Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Carnieczar

Every socio-political entity has a leader. Last night, I discovered that even the carnies have one. The carnie-czar, if you will, establishes himself upon a barstool in the precise center of the bar at 7 p.m. every evening. From there, he sips on double Crown and coke, occasionally switching to Corona, and disperses wisdom to the other carnies when they approach him. After a little discreet questioning, I discovered that the carnie-czar owns five of the game trailers. It is to him that the young carnies come when they're out of money.

I've been watching the carnie-czar all week. I have to say that this isn't the sort of man you'd see in the Wal-mart parking lot and think, "Aha! A carnie!" He's wrapped in some sort of strange dignity, and has avoided all of the huge carnie stereotypes: he has all of his teeth, he dresses well, he doesn't smell of cabbage...

At any rate...

Last night the regulars managed to jockey for some positions in the beer garden. So on one side, sat the regulars and on the other were the carnies. We were inside, playing our Friday night euchre game. Everything was peaceful, until...


The unmistakable sound of a beer bottle flying from the patio to land on the street caused us all to look up. I went out the front door. The beer garden is just to the right of the front door facing Fair Avenue. I immediately found the shattered remains of a purrburr bottle and turned to glare at the group of snickering carnies. And at the moment, the door to the bar opened. Out sailed the carnie czar. He bit off the end of a cigar and spit it precisely into the ash bucket. He nodded at me, and lit his cigar. The carnies fell into silence.

"You have one minute to clean up the glass, tip the bartender ten bucks each, and get back to the trailers," he growled. A ring of smoke rose around his head as he ostentatiously clicked the button on his watch. "Don't forget to clean up after yourselves."

It was less than a minute before the group of carnies were weaving back across the street, grumbling. The carnie czar nodded at me again and said, "Any of them give you any trouble, Celina, you just let me know."

Hmmm....oh, the power...