Tag Archives: Bar

Coffins

Thought we were kidding?
Thought we were kidding?

It’s a foggy night, you’ve been traveling and maybe your eyes are heavy. You pull off the freeway in the hope of finding a cup of coffee. After rounding a corner you find yourself in a small town. Nothing moves – even the fog seems asleep under the tungsten glow of streetlights. The sidewalks are pulled up so tight that even stray dogs feel unwelcomed. Distractions could be dangerous in a place like this, you think. You turn off the radio, grip the steering wheel a bit harder, and focus on the road  The hum of tires your only company.

Ahead a red glow pierces the night like a puddle of blood in virgin snow. Maybe you squint to bring it into

Deputy Zach bagging the bad guys.
Deputy Zach bagging the bad guys.

focus. The glow turns ominous and you fear you’ve made a wrong turn. You consider turning around and finding the freeway, but instead press forward. The light brightens in the dense fog like the eye of a demonic Cyclops. Exhaling, you convince yourself it’s just your imagination playing tricks.

Germans getting in on the fun.
Germans getting in on the fun.

What’s that? Something moved under the light. Eight legs saunter into your headlights. Is it? What the ….? Is it some sort of reptilian octopod?  Maybe you tap the brakes; maybe you punch the accelerator.  No, it’s four guys carrying a coffin. What? You slam the brakes. As if you’re not there, they slide the coffin into the back of pickup truck and close the tailgate. They wipe their hands on their pants and cross the road in front of you. Your eyes follow them under the glowing red light and into a Tavern.

What do you do?

A) Punch the gas pedal and get out of town.
B) Park your car. You found your coffee or maybe a spirit.
C) Circle around the block before parking nearby and investigating what’s in the coffin.
D) Realize you’re in rural Montana and this is par for the course.

The preceding event may or may not have happened. The participants are bound to secrecy. If you drive by our humble establishment under better lighting conditions, you can’t miss the caskets leaning against the fence. They’re like our welcome

Even coffins lose their cherry.
Even coffins lose their cherry.
Saloon girls enjoying two stiffs.
Saloon girls enjoying two stiffs.

mat. Okay, maybe we have a morbid sense of humor – or maybe they serve a more utilitarian purpose, if you know what I mean.

The real story is they came about as props for our Railroad Day Shootouts. Like a case of herpes, they showed up and never left. For locals, they’re luggage that have faded into invisibility in plain sight, until an occasional car pulls over, the occupants hop out and take turns posing for pictures in or alongside our ambassadors of the macabre. Or maybe it’s our way of saying stay awhile – until we tire of you and slide you into the back of a truck on a foggy night.

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Montana Rural Sneak Preview

images (10)This post could very easily be an addition to The Barroom Chronicles, except that this is a fictional story, even though the Humming images (10)

Bartender may or may not be inspired by someone who is destined to receive his own episode of the nonfiction series. The voice is James Morrison, the narrator of Cemetery Street. Montana Rural is the continuation of his story. Enjoy this sneak preview of my work in progress, Montana Rural.

By the time we reached the bed and breakfast all I wanted was sleep, but my father insisted on buying me a beer. The three of us trudged down the street and slipped inside the semi-crowded bar. We plopped ourselves around a small table and within moments we were accosted by a humming bartender with an alien tattooed on his neck. “Hmmmm…  Welcohmmmm to Boyd and Chadwick’s, where the beer’s warm and glasses are dirty, tonight’s special is if you don’t like it you can shut the fuck up! Hmmmm… What can I get you? Hmmmm?” he asked.

Diane and my father looked at each other and I tried not to laugh. I had firsthand knowledge of Reginald’s antics and until I noticed him when we walked in I never thought of subjecting my guests to his whims. When we hesitated, he said in a fairly good English accent: “Come on now mate, hurry the fuck up, I ‘ave other inmates to attend to.”

Dad and I ordered two beers and Diane ordered a Cosmopolitan.

“Hmmmm, I’ll be right back… Hmmm,” he hummed and shuffled away.

“That was rude,” she commented and then added: “He’s kind of a strange bird.”

“You can’t imagine,” I told her.  “He’s name’s Reginald and he’s a local legend. People come from miles around.”  What had me interested was what kind of drink he would whip up for Diane. I was fairly certain he had never made a Cosmopolitan before and he wouldn’t waste his time looking it up; he was known for throwing concoctions together and demanding that you finish it.

