Monday, November 28, 2011

Old haunts

I can't remember if I have mentioned that Sparky is attending the same college that Beast and I went to (independent of our wishes, by the way--he really wanted to go there more than either of us wanted him to). The school is about an hour from our house, so it's quite easy for him to get home and back on holidays, unlike either of his parents who were both at least 1000 miles from home and only got home on the Big Ones: Christmas and Spring Break.

We took him back last night after I got home from work, leaving the house at about 5:45 and dumping his stuff in his dorm room and heading to a nearby pizza dive establishment that also serves up a local specialty: p0nz@r0tti. It's inside-out pizza, deep-fried. Probably the worst food on the planet, and SO FREAKIN' GOOD (till you're done and spend hours burping...).

Amazing: biting into the crust was like biting into College. It brought every p0nz@ I've eaten right back to mind. Crazy-good. Also, last night was the first time I've ever finished one in one sitting. My eating, uhm, skills have increased over the past 30 years, I guess. hah

So we were enjoying the ambiance (ahem) and watching the people coming in to eat or pick up orders. There was a high school-ish aged couple that came in right after us with her little sister; they sat in the booth behind ours. There were families and groups of friends, some stereotypical people, some not-so. Mostly just a busy pizza spot for all intents and purposes.

This being the state that it is, a guy came in and ordered a (small) plastic cup of beer. I am not sure at all whether he ordered anything else, but bear in mind that this is NOT a bar, but every place in that state serves beer. It's required, possibly even state law (I think they have to serve milk too, FWIW, lol). He was clearly already off on his own little spirit-induced planet, which became extremely obvious when he began to play air-guitar licks along with the hard-rock station providing the background music.  This was baroque, visually noisy guitar-playing, very flamboyant. Sparky and I could barely keep straight faces.

Dude then offered his partially-eaten back of pork rinds around to the people behind him (two booths from us), then made a general incoherent announcement that he was willing to share: "Anibod' wan eni? Ann-nee-bod'?" At this point I noted that his beer was only down about 1/2" so he hadn't GOTTEN drunk on-site, but he was (as I told Beast) well past 12 sheets to the wind.

And then he noticed Beast. And Sparky. And came over to push Beast's shoulder and tell him that he could tell that Beast is "a grea' mutha-fuckin' dad!" then point at Sparky and say, "You oughdda be ... yer dad's a good fugg-kin' dad, I can tell! My dad was an asssssss-ho' but this guy....." prod, push "is a GOOD fuckin' dad."

Silence had fallen in the restaurant at this point. Everyone at all the tables was watching avidly from under their hats and half-closed eyes, ever-so-grateful this guy had leeched onto us instead of them, gauging what the chances are of getting out the door without him seeing them and following them out. No one moved.

Beast took it in good stride, keeping his eyes on the guy's face, but watching the rest of the room (that he could see) as well, agreeing with him, not encouraging him, but letting him ramble on. And ramble on he did, mostly in a language I don't speak aside from the frequent "mutha-fucks" and "bu'SHIT!" interpolations. Thankfully, he was so stereotypical of the area that I wasn't even in the room as far as he was concerned, so I could pay attention to the rest of the room (that I could see) and Sparky--who mostly looked shell-shocked but was following his dad's lead and nodding agreeably whenever the diatribe seemed directed at him--until Beast finally said, "Well, we need to get going." Another minute or so, and we were standing and putting our coats on and moving slowly towards the entrance. As soon as we stood, the high school-ish kids behind us were on their feet and moving, using us as shields to get out the door at the same time. I caught the girl's eye in the doorway and she said, "We were just waiting for you to leave so we could!" Yeah, they were the next in line to be 'advised' by this guy.

Sparky and I got to the car with Beast following a few seconds later; he had stopped at the kitchen door because he had been able to see the staff watching from there and wanted to let them know that the guy wasn't really hassling us, but he was right on the edge and could easily get to be a problem if he took something just the wrong way.

This sort of occurrence used to happen occasionally when we lived in the area; it was quite weird to have it happen again last night after living where we do now for 17 years. I don't think we've had to deal this directly with a drunk in eons. Maybe because Sparky was little for most of that time, but I think really it's a whole cultural thing; people around here have a whole different take on drinking than people in that area.

Aside from the nerve-wracking, somewhat humorous aspects of all this, I just felt so sad for the guy. He probably isn't any older than Beast and me, possibly younger, and his life is so small. Sigh.

Sparky...didn't really say much. It probably re-confirmed his lack of interest in drinking, though. I hope. Thanks, God! :-)

Today, Beast is feeling horrible--sort of food-poisoned--and he's wondering if, while shaking the guy's hand goodbye last night, he picked up some kind of bug. The guy's hands were NOT clean; we discussed that last night in fact, and Beast went and washed up at the dorm when we dropped off Sparky. In any case, he's crashed out "watching" Scott Van Pelt on ESPN in his recliner under a blanket.

Oh, and our garage door spring broke over the weekend. It's been a very bizarre few days.

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