Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Weirdass Parade

Okay, we all know that bartenders see people in their absolutely worst condition. Last night I was treated to a never ending revolution of Lancaster's oddball population.

First, there was the wannabe comedian.

No, I'm serious. That is his goal. He was depressed because his comedy act didn't go well at the coffee house open mike night. I understood why when he told me that his act consisted of reading excerpts of "Foreign Affairs" and then commenting on them. His key phrase last night, apparently, was 'cognitive dissonance.' It was with a remarkable amount of restraint that I informed him that in Southeastern Ohio, people are not likely to laugh at a routine that they have to translate.

He punished me for this comment by sitting at the bar until close and practicing his routine to himself. To everyone else in the bar, he looked like your average psycho talking to himself, but I distinctly heard the phrase 'cognitive dissonance' an average of 40 times an hour for 3 hours.

Then, there were the carnies. The local fair is being held in a northern town of our county and the carnies are allowed to park their RVs at the fairgrounds which are across the street from my bar. No problem. However, I had one come in last night and say without preamble, "I'm looking for my roommate."

Blank look. "Okay. If it's not these guys then I don't have him." (There were two others in the bar, including the cognitively dissonant comedian)"What's his name?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know your roommate's name?"

"He goes by a nickname."

With difficulty, the eye roll was restrained. "Which is --?"


Allow me to submit for the record that *O.J.* is not necessarily a reassuring nickname.

The thought process went as follows: carnie, staying at the fairgrounds, drinking at a bar, and NOT the one across the street. I picked up the phone, called the closest bar, and managed to find a carney named O.J. sitting at the bar drunk.

Go figure.

Then, my favorite late night regular came in. This gentleman is probably about fifty, an African American factory worker who looks like he could play football for the Packers at the drop of a hat. He's quiet, keeps to himself, and tips me very well -- plus we've had a five-month-long argument about football that we both enjoy. At any rate, at 2 a.m. a gay couple came into the bar to buy carryout beer -- with one staggering and the other obviously the long-suffering DD. All of a sudden, the drunk one staggers up to the regular and slurs, "I rememberrrrrrr you. You saved my life a few weeksh ago --"

Funny enough save for what happened next: he leaned over and kissed the guy on the cheek. Mike (the regular) was so surprised I thought he'd fall off his barstool. He probably would have then killed the guy, but I burst into uncontrollable laughter behind the bar and it distracted him. The DD hustled his boyfriend and 12 pack of Bud out the door, and I went into the walkin cooler and laughed until I cried.

So, the moral of this story is? Whoever it was I pissed off last night during Happy Hour, who went home and called every drunk he knows to come and torture Celina at the Fairview -- Jesus Christ I'm sorry! Whatever I did I'll never do it again! I PROMISE! Please don't ever do that to me again -- my delicate nerves can't take it.

I'm way too cognitively dissonant for that.