Take a Permanent Vacation Pt. II

“If he wants me to blow him I’ll blow him. Hell if Gary wants me to blow him I’ll blow him too- I’ll blow ’em all!” This was Daniel, a regular, talking to a business crony on his hands free cellular device at the bar. Daniel is the head of operations at a TV station and talks with a boisterous arrogance I can imagine these kinds of bigwigs often do. Although he talked loud and pompously on the phone with zero regard to others surrounding him, he was always cool with me. He was from Boston and worked with the Patriots at one time, so we often got into some hearty football conversations. He spoke with pity and sympathy upon learning of me being a Bills’ fan, as most usually do. My first instinct is to hate New England fans, and I do, but Danny eased the hatred ever so mildly with his acknowledging of how shitty the Patriots were for years before their near two decades of dominance. He spoke of watching games from the press suites and Bill Belichick’s unusual rules and precedents in allowing Danny and his crew to film them during practices and whatnot. What a bastard he’s got to be. The whole lot of ’em. Alright I’ll cool it with the football tangents. I get carried away. Especially with the season around the corner. Speaking of which what’s going on with Buffalo’s backfield this offseason? Shit, sorry.

And then there was the man with a gray ponytail under a backwards Cream hat on a motorized scooter. I stood at the counter closing out a check and from the corner of the store the man came weaving through the seats up to me with a stern face that jiggled from the vibrations of the scooter.

“Take this.” He looked at me like a disappointed father over the top of his thin crooked glasses.

“Um okay? Sir you can just leave that on the table, we’ll pick it up.” He tried forcing the checkbook into my hand.

“Well I’m on my way out, just take it.” I opened it up and there was no signature or tip.

“Okay but you just need to sign this quick is all.” He shook his head like I was an idiot.

“Kid you don’t understand. I CAN’T sign it. I have MS.” I didn’t know what to say.

“Well…maybe just scribble something on here I guess?”

I felt bad and in hindsight I could’ve just put a line through it or just whatever. Not a big deal. Shaking his head he abided and indeed scribbled on the receipt. He tried tossing it on the counter but it just clipped the lip and fell to the ground with the pen and receipts flying out. “See ya dude.” He said as he quickly jerked his scooter around and wheeled out of the store like a bat out of hell with his ponytail dancing around, waving goodbye to me. It was pretty badass. Mad respect to the dude.

It’s been a wild ride working at an airport. It’s a world completely unto it’s own- a world of anxiety, stress, chaos, and unpredictable hijinks. And what’s the best way to cope with all that? For most, it’s booze. Hence the thousands of nerve-rattled guests I’ve served in my time behind the bar. I’ve encountered all kinds and learned a lot about people and places. Unfortunately the company I worked for is notorious for having poor management skills and manipulative inexperienced leaders. I’ve never worked for a company with such phony values and “do as I say not as I do” mentalities from management.

Things were sketchy from the get go with them. I was part of the grand opening team, and on our third day of business, both of our managers took the day off for inexcusable reasons. It was three of us versus hundreds of people and we hardly knew what we were doing. We were thrown to the wolves and got our asses handed to us on a silver fucking platter. That set the tone for the following year of bullshit within this company.

Having said that, I recently was let go/quit because I finally crossed the threshold of blatantly giving no shits. I showed up physically (usually 20 minutes late), but mentally I was long gone. I worked with two older women who worked service industry jobs their whole lives and admitted they’ve never experienced such bullshit both from customers and the company. It was no secret this place ran about as efficiently as a 5th grader’s Rube Goldberg project.

So ends this chapter of American Shmucks. It’s been a relatively short sprawled out run, but it’s been fun. But by God I can assure you this won’t be the end of my ramblings. There will be more to come in one fashion or another. ‘Til then, friends…

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” -HST

 

 

 

 

 

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Take a Permanent Vacation Pt. I

Well I got into another fight with an old woman. At least this time fists weren’t involved. Just kidding. They were. (the shaking of fists, that is) This lady, maybe late 60s, began by waving her skinny wrinkled Slim Jim arms with wild intent to get my attention. Every time somebody feels the need to flail about in their seat for my attention I look at them with a blank face and make them wait at least another thirty seconds. I gave my last shit many moons ago with this establishment and the jackals inside.

“What else do I need to do to get your attention?” She said in a most condescending elitist tone.

“Sit there patiently and be motionless?” I said with a bit of snark.

She laughed a most high society, nose in the air laugh.

