the joys of home ownership. I told him that my first priority for bills is the bank that once bailed me out when they probably should have walked away. He told me that his is his child support.
"Shit sucks," my neighbor noted.
"Yep, shit sucks," I agreed. Not totally though, I thought as I finished off my fries, they finally hired someone who knows how to cook a potato.
3 hours ago