A few minutes later he returned with our round. “Hmmmm  Two Beers and a Cosmo – politan.” He somehow managed to switch accents from gay to English between syllables.

Diane looked from her drink, which almost glowed neon green, back to the bartender.  “Ummm, this isn’t a Cosmopolitan.”

“Hmmmm… What do you mean? It’s good enough to be on the cover of any magazine. If you don’t like it, take it to the compliant department.” He pointed to the front door where a Compliant Department sign hung over the doorway.  “Now if you’ll be kind enough to pay me eight dollars I won’t complain. Hmmmm”

My father handed him a ten and told him to keep the change.

“Hmmmm… Blessed plenty,” Reginald said in a southern accent before humming and shuffling off.

“Wow,” Diane said watching Reginald again switch gears attending to someone else.

“The best part is that he believes he was abducted,” I said.

“By?” My father asked.

“Aliens.”

“Wow,” Diane repeated before turning her attention to her cocktail. “I’m afraid to drink it.”

“And you thought there wasn’t any culture in the sticks.  You wouldn’t find someone like that in a city,” I said.

The both of us watched as Diane sipped her drink. “It’s not bad.” She couldn’t contain her fascination with the bartender as he bounced about.  It wasn’t long before he came back to the table to check on us: “Hmmmm… ’ow’s your drink m’lady?”

“Good, what’s in it?” Diane asked.

“You like it? Hmmmm.”

Diane nodded.

“That’s good, because it’s Alien Piss with a pinch of Spanish Fly…  Someone will be busy tonight. Now if you’ll excuse me… Hmmm” He clapped twice, pirouetted one-hundred eighty degrees and shuffled off.

I sniggered.

“He’s unreal,” Diane said half-amused, half-insulted.

When we turned in for the night, I couldn’t help burry my head under the pillows. Just in case Reginald wasn’t lying and he did spike her drink, I wasn’t sure how thick the walls were and I didn’t want to hear the results.

The Jesus Bum The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 16

imagesCAOGENV6The door swung open, nobody paid any  attention. All eyes were glued to the television and the tenth rerun of A Christmas Story.  It was Christmas night and the bar was crowded enough to put a smile on my face. Until that night, I had never worked the holiday, and being my first year at the helm, I penciled my name on the work schedule. I was pleasantly surprised both at the amount of business and the relaxed mood. I didn’t know what to expect, whatever I was expecting wasn’t the softball of a night I was enjoying. Heck, I was so naïve about Montana culture, that three years after moving here, I thought all bars were closed like in my home town. A more cynical explanation was given that by 4:00 PM Christmas afternoon most people were sick of their families and needed an escape.

Cold air swooshed through the open door and accompanied him as he walked towards the bar. His hair was wild and dirty, his face haggard and rife with stubble. Above worn boots were ragged jeans, a ripped flannel and a down vest; he wore nothing else to combat the cold winter air. In his hand was a paper bag, which he set on the bar with a thump.

Could this be The Jesus Bum?
Could this be The Jesus Bum?

“What can I get ya?” I asked.

“Do you know a Blankety Blank?”

“Nope, never heard of her,” I answered.

Cold air radiated from his frown. “How ’bout you?” he asked the patrons closest to him.

“Nope,”  was the resounding answer.

The air seemed to escape his lungs. His head suddenly seemed too heavy for his neck. When he looked back up, sadness swam across the deep pools that were his eyes. “I rode the bus to Missoula, and I walked the rest of the way. I wanted to give her this, but I dropped it and busted it.”  He slid a wolf figurine from the bag. It was a dusty ceramic that looked like it hunted the back shelves of Goodwill, quietly earning a living preying on ceramic dear and elk, until snatched from its den and dropped on some roadside. The damage wasn’t horrible, a front leg had been amputated, but the bum managed to save the dismembered leg.

A crowd started to gather.

“Do you got anything to fix it?” he asked. His voice was quiet, but his gaze shouted. His eyes pierced my recently developing bullshit detector and I had the feeling this wasn’t some ordinary run-of-the-mill drifter.

il_fullxfull.244824797“Nope,” I said before turning to the crowd. “Anyone got any epoxy at home? Any glue?”

