Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just like the prodigal son

This past Friday all my friends went lame on me, and nobody wanted to go out. After a happy hour with the Kaiser, I was home by 7:00, and entertained myself by watching Go, which was on one of the movie channels, and reminiscing about how weird the ‘90s were in hindsight. At about 9:30, I decided I wasn’t going to completely waste the night, so I put my shoes on and headed down to the Pub.

Frankie’s waitress was not working that particular evening, and I had forgotten how truly cool that place is and why I used to look forward to going there. The place was packed, but Marti, one of the waitresses there – a bigger girl that I would totally do if given the opportunity – saw me walk in and produced a barstool out of nowhere so that I’d have a place to sit by the bar. I ended up next to the servers’ station, so I got to talk to all the waitresses that were working that evening: Misty, the super-sweet petite platinum-blonde ditz with the painted on eyebrows, who told me she was planning to be roller-girl for Halloween; Rosa, the Romanian who has the Eastern-European thing going, and is therefore harsh on the outside but totally kind once you get to know her; and Natalie, the machine, who is not the friendliest, but definitely the waitress you hope for on a crowded night due to her efficiency. Because I was at the bar, I dealt with Geoff, the bartender who was gruff with me for the longest time until I gave a $125 donation to Friends of Sinn Féin, whereupon he treated me like the regular I always aspired to be somewhere.

Anyway, the place was packed, and the people watching was spectacular. The Irish band they had playing did a bunch of very good covers, and the patrons were festive. I went outside to smoke, and found several of the regulars there, including “Drunk Josh” who moved in behind the Pub this year so that he wouldn’t have to risk any DUI liability. A beer later, I found myself talking with Diane, one of the regulars, who had shown up randomly at 11:30 and was completely sober. I asked her why she was sober and offered to buy her a beer. She told me she had just gotten off of work. I asked where she worked, and she told me that she had recently lost her job as an instructor at a local cooking school, so in the meantime, she was dancing at a local strip club to make ends meet. Strippers are to guys what firemen are to women: there’s an implied “hotness” and a presumption of “interesting” regardless of reality. That said, Diane is pretty good looking, pretty interesting to talk with, and she’s the first stripper whose real name I’ve known (rather than stage name: hers is “Jaime” – not very stripper-like, but whatever). We talked for a while before I headed home, and mused about how the night had turned out alright after all. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came.


Jamm-o-rama said...

Ha! You asked why she was sober! I like your style. :)

Unconscious said...

Jamie, good name. There is a bar like that here, but, it's doesn't have cool stripers, and it has green walls, and they serve beers by the can, if requested.... some how not the same.