I wouldn't feel right about things if I didn't give a pitch for my neighborhood bar & grille.
Those of you in the Northeast US are well acquainted with the concept of the NB&G. It frequently takes shape as a big house or other structure, on a corner, serving food and beverages, maybe having a pool table. Heck, in Pennsylvania it's just about the only place you can buy adult beverages. And, of course, the NB&G is a gathering place.
A watering hole.
Shifting geographically to the Southeast, the rules change some.
You can buy beer in the grocery stores, the 7-11's. Where I live, there's a strip mall every other block, nearly always anchored by a restuarant of sorts. But every now and then, you'll stumble across a NB&G.
And here at the Granpa Drank Here Bar & Grille, it's 4 pm and time for the gathering of the faithful.
We've got the postman and the Pepsi delivery guy. An insurance salesman and a realtor. The drywall contractor. Schoolteacher (female, I might add). Three or four retired buzzards. The mystery couple who (we think) aren't married to each other yet sport wedding bands. Me and Stu. The place is a lot like Cheers, crossbred with Seinfeld, with a dash of East Pittsburg thrown in.
With various additions and no shows there's a crowd of 20 every single day. They pretty much all leave no later than 6, when our beloved yet somewhat befuddled Greek owner turns it into a nightclub / karioke / sports bar scene.
Oh yeah, and there's Master Chief Mo.
Somewhere back there Chief Mo got a mention for his prowess in passing initiation rites on behalf of the US Navy.
But it's what he does on a daily basis that endears us. Mo's about 5'-5" and 200 lbs. of ex-SEAL, bald as a cueball, do or die Navy sailor. I live in the biggest Navy town there is, but Mo is the only man I've ever seen with enough cajones to march into a bar wearing full dress white uniform - with 5 pounds ofmedals and stripey things . I swear, we jump to attention and salute every time he does this, it's an awe inspiring sight. Of course, he's breaking a half dozen regulations just wearing the damn thing in there, but what's the Navy gonna do? Fire him?
Mo approaches the bar. Shakes a couple of hands (new meaning to kung-fu grip). Swings smartly to port and squares up to the bar.
"Anheuser Busch!", he barks.
(It should be noted that he does this EVERY DAY).
A smiling barmaid will then fetch a bottle of Budweiser for the Chief. If she's worked there more than once, it will be on the bar waiting on him before he breaks the plane of the door.
Only he doesn't exactly say...Anheuser Busch.
He, auuuughhh....paraphrases a bit. And there's no delicate way to put this. It actually comes out -
"And How's Your Bush?!"
Remember now, he does this EVERY DAY, EVERY BEER.
And our Mo can lay waste to a helluva lotta beer.
Once in a while the barmaids get their dander up. Huddle together in indignant groups and discuss this phenomenon. "Why does he do that EVERY TIME? It gets so old. Why, I'm gonna inquire as to the condition of his testicles if he don't cut that crap out. Dammit!"
A couple of 'em have actually done this.
"Fine, how's your balls?", or something of that nature.
But it backfires. Mo plasters on a cheesy little grin, yanks back that dollar tip and hoists his longneck Bud for one long, life giving swig. Bangs the empty bottle on the bar.
They never, in my memory, have tried to deter him more than once.
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