Most either ignored me or rumbled no. Someone said yeah, let me run home and check. While we waited the bum asked, “Got a beer? Don’t got no money, but I could use one.”

On a normal night, or if I didn’t have that feeling, I would have been on the verge of saying something like I’m not a soup kitchen for drifters, but I didn’t and instead I quietly poured him a pint of draft. Maybe it was simply Christmas spirit.

Others around him again asked the lady’s name.  He repeated it, everybody shrugged. He gave the address, it was a legitimate address in town.  Time passed, people returned to their crowd or watching the movie. The bum sat quietly, sipping his beer and watching those around him. From behind a cloak of ramshackle desperation a calmness emerged. It bathed him, it gave him presence;  a serene disposition. He waited patiently speaking very little until the door opened again and our local hero walked in with epoxy.  The crowd again gathered and a committee of ceramic veterinarians went about reattaching the wolf’s amputated leg. The bum simply watched.

When the operation was finished he moved for the wolf.

“Whoa, it’s gotta set,”  the lead veterinarian said.

“It’s gettin’ late, she’s probably in bed already,” the Bum said, his calmness slipping a tad.

“Have another beer,” I said. He didn’t refuse.  As he drank he didn’t have much to say. It was obvious he didn’t relish being the center of attention. People flittered away from him and went

The Bar Nazi and the Jesus Bum enjoying the moment
The Bar Nazi and the Jesus Bum enjoying the moment

about doing their things.  Soon he was just another loner sitting at the edge of the bar.  At some point while doing what I do, he slipped out the door unnoticed. Only his empty mug sat at the end of the bar.

“That wasn’t an ordinary drifter,” I said.

“Phffft. Don’t count on it,” one person said.

“You got a lot to learn,” another commented.

“Smelled horrible,” another complained.

And so on and on the comments reigned.  Maybe it was my idealism,  for I hadn’t yet earned my doctorate  in cynicism; I had yet been exposed to the general wretchedness of humankind. That night, I felt like there was something more than met the eye.  The simple events of that Christmas night still give me hope in humankind. Every Christmas since, I’ve wondered about the Jesus Bum and thank him for the lesson.

The Barroom Chronicles… Vol 15 Freaks of a Feather

Sometimes is best to leave an event alone, allow the dust to settle, before gloating about ruffled feathers and sandy vaginas left in its wake. As the proprietor of ‘The Evil Bar’ in our tiny town, and a person who may or may not have been involved with the genesis of such a stunt, I believe the smoke has cleared enough to let the world know of such hijinks. This thought is based on the equation: Comedy = tragedy  + time.  Though there was no tragedy involved, there may have been numerous pairs of soiled underwear and/or attacked hearts, unless you take into consideration those without a sense of humor, their skipped heart beats and dirty drawers could be construed tragic.

On July  19th, 2012 at approximately eleven PM Mountain Daylight Time,  roughly an hour before Aurora, Colorado entered the cultural lexicon,  a couple of cohorts had a nasty idea for a practical joke. Of course, I couldn’t resist.  Those of you who follow this blog know about the ‘old west gunfights,’ we hold during Railroad Days, our little town’s yearly celebration. The night in question, we were walking through the scenarios for the following Saturday.

Krash Montana… Also known as Number 1

“Hey,” Cohort #1 said, “I have an idea.”

I should have known it was a bad deal.

Cohort #’s 2 and 3 said the idea rocked. “Let’s do it.”

I wasn’t at the ‘other bar’ to witness the event. But, I’ve heard the story enough, it goes like this:

Cohort #3 walked into the other bar and said there was a bunch of drama up at ‘The Evil Bar.’  Cohorts 1 and 2 were arguing about money that 2 owed 1. Being that both 1 worked for 2 and as someone said later, 2 owed a few people money, made the premise believable. A few minutes later 1 and 2 appeared in front of the other bar in the midst of a heated argument.

Now, Number 1 is an actor. He has the ability to get into a role and make it work. Outside of Al Pacino, I’ve never seen a better Tony Montana. Being gangster isn’t a stretch.