“Tell me young man what can you tell me about these Rosés?”

“They suck. Just kidding!” I went on to explain.

Her husband sat back letting out some sly remarks here and there, but the queen beach rat was the head honcho in this situation.

“Bring me some ice, would you dear?”

“We don’t have ice.”

“Don’t have ice? How bizarre! What kind of place do you run here?” She began laughing again.

“Yes a little strange perhaps, but we are a wine bar. We don’t cater to the 3% that wants ice to dull down their wine. Apologies madamè.”

There would be another time or two with her flailing those dehydrated beef stick arms for my attention, but gears started to switch towards the end of their visit. Things were finishing on a reasonable note, and I even joked with the husband about his youthful picture on his credit card compared to his current old ass self.

They cashed out and left. No big thing. Moments later they saunter back because of a flight delay. This time they take a seat closer to the bar. The woman makes a remark about them being back. I continue to keep busy for a minute. Then things start to get ugly again.

“HELLLOOOOOO! Did you think we just came back here to sit down?” My blood began to boil and I took a deep breath.

“Oh wow you’re back I hardly noticed!” I hollered over the counter with a teeth-gritting laugh. I walked over to them.

“So what can I get you this time?” I had my hands in my pockets sure to look as disinterested as possible.

“Crossings Sauvignon Blanc and make sure it’s COLD.” The man said.

“Oh I’ll be sure to find the warmest possible bottle. Hell I’ll even pop it in the microwave for ya!” I said in devious jest. Of course we had literally just ran out of the Rosé ol’ mechanically separated beef arms had.

“Well could I get a taste of the other one?”

“No.”

I didn’t feel like telling her why. Truth is we aren’t allowed to give tastes which is unfortunate but it’s a corporate wine bar in an airport, what do you expect.

“You know what? I’m pissed off now. No ice, you run out of the wine I JUST had, and I can’t taste the damn wine? You guys REALLY need to rethink your setup here this is just awful.”

“I encourage you to contact some of the people who make these decisions and share your feelings, miss. The customer is always right.”

“Good idea! Why don’t you go ahead and give me your manager’s information!”

“I would be so glad to do that for you miss.”

Naturally I wrote down a fake name and email address. John Binns. This was a “professional skateboarder” from our town that my friends and I had an inside joke about for years. I happily provided her with his “info.”

Words cannot express the nature of the ever-revolving bullshit encountered on a daily basis. It’s chaos in one shape or another damn near every day. Yet on the contrary it’s rarely boring, which I reckon is the silver lining. A classic situation is people frantically realizing they need to board their plane and dropping this line: “Hey I have a flight to catch I gotta cash out.” Really? Holy shit let’s get you outta here buddy why didn’t you say so! Everybody else here is taking the train! Often they smash in front of people at the bar or counter and throw their card at you. I make sure to take my time when this happens.

The only way to deal with the shit-circus is to be a dick right back to these people, in a more clever subtle fashion, or just kill them with blatant fake kindness. Or start drinking. Or take a permanent vacation.

 

 

 

 

Smack Dab In the Middle of a Situation Overrun by Fools

Bomb scares, angry drunk women, obnoxious gingers bothering nice Indian men, and Macklemore. Pretty much sums up the past week at BNA.

First was the ordeal in which an entire Ft. Lauderdale bound Southwest plane had to evacuate right before take off. A nervous young girl at the bar was giving us the lowdown of the situation at hand. Apparently a belligerent man, unfortunately a man of Middle Eastern decent, was getting unruly on the plane and not complying with attendants. Not putting on his seatbelt and loud cursing, that kind of thing. Eventually the man had to be escorted off the plane, to which apparently he did very willfully without hesitation or argument. When he got off the plane somebody noticed that he’d left behind his phone and a gold box of sorts. This triggered a scare that forced everybody off and the police and bomb dogs to board the plane. I could see a group of policeman surrounding the man in question. How necessary this all was I don’t know, but apparently enough to halt 120-some people from getting to Florida. As time passed they deemed the plane unfit for flight, forcing the flyers to wait on another plane. It was a disturbing reality check that this shit actually happens, and not only scares but the real deal. So hard to fathom.

Shortly after the frantic young woman left, two middle-aged women arrived to the center of the bar, separately. One got her computer out like many do and got settled in.

“What’s your guys wi-fi password?” She asks.

“Our internet has been down for awhile now, but the airport has a general wi-fi for people but it sucks.” I said

“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. What kind of place doesn’t have wi-fi nowadays? Seriously ridiculous.”

