Life at TJ's Place
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Two of the bartenders are riding their motorcycles from here to California and back in September. I had dinner with one of them last night in the office and he told me all about it. He’s 21 and the other guy is 23 and they both make me feel old. I’m 27 and I shouldn’t feel old. I was so jealous I wanted to cry. We got on the computer and he showed me the route they were taking—I-80 through Salt Lake City and Reno to San Francisco, then down to Los Angeles, then back home through Vegas and Denver. I have a bad habit when people tell me about their vacation plans, I try to tell them where they should go and what things they should see. If they said, “We’re going out on Interstate so-and-so,” I say, “No, that Interstate sucks, you should go out on Interstate yada-yada.” Chances are I know nothing about either Interstate, just from what I’ve read, but I get excited about vacations so I have to say something. Of course, when he said he was coming back through Colorado, I acted like I practically used to live there, even though I’ve only been out there a few times. Just the Colorado leg of the vacation I suggested would have taken these guys about three weeks to do.

In the Viagra commercial, the guy comes running out of his house and dances on his front porch while We are the Champions is playing. What exactly has he just done? Taken his first Viagra? Popped his first boner in three years? Had sex? In the course of taking your Viagra prescription, what moment is the End Zone Celebration moment exactly? If he just got his first erection, I’d think he’d have something better to be doing than running out on his porch and dancing. If he just had sex, he’d walk out to his front porch and do like all guys do, lay down and fall asleep.

That was me doing my imitation of the frustrated stand-up comedy writer.

I’m off to celebrate our nation’s independence!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
I wrote this whole post about the brother of one of our waitresses who died this week from diabetes, or complications from diabetes, I guess, but I dumped it. It was about how everybody here just kind of said, Oh well, sorry, and then got back to the party. I think in other businesses, people would be passing a card around and buying flowers and planning on going to the funeral or visitation, but not here. Oh, everybody sure acted depressed for a few minutes, but that was that. His funeral is Saturday and I decided, after what I saw today, that I’m going. If my brother died and nobody from here even bothered to come to the visitation...wow. I don’t know how I’d handle that.
I broke up the last two posts for obvious reasons. The car salesman slash regular who got arrested last weekend told us his story today at work. First of all, he’s like the nicest guy in the world, the butt of many good-natured jokes because he never gets mad. I schmooze him sometimes because in the back of my mind I’m hoping someday he’ll throw me a great deal on a car.

First of all, he said he was drunk. I said, Get the fuck out! He said, no, it’s true, drunker than a fucking monkey. He was with two friends, and one of them was a Cincinnati Reds fan. He’s a Chicago Cubs fan. So they’re standing near the bar and he sees a guy next to him with a Cubs hat on. Remember that he’s drunk? This will come into play shortly. So he grabs the guy by the shoulder and says something like, “Hey man, I’ve gotta do this,” and takes the guy’s hat off. He then puts it on his own head and faces his Reds-fan buddy and starts to say something drunk. The hat owner reaches over and tries to get his hat back, but he ends up knocking it on the floor. They both reach down to pick it up, but everybody else (our guy’s friends and the hat owner’s friends) think it’s a scuffle. Somebody attacks our guy from behind. He actually said it that way, attacked from behind, and the story got held up for about 5 minutes while all the guys at the bar threw in their two-cents (like, that wasn’t the last time he got attacked from behind that night, ha ha, and he was just getting you ready for your cellmate, and maybe he was a Marlins fan and he thought you were Steve Bartman and he was just trying to thank you, etc). If you don’t know who Steve Bartman is, Google him. So our guy’s friends jump in to defend him and it’s a fight. He said he never even threw a punch, he just kept trying to get the hat off the floor. Apparently it got pretty vicious and four of them ended up getting arrested. His friend that didn’t get arrested was too drunk to go bail him out, so he had to call another friend who wisely stayed home. That’s the story.

Monday, June 28, 2004
A little while back I wrote a post about Walt, our head security guy, and his 14-year-old daughter being pursued by an 18-year-old kid who had just graduated high school. I had forgotten to update that story. It has a boringly happy ending, I guess. Walt’s ex-wife contacted the boy’s parents (next to castrating the kid, this was the most popular advice given on the comment board, by the way—kudos to all of you). Walt’s ex-wife went over to the kid’s house and had a little pow-wow with the kid and his parents (can you imagine that scene? I can, and it ain’t pretty). Walt said they talked to him very calmly and explained how what he was doing was wrong, like you’d tell a child that playing with matches was wrong (while standing in the street, watching your house burn down). This would have been the worst possible tactic, from the kid’s point of view. Screaming and hollering would have been much better. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

One of our regular customers (not previously mentioned), who sells cars right across the street from the club, got arrested Friday night at a bar, for starting a fight by stealing someone’s hat (??). It sounds like he thought he knew the guy and grabbed his baseball cap from his head. Well, he didn’t know the guy. This is one of those things you want to be sure of before you do it, like 100% sure, like making sure the vicious dog is actually tied up before you get out of your car. I can’t wait to talk to him next time he’s in the club. One of the Stooges will inevitably come to the bar wearing a baseball cap and taunt him with it. This will play out over the next few weeks.

I got to tend bar on Saturday afternoon because we had a last-second call-in and nobody else was home, except Kev, who’s always home figuratively speaking because Mike makes me carry a pager, which makes me feel like a drug dealer. But I like tending bar, so it wasn’t a big deal. The Stooges were talking about cars, and one of them said his “Check Engine” light had been coming on every once in awhile and he better get it into the shop. Larry said he once ignored his “Check Engine” light so long that eventually a new light came on underneath it that said, “Dude, seriously.” Man, did we laugh.

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