Number 2 is a loveable giant. Everybody in town adores him and he can possibly be the kindest person alive. Not to mention he can cook up a storm. So imagine the scene when 1 called out 2 in front of a small crowd of people who have drank with 2 since Camden was a prairie. Then he has the audacity to pull out a replica revolver and fires a shot into 2’s chest. Number 2 did his part and fell back against the outside wall. People scattered, the manager came unglued and the bartender, who happened to be walking by, allegedly peed her pants.

Meanwhile, those of us left behind at the ‘Evil Bar,’ were listening for two shots. Like Number 1 demonstrated before leaving, holding the revolver gangsta style while saying: “Pop, Pop.”

We giggled like kids hearing the first shot, imagining the mayhem. “Hey,” someone asked. “Where’s the second shot?”

The simple answer, things never go as planned. After the initial shock and awe, Number 2 had to jump up and proclaim “It’s just a joke!”  The manager, a mellow 50 something gal, instantly turned into a grizzly bear and allegedly read the riot act in numerous languages, leaving the three Cohorts pleading their case why they shouldn’t be eighty-sixed.

“What’s going on?” I asked a regular who had tagged along to witness.

“Oh man, it didn’t go good.”

“What happened? Where was the second shot?” I asked, panicked. I imagined 1 getting the tar beat out of him.

What I thought may have happened.

“Nothing that bad,” the witness said. “1 and 2 are buying rounds to make it good.”

It would be an hour before the three amigos returned. “So?” I asked.

“They called us freaks and told us to go back and drink with the rest of the freaks,” Number 1 reported. The comment confirmed my suspicion that freaks of a feather really do drink together.

It Could Only Happen Here! The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 12

Our 1st Railroad Day… Parade as King and Queen of White Trash… The Redneck Chariot looks good with our shade slaves.

This time of year my mind starts to focus  on our little town’s celebration – Railroad Day.  This year more so than others mainly because of preparations for The Gunfight – Redux, especially if the rumors pan out about me appearing on a local TV morning show as Limp Along Larry, the soon to be notorious bad guy.

Despite that excitement, another story has been on my mind lately, and it involves my first Railroad Day as the proprietor of our humble little bar. The picture to the left has nothing to do with this story, it’s the only good picture I have of that day.  Anyway,  when you hear this story you may agree that now-a-days this sort of thing can only happen in rural Montana.

The story begins long after the last reveler went home and many were sleeping off a drunk.  For me, it is told best through the eyes of the bar’s security camera. In retrospect, I regret not saving a copy, because it would have become  a keep-shake.

Around Nine A.M. the morning after Railroad day, a person tries the front door and his expression is startled when it swings open. You see, the  proprietor, me, in a fit of exhaustion forgot to lock up.  The person was Kermit, a long-time regular,  a self proclaimed mountain man and a person born after his time. He often said he would have fit in better in the nineteenth century. As far as anybody knew, what Kermit enjoyed most was cooking at hunting camp.

Without blinking, the camera watches Kermit turn towards his friends, yell something and wave for them to come on in. Moments later, a  single file of his cadres stumbles through the door.  Our ring leader walks behind the bar, opens the cooler and serves up the beers.

Over the hours, empties are lined up across the bar top until two hours later, the door opens again and it is the  stunned form of the daytime bartender. Kermit jumps up, greets her and motions to the empties on the bar and proceeds to pay her for the consumed libations.  Only in our town!

It is a heart-warming story, but what makes it more special is that Kermit passed away six months later. He had a bad-ticker that gave way in his sleep. He was forty-nine.

The token brunette in a party of tall blondes

The following spring, on what would have been his fiftieth birthday, we commemorated the event by compelling everybody who came into the bar that day to enjoy a Miller High Life in his honor, of course the empties were lined up across the bar.

You may be saying to yourself the name sounds familiar. It is dear reader and not because of the famous frog. If you have read the post Haunted Town, you will recall we named the bar’s ghost Kermit, mainly because it’s a trickster, much like the person I knew for an all to brief time. In that time he gave us the gift of many fond memories and a headache or two with repeated Swen and Ollie jokes.  For more of Kermit I also refer you to The Shithouse Poet Returns, he planted the following beauty on the Men’s room wall:

“It is as long as me arm

and thick as me wrist

with a head as big as me fist

and it just longs to be kissed”

Kermit, wherever you are my friend, don’t forget to stir the beans!

Gunfight… The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 11

High Noon in our town!