People are so reliant on wi-fi and plugs it’s completely insane. I would be lying if I said I don’t seek them out myself, but the amount of weasels that come in stripped of all decent, reasonable human qualities asking for either of the two is astounding. Like fucking zombies, people just walk in with a dumb blank face and come up to the bar saying “plugs? wi-fi? wi-fi? plugs?” Like yeah sure I get it but what about uttering out a five second greeting at least. A little “hey there, do you guys have wi-fi or perhaps a plug I can use? That’d be really swell.” Is that so much to ask? And we have to shoo away so many clueless assholes bumbling into the store to sit on the floor to charge like little brainless selfish zombies. I fantasize about headbutting all of them square in the nose.

Next to the woman whose lifeblood was wi-fi, sat a shockingly put-together drunk woman who hid the fact for a little while. She complained that the Chardonnay was corked, and upon smelling it I acknowledged it did waft a little funk to the nostrils. I gladly opened a new bottle and got her a new glass.

“You know sometimes a whole case of wine can be corked.” My compadre Susan said to the lady.

“Um no actually. It’s 2% of all wines that gets corked. It can never be a whole case.”

“Yes it CAN affect a whole case as a matter of fact.” Susan said in her enjoyable British accent.

“You’re wrong, I work with wine, I think I would know but thanks for trying.” The drunk woman snapped.

At this point Suzy Q had to walk away because she was boiling with anger, and believe you me this is a tiny older woman you don’t want to fight with. She will tear you limb from limb.

Regardless of who was right, the woman was being so unpleasant. After she cashed out, she not once, but twice attempted to pay her bill again.

“Look lady if you want me to buy a few things with your card I will, but you’ve already paid, I don’t know what else to tell you.” I said. She was visually embarrassed each time, and with a sloppy stroke of the hand signed the receipt and stumbled off into the sea of hasty travelers.

Finally was a jacked ginger fella sitting at the end of the bar next to a meek, mild Indian man quietly eating his tomato soup, not bothering a soul. The ginger was loud as hell from the start, asking me 21 questions and aggressively pointing to different items on the menu. Eventually he settled on the cheapest glass and when he lost my attention he started chatting with the Indian man.

“Hey bro how’s the soup? What’re you drinking? How is it?” He led in with some basics and they got talking a little more. The Indian man was clearly not comfortable talking with the buffoon, giving quiet one word answers. The Indian man fumbled a piece of crostini into his soup and it splattered on his shirt a bit.

“AW NO WAY DUUUUDE THAT BLOWS! How much was that shirt? Where’d you get it?” The Indian man was getting more and more frustrated. It was a long sleeve, crisp white button up now filled with pale red dots.

“So what do you do for work? A cardiologist? Whoa. What’s your actual title? Do you have any regrets?” Such a weird chain of questions, I thought. The poor guy couldn’t chug his wine and finish his soup fast enough.

“Wait a second are you on this flight to Houston? HELL YEAH BRO!” The Indian man died inside a little bit, and was soon on his way.

Oh, and I also passed Macklemore by the O’Charleys around gate C10 on my way to work. I got him in a headlock and we commenced into a good old fashioned wrestling match right in the middle of the walkway. I mean I got a creepy several seconds long Bigfoot-style video of him. What is life.

 

 

Sleeping Lady Gets Unruly

I figured I’d just go straight ahead Fred with the title. No beating around the bush with this one. What started out as a day like many others, ended in three security guards escorting a loud-mouthed woman “with a master’s degree” out of our store.

The woman had been hunched over at table 63 for nearly an hour, unbeknownst to us if it was alcohol related. She apparently only had one Moscato (about 7% alcohol) from us, a bit of knowledge that would’ve been handy when I attempted to move the beast. Regardless, she had to be asked to leave because we needed that table for awake customers.

When fellow co-worker of mine Margaret first asked her to kindly move elsewhere, she just put her head back down and payed no mind. “Hey will you get her out of here please?” Margaret asked.

It’s always fun asking unwanted people (campers i.e. freeloading shmuckos) to leave, so I gladly abided. This time was the most fun.

“Excuse me miss hey you need to get going please. You need to sleep somewhere else. We can’t have you sleeping on our table.”

“What? What?! I’m over here minding my own business I ain’t botherin’ nobody.”

“The thing is we are busy and we need this table for paying customers.”

