Paulelmo's Blog

“I bet you’ve got some crazy stories” (#1.2)

OK, so where were we? Oh yes, “She’s not drunk; she’s ….”

Those might be the most amazing five words I’ve ever heard spoken in a bar. They are perfect for a great bar story. A great bar story, for me at least, doesn’t usually involve simply how crazy a situation got or how drunk someone became; rather, a great bar story involves something you just never thought you’d see or hear.

Still, it just can’t be that alone. It has to have good context for the teller to be able to talk about the intricacies of the setting and everything surrounding this thing that absolutely no bartender could imagine hearing.

Here’s a good example. There was this guy who led his woman into the lounge one night on a dog collar. They were dressed how you might imagine such a couple would be dressed, and the dude was leading his lady around on a dog collar. I think that’s important enough to mention twice.

This can’t be a great bar story for me because I have no context other than what I saw. I can share it as something crazy that I’ve seen, but no more than that. (This might not seem crazy to some folks but it was to me. I’ve been in this world for more than half a century, and it’s the only time I’ve ever seen such a thing.) The couple sat at one of Becky’s table’s, however, and I’d imagine that, if you asked her, you’d find that they did indeed provide her with a good bar story. Still, I can’t imagine hers could beat “She’s not drunk; she’s retarded,” no matter what interesting goingson one might see at a dinner table where a man has a woman chained like a dog.

I think about these interesting things I’ve heard people say in my bartending life, and it’s the things they’ve said but it’s also the certainty with which they say them, with no idea in the world why anyone would not say the same thing were they in the same situation. They own it, and that’s what this lady did, she owned it. (Oh, her), “she’s not drunk; she’s (just) retarded.” Oh, she’s just retarded; I’m sorry, fix her a double.

It was like it was nothing at all, and that that wasn’t a stretch at over how I should act.

But it is something, you see. The state of Pennsylvania doesn’t even permit me to refuse service to a pregnant woman, but it does permit me to do so to someone who is mentally deficient. (I don’t recall my most recent certification material verbatim, but I’m fairly sure a term like “mentally deficient” was used, rather than “retarded.”

We’ll tidy all of this up tomorrow, after which I think we might get to a little story about what Jaegermeister means in German. Today, however, we’ll be heading to Clyde Peeling’s Reptile Land. Please keep our safe passage in your prayers, as you are in ours.

We’ll see you soon.

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