Monday, May 19, 2008

Don't Worry, I Don't Drive

Dennis' visit to Fort Lauderdale is over and he has returned to sunny California. Yes, we spent a good part of his visit in dimly lit taverns knocking back more than a few vodka drinks. It has been suggested by a few members of my family that maybe we have a gene that makes us want to hang out in such places. The answer is yes, or maybe, or possibly.

Years ago, in the city of Chicago, there were taverns on almost every street corner, in every neighborhood. When I was a little boy my mom and dad would bring us all into the city to visit grandma and grandpa, and one of my favorite things was to go bar hopping with grandpa. He would take my little hand in his gnarled old hand and lead me down the street, to the corner tavern. When we walked in the door, it seemed everyone knew 'Bill', and said hello to him in unison. He would then pop me up onto a bar stool and a cold 7up would appear in front of me, and a beer in front of grandpa. I would then be accosted by numerous drunken patrons, all needing to say something funny to the cute little kid. Is it any wonder where I got the idea that a bar was a cool place where you met people and they would talk to you?

After a beer, my grandpa would then take me down to Fifty First Street, to visit his next stop on the tour. This seemed to be a somewhat more sophisticated establishment, with a juke box, but with a slightly less family oriented clientele. Still, the routine was the same. Me up on the bar stool with my 7up, and grandpa with the beer. At this stop there were more ladies who just had to come over, squeeze my cheeks, and say hello to the cute little kid.

These days nobody comes over and squeezes my cheeks, and says I'm cute while I sit on a bar stool. In fact usually the only one who talks to me at all is the bartender, and that's just to find out if I need another drink.

9 comments:

  1. The bars you go to I'm sure they squeeze you cheeks.

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  2. It was great going out with Alan on our bar tour of Wilton Manors. There are plenty of people that come up to Alan and talk, like "another drink?", "more peanuts?", and his favorite, "fresh popcorn?" I think that if Mark stopped feeding you so much of that good food, more people would be glad to pinch your cheeks. It's just now a little more than they can grab. Take it from one who knows fat cheeks. It was a fun visit, but nice to get back to the desert, even though we're breaking records at 111 degrees. Just stay in the shade and all is well. It will drop 30 degrees by night fall and will be back to normal by Wednesday. Just remember, it's a DRY heat. BS...it's still HOT.

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  3. If you want more people to talk to you you need to instigate things. Like when Russ and I go out drinking we usually get into trouble one way or another by instigating "fun activities." They was the time were decided to take a survey of incoming patrons. The questions were silly and spur of the moment, but we are artists and creative. We were drunk as heck too but at least we had fun and got to talk to people...And they talked back!

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  4. Are you drunk while writing this? I have no problem talking to people...ask anyone anywhere!

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  5. Dennis, nobody said people don't talk to you. In fact nobody can stop you from hobnobbing around the bar. Why do you think we are friends?
    Everyone, please read my disclaimer again.

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  6. I like the Great Grandpa stories. I don't remember him at all...except that he called me his "monkey girl".

    I still don't know why. Did he call everyone that?

    and apparently we had more in common than I knew.

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  7. No, he called Alan asshole.

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  8. Why is "anonymous" so nasty????? I don't believe Grandpa called anyone nasty names....it wasn't his style. Perhaps "anonymous" should take a lesson. Good story Alan, I wondered where you disappeared to when we were at Grandma's....I always thought maybe you were in the basement!

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  9. Oh! There's a story. Grandpa's basement. SCARY!! Ooh, and so was the attic.

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