“I AM A PAYING CUSTOMER DAMN IT! I PAID 12-13 DOLLARS FOR ONE OF YOUR DAMN MOSCATOS!”

“Well I didn’t know that, but still there are other places to relax so plea…”

“OH HELL NO. HELL NO. THIS IS SOME BULLSHIT. WHY YOU GOTTA COME BOTHER ME? I AINT DOIN’ NOTHIN.”

The thing is this shit happens all the time. We have to kick at least 7-10 people out a day, especially in the mornings. Most tend to understand and comply, or if we are deathly slow we let them hang.

At that point it was just me trying to talk over her and her getting louder and louder until I walked away repeating, “Hey thanks for being so pleasant and wonderful.” She got out of her seat and followed me back to the counter to continue yelling. Some customers were more captivated than others, but it evolved into quite the show.

“Why don’t YOU leave? OH WAIT this is your place of employment. You CAN’T leave. I have a master’s. I HAVE a master’s.” She kept saying to me.

“I don’t give a SHIT about your master’s!” We continued to exchange unpleasant conversation.

“It’s because I’m black isn’t it? Because I’m black? There was a little white boy yelling over there and you didn’t say nothin’ to him!” First of all there’s often yelling and bells and whistles and alarms going off all the time from every direction, just not directly inside our store.

“That is the most absurd thing I’ve heard miss. Completely uncalled for to say something like that. And I did not hear any little white boy yelling.” Eventually my boss stepped out from in back and diverted the hostile woman’s attention towards her. I then watched as a spectator into her non-stop blathering and trying to collect company info and our names.

Eventually the trusty airport police were hot on the scene and confronted the pacing woman. She was on the phone with someone from our headquarters. The airport po-po got her to sit down and the situation was divulged, ultimately having the unruly woman escorted out. Her ramblings and accusations were getting more and more distant as they took her off to airport jail or whatever they do.

I thought it was awesome. I just think of it as some TV show or a game like “Get the Crazy Lady Away and Win Another Strange Life Experience.” My boss and other co-workers were bent out of shape over it though. They care more about the integrity of the bar than I do.

And as fate would have it, a man caught a minute-long video of part of it. The quality is piss poor but you can hear some priceless snippets. Just another day in the war zone that is the airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Face Only a Fist Could Love

Amidst the hoards of hasty travelers shouting out drink orders over the shoulders of others, shoving there way through their fellow hyena brethren for food and drinks, stood a most audacious woman. Her C U Next Tuesday face still haunts my dreams, unless I’m lucid dreaming then I just scream into her head until it explodes like a Mortal Kombat fatality. In the middle of a fucking zoo, with the entire store full of people spilling out into the walkways and gate areas, this woman had the nerve to ask such a question.

“Could you please tell me if the brie cheese is pasteurized?”

“Um you know I’m not sure but I would think it is.” I try to walk away to the masses of other humans that need real assistance.

“SIR-HEY-SIR- well could you go look?” She stops me from leaving and gives me sass eyes only Satan could love.

I was livid.

Nothing makes me want to dropkick somebody more than hearing about their bullshit new-age food restrictions or concerns. Hell maybe they aren’t even new-age but my God. First of all the vast majority of commercial cheeses are going to be pasteurized. We aren’t a merchant on a little dirt road in rural France. Don’t worry, the cheese is safe. Second of all GET A CLUE and know better than to ask such an absurd question at the worst possible time. I’ve got six people trying to cash out and six people trying to put alcohol in their bloodstream and you think it’s acceptable to ask me to leave all that to check if Pasteur’s method found its way to our brie? But I get it, I know the kind. The entitled little shmuckos and shmuckettes that can’t comprehend not getting their prissy little way and paying mind to others. It’s these kinds of people that should be the ones sent to Mars to start colonizing so the rest of us humans on earth can live in peace.

If you’re someone who is being served by a server or being prepared food by a (most likely) angry man or woman in a kitchen and you have a laundry list of specifications on what you can and cannot consume, just know that you are disliked immensely and the chef is going to scream into your food and soak it with hate. Most likely if you are that person in a restaurant or bar or whatever, you are obnoxious in other aspects of life too, so again, GET A CLUE. And if you are going to be gluten free or fat free or joy free or whatever, at least be extra nice about it and per chance acknowledge your inconvenience. Nobody has thyme for that.

Is the cheese pasteurized…give me a break.

