From PJH's Stoop:
I sat at my usual table in the corner of the pub. It is always comfortable there. No one bothers me and Michelle keeps the Lounge Lizards away from me.
It is my spot.
Today, I had quit early and I fled to the safe refuge of my quiet corner of the pub. The Command Center was too hectic, too busy and honestly, people were annoying me, so I could not properly find my way to be productive and accomplish much of anything. Therefore, here I was, in my corner, happily typing away on my laptop while sipping a pint.
I took a pause from my work and looked around the pub. I rather enjoy the ebb and flow of the patrons of this establishment. The afternoon crowd of retirees gradually gives way to a flow of the working people as they leave out of work and then that crowd filters out and the younger crowd or music crowd flows in to catch the music performances until closing. The weekends, well, those days, are all bets off because you never know what the crowd will be like. A group of retirees sat on the end of the bar closest to where I sat creating the world’s greatest literary work right behind, Dickens’ Tale, and the gang were immersed in the television above the end of the bar, broadcasting the annual professional golf tournament that draws so much attention. The big, one in the spring of the year, on the fancy golf course in Augusta, Georgia where they show all the trees blooming and shrubs in springtime blooming majesty.
What they do not show you are all the people with allergies, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
Anyway, the retirees are all avid golfers and I well, I am not. I never could get the hang of the game and after one or two bashes at that pesky ball; I always ended up at the bar. Now, if they allowed me to use my hockey goalie stick, then I might have had more interest. Honestly, it is always too bloody hot to be walking around with sweat running down my back, across my ass and into my socks for me to enjoy schlepping around some grass, under the blazing sun, beating and swinging at a little, white ball. I am a cold-weather-kind-of-guy.
For this group, the game is Heaven and they would be out there on the golf courses today except for the fact that it was about twenty-five degrees outside and the wind blew a gale.
One of the golfing aficionados lamented aloud how a certain great player of the past who the media hyped out of this world during the prelude to the tournament, now, floundered in the rear of the leader pack. In fact, the leaders were so far in front of this particular player that the statistic person listed the vendor working the crowd selling beer before him. Oh well, his “comeback’ was far from stellar and now that the poor guy had fallen out of the competition, the media dropped coverage of him as though he was poison. Instead, the media frenzy concentrated on the leader who apparently is an exceptional player that everyone despises. Now, this was more the ticket! Just what the media needed to drive up the ratings and sell commercial time. Now, it was all about this angry dude, stomping around the course and whipping everyone up into a frenzy of discourse. Ratings, ratings, ratings! After showing the angry leader guy sink a shot and jump around fist pumping the world in a wretched display of obnoxiousness, the camera showed a shot of the disappointed crowd, with one woman clapping.
I thought how that must be his mum.
Then the camera zoomed onto the washed-up champion, holding his back in pain and limping off into the distance, dragging his golf club behind him in sorrow-filled defeat. His caddy wandered nineteen-hundred yards behind the washed-up guy to prevent any perception that the caddy was part of the washed-up team. Then the camera cut to a shot of the blooming trees and shrubs and some gentle music played. I took a sip of beer and thought how these media folks have this down pat. I almost wanted to shed a tear, jump in a plane, sit on the sideline, and root against angry-guy.
In and amongst the retirees was an infiltrator. A younger chap, who, either worked shift work, was unemployed or was similar to me and just left out of work early. The younger man sipped drink-after-drink and spouted off his opinion rather often. The younger man seemed to be the foremost expert on the game of golf in the entire world and he felt as if he always needed to talk and show everyone how much he knew.
When the coverage went to a commercial, the golf expert commented, “Well, such-and-such was a sort of decent in his time, but now, such-and-such is great. Old such-and-such would not even be a mediocre player in this day and age. Not with this modern game of golf, where this and that is better, and the grass is greener, and the wind blows stronger, and the clubs are high-tech and the trees move more and the golf balls are better, and the water traps are colder, and the sand traps are deeper, and blah, blah, blah, and yakkitty-splakkitty.”
All the retirees listened carefully, well one chap, turned his hearing aid off, but despite the tattoo on the younger man’s neck of a golf ball and matching club, I was not impressed. The leader of the retirees, who is an immense human being named, Reginald, was not impressed either. Reginald held down the last stool in the end of the bar, with his huge weight, his multiple chins and his enormous girth. The State of North Dakota is smaller than Reginald is.
Reginald’s wise sage-like advice was about to change the entire atmosphere at the pub this afternoon.
After hearing tattoo neck’s comment, Reginald, leaned into his gin and tonic and after a deep gulp, Reginald said, “The trouble with your generation is that you think nothing is greater than what is right now. You are brainwashed by the media into believing everything now is the best that has ever been. That is the media’s plan in conjunction with corporate America bullshit in order to sell you on this screwed-up world. We are a disposable society. We are consumers. Everything is predicated on throwing out old stuff and buying newer, supposedly, better stuff.”
Reginald had the attention of the entire pub.
Perhaps, the entire world.
When the gin and tonic disappeared into the deep folds of his chin and then into his cavernous mouth, I heard a deep gulping noise. Reginald was taking a drink. It sounded like water going down a bathtub drain.
The wise sage of the last bar stool spoke again, “According to the bullshit they sell you nowadays and you young clowns believe--Babe Ruth would not be able to hit a home run in so-called modern baseball of today. Bobby Orr could not score a single goal in hockey because the game is so much faster, Sandy Koufax would not be able to strike out a single, modern day baseball player, Dick Butkus would not be able to make a tackle and Led Zeppelin would not sell even one record. Well, guess what? You are full of horseshit. Tell ya what? I had a 1972 Pontiac Trans Am with a 455-cubic inch high output engine and it would still give any modern-day, high-tech bullshit, rice-box car of nowadays a good run of it. To top it all off, Olivia Newton-John in the movie Grease in 1978 was still the hottest chick ever. So, stick that in your maryjunauna pipe and smoke it. Besides, weed was better in the 1970s too.”
Reginald went back to his gin and tonic. There was nothing left to say. I had to wonder if Reginald would run for the office of President of the United States of America? He had my vote. After all, we already had a president that did not inhale.
I leaned back in my stool and smiled. I thought of my old man’s beloved 1964 Rambler Classic 660, which in my books is the inspiration for the character of the old man’s infamous “1964 Putter Classic Model 200” family car. The actual Rambler had 380,000 miles on it and when we sold it to a guy who owned a gin mill down the street from us, the car still rolled around the City of Paterson, New Jersey for a few more years. It did not have Bluetooth, or comfy seats or fancy features but the car was the definition of the word durable. Plus, all you needed was a socket set to fix it. I doubt very many modern day cars would roll for 400,000 miles.
I knew shit about golf, but I damn well sure knew that nobody could skate as fast as Bobby Orr could.
Tattoo neck paid his tab and left.
I went back to work on my classic.
Reginald dreamed of his glory days in his Trans Am.
I had to agree with Reginald about ONJ.
That woman could melt the paint right off the walls.
As far as the weed goes, I will reserve comment.
Cheerio for now.