 

 

 

The Matzah Curse

You know it’s a good month in the airport when you don’t see the ass of an elderly man upon entering the bathroom. Unfortunately this was not one of the months. Twice in the past three or so weeks I’ve been blindsided by senior citizens with their pants at their ankles and their tiny bodies crammed into the urinal releasing their demons. I walk in, turn the corner and BAM- my day is completely disrupted and I can’t remember my name. Their backs melt into their asses and their asses melt into their frail stick legs and I die a little inside.

While it was a bad month for old man ass, it was good for spotting a couple bigwig celebrities. On my way out of work around gate C6 I breezed by Kiefer Sutherland and one of his cronies. I was 90% it was The Kiefer. It was all but verified when I Googled him only to find out that he just put out a country album and started his tour the very next day. It was indeed the Lost Boy in the flesh. I listened to one of his songs and let’s just say acting is his strong suit. Surprise surprise. Later that week on my way into work I crossed paths with Heisman winner and Titans franchise savior hopeful Marcus Mariota. He’s a real goofy bastard, but I’ll be damned if he couldn’t kick my ass.

Recently I found myself envying and admiring a few airport workers with lower end jobs. Particularly this one fellow who I can’t tell if he’s Latin American or Asian, or perhaps a mix of both. He always rocks the dual eyeglasses/sunglasses combo and appears to have a mental condition of sorts. This guy is always hauling ass and hauling shit around the airport either talking to himself, laughing, or both. He seems like the happiest/craziest guy in the world sometimes. Every time I see him he’s booking it through the concourse tugging two carts full of soft drinks or food or just whatever. If I had to guess his job title I’d say “General Goods Hauler.”

He’s not the only one who seems to be in good spirits given his lowly profession. I admire the fact that they’ve accepted their fates near the bottom of the social totem pole and appear to be fine with it. People acknowledge your position, and while they may judge and scoff, they tend to leave you be and not expect much from you. There’s no pressure to succeed or experience heavy failures, and more or less there’s few places to go besides up. There seems to be a certain freedom in these kinds of jobs. While their level of intelligence may be on the lower end, I would think ignorance is bliss to them. And maybe all janitors and general good haulers go to heaven. Nobody can disprove that.

Then it’s back to reality and I find myself dealing with this sixty-something shrew of a woman who looks like she has Macy’s on speed dial. She’d been at the bar the previous week being rude, waving empty wine glasses and checkbooks at me and being generally unpleasant. Things went alright in the beginning and who knows if she remembered me. Then the Gipsy Kings came on the radio and she couldn’t contain herself.

“I’ve never heard THIS kind of music before in Music City,” she said like a devoted supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.

“Well miss we like to be cultured here and mix it up,” I said. Our radio station has a vast variety of music it plays (not always great by any means) from Jack Johnson to Bob Dylan to Buena Vista Social Club and so on.

“Oh really? It sounds like something I’d hear in El Paso.” Such a strange thing to say, I thought.

“What’s wrong with El Paso?”

“It’s not a place you want to be.” The guy next to her chimed in. He was in the US Armed Forces and his name was Brian Landtroop- a most appropriate military name. Regardless of how dreadful a place El Paso may or may not be, this lady was just bitching because it was Latin-influenced music. Definitely a Trump supporter.

And then there’s the matzah curse. Unfortunately I don’t have a grandiose story for such an intriguing title. I feel like this could be a really awesome or really horrible horror movie title. Maybe I’ll work on a screenplay for it. Anyways, I had an older Jewish couple in from Philly who insisted no crackers or bread come on the cheese plate they ordered. They had matzah to eat with the cheese. They then went on to teach me a brief lesson on Passover, and how it’s never in sync with Easter, especially on leap year. Their son was some sort of tour guide of Jerusalem and was especially busy around this time of year. They talked my ear off and asked 21 questions before I was able to make my escape.

After they finished their sparkling Oregon wine and all but licked their cheese plate clean, the lady came up to the bar.

“I’m so sorry but we got matzah crumbs all over your floor. It’s the matzah curse. No matter how careful you are with it it’s almost guaranteed you’re going to need the dust pan after you eat it. There’s no escaping the matzah curse!” She laughed and her sluggish husband just kind of shrugged and picked up his things to get ready to leave. Between making it a point never to visit El Paso and the matzah curse, I learn something new here every day.

 

 

 

 

 

Beat It On Down the Line

“I saw the Dead for the first time in St. Louis in ’94 when I was 14 years old. I almost dropped out of 8th grade after that.” I could see the LSD of days gone by in this woman’s eyes. She was slow in reaction and had a hundred yard stare when talking to me. There was no doubt she’d sat around a nitrous hose outside the drum circle a time or two. She was an aging festy-chick with clusters of dangling bracelets, a thin ethnic looking scarf, and funky earrings. She went on to discuss other arbitrary years and shows regarding different music she saw. Next to her was sleazeball of the century Missouri Todd.

Flashback about an hour earlier, Missouri Todd struts up to the bar mumbling to himself, emulating a restlessness that only cocaine and/or caffeine addicts have. He yanked out the bar chair sliding it a good four feet behind him and just stood at the bar, fidgeting and messing with his phone. He was a stumpy little businessman with the teeth of an 18th century sailor and the moxie of Bret the Hitman Hart. Upon asking for his ID he says, “wow I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.” I reiterated to him like I do many others that I HAVE to check everybody’s ID, so don’t feel special. About the same time he got to the bar, another visibly drunk goon sauntered up behind him.

Enter Brent from the Bay Area. Classic California fella with some kind of surf shop white T-shirt and slightly curved San Francisco Giants hat he got from his local Lids. His face and skin was lobster red from either the sun an/or the booze he’d had. I told him I could tell he was from California before I checked his ID and he took offense. “Man you just labeled me! Dude you totally just labeled me! Fuck you man! Fuck you!” He was saying all this with a smile and the slur of a tipsy surfer. After that it was nothing but attempted fist bumps after everything we even remotely agreed on.

One way or another the three of us started talking sports. Todd was apparently a die-hard fan of the Cowboys, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tom Brady. Dude was a Grade A bandwagon asshole. Cardinals were understandable since he was a Missouri native. But the rest, I mean come on. Bay Area Brent and I gave him hell for it. Naturally Brent was a Raiders fan, to which he gave me a most proud fist bump for my respect of the people in the Black Hole.

“So where are you heading to tonight?” I asked Brent.

“Ohio, man.”

“What the hell is in Ohio?”

“Awesomeness.” Enter young girl at the end of the bar.

Bad decision lady. Immediately, the hammered halfwits diverted attention to her and there was no stopping them after that. Todd bumbled through the chairs separating them and got up closer to her. The girl was having a ball impressing the bufoons with her sports knowledge. The three of them talked Cleveland sports, mainly the Cavs and Lebron for a bit. I was waiting to jump into Browns talk had it emerged,which of course it did. We got talking about different football teams and Todd had the audacity to say that the Jaguars would WIN THE SUPER BOWL this coming season. This guy was a regular birdbrain. Not just make playoffs which is bold enough, but win the Super Bowl. Jags fans I know you have a pretty mean offense but give me a break.

The girl knew her shit and the shmucks were impressed. Todd was so impressed he offered to buy her another drink after she cashed out. “Come on live a little! You don’t have to catch that plane. Stay with us come on we’re having fuuuuun!” This was much more of a devious suggestion than it was friendly, mind you. Without a split second’s thought and understandably so she booked it from me and the bozos.

Shortly after the girl departed, Brent was next to follow, but not after he drunkenly repeated Big Lebowski lines over and over. “YER OUTTA YER ELEMENT DONNY!” He kept saying as he continued to attempt the fist bump with me. Quit making a damned fool of yourself and just go already guy.

Then it was just shmohawk Todd and I. There were others scattered around but none as interesting. In comes festy-chick who posts up next to Todd at the bar when they begin their chat. Again, Todd can’t get enough of a strange woman talking to him. He milks the shit out of it. Todd claimed he was at the same Dead show in St. Louis that same year, and went on to tell some non-sensical story of him and his uncle on some drug fueled odyssey. Whether it was true or not, they got deeper into talks of their youth.

“I did enough cocaine to kill a small cow in my early thirties.”

Exact words from Todd in regards to his late-blooming adulthood in the sense of getting married and having kids when he was nearly 40. Todd was touching her bracelets and scarves complimenting them and getting real greasy with her. But given her own seemingly greasy nature, she was into it. Eventually Janis Jr. cashed out and again Todd used his line to get her to stay. Ultimately it was a no go on her end too. Real shocker.

While driving home listening to some creole ragtime music on NPR, a man on a motorcycle came ripping out in front of me at a fork in the highway. He continued to weave his way through traffic going a hefty 75 MPH or so. He zipped through the night alongside a most majestic view of the glowing city skyline. The arch of the Gateway Bridge was lit purple and a crescent moon hung directly over the city. What a life, I thought.