Shots ring out.  Someone is dead. Blood flows from a single hole in the middle of a stranger’s forehead.  Crying, a toddler asks his mommy: “Is that man really dead?”

As to answer the lad’s question, a pine box is ushered from the shadows, the dead guy is stuffed inside and is whisked from the street.  The casket it stood against a nearby fence and its contents are displayed to warn out-of-towners that their nonsense will not be tolerated.

Believe me, there are times when I would like nothing better than to place a

Pucker factor waiting for the bottom to fall out.

bullet in some hemorrhoid’s forehead, but that particular afternoon last July that hemorrhoid was me and I had the experience of being stuffed inside a box.  Let me tell you, it’s creepy and a little bit terrifying – not because I was the dead guy, but we had built the casket the night before and I was wishing to my lucky stars that the bottom wouldn’t fall out and I would end up on the sidewalk.

Limp Along Larry – the bad guy

But that’s a risk of being the bad guy. And what a bad guy I was. Limp Along Larry’s the name, making kids cry is the game. I mean, I made two kids cry! Only one was part of the act.  I wish a picture exists of his expression when I popped his balloon and drew my six-shooter on him and robbed his candy.  Now I know where the saying comes from, it is easy and it’s fun, especially when a boatload of onlookers boo, hiss and call you nasty names.  Alas, it  takes a special breed to be a turd in the punchbowl.

My day would have been perfect if the kid’s dad wasn’t

Talking smack with the kid’s dad.

around.  The humorless fellow had to go and defend his son’s honor. Heck, if he hadn’t let the kid walk down the sidewalk by himself, he wouldn’t have had to challenge me to a duel.   I mean, I was teaching the kid a lesson: the world is a dangerous place you know.

Not that I was worried about a duel, I had never lost. I thought the fellow was a dead man walking and that his kid was an orphan in the making. Heck, even if he got a lucky shot in, I had a nasty surprise in store. On a nearby balcony, I had my right-hand man.  If something happened to me, well…  I never expected that the good guy would get two lucky shots in. My pardo ended up dead too!

One door closes, another opens…

Oh, that second crying kid.  He thought I was really dead. It took me eventually walking from the casket to prove that I was alive and that the gunfight was just a bunch of silly grown-ups playing.  Between me and you, I can’t wait to he gets older and learns about zombies. We could have fun with that!

Who knows what will happen on a mid-summer’s afternoon this July?

Is That What I Think It Is? The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 10

The Grumpy Easter Bunny

When the view starts seeming normal, you may have been in the asylum too long. If you haven’t been to our asylum but enjoy the shenanigans from afar, you may have already begun to accept them for not too far out of the ordinary. If you’re new here…  :laughs:  “Good luck!”  You see fair reader, a grown man adorned with bunny ears and carrying a cross is par for the course.

Bin Laden hanging out before his date with Seal Team Six.

But, we’re not going to talk about said Easter Bunny. This week it’s all about the cross, not to mention our penchant for crucifying people in effigy. A heart-felt thanks goes out to our resident grump for the cross, for it has become one of our favorite conversation pieces, along with the blue balls, the buffalo, the parking meter and the palm tree.

It’s been said that timing is everything, and the timing of the cross’s arrival thrust it into immediate use.  As the above picture proves, in the days prior to Bin Laden’s date with Seal Team Six, he was spotted hanging out in our fair bar.

A prophet appears during 2011’s Rapture

A few weeks later, during 2011’s infamous rapture, it was also put to use when a prophet from God mysteriously materialized to enjoy a beer and tell our aging biker that his bike is indeed green.

But behold, the cross had yet to find its niche, that would come in the following months, when the town was introduced to a one-legged wonder we dubbed Peg-leg.   You must understand when you pedal your way up a sidewalk, stop in front of a packed bar and chew an apple while staring down a gaggle of people on the deck and your prosthetic leg falls off, you’re destined to become an instant legend.  For more on the legend of Peg-leg click here and here.  The links will take you to previous posts about the one-legged wonder. I’ve written about this gem twice…  It is required reading for any true fan.

The Bar Nazi admits the cross makes him nervous

Anyway, after Peg-leg rode the rail out of town, the idea to crucify Hitler arose one afternoon while a couple of us watched The Pianist.  Someone said they had a Hitler doll at home. I found this a little strange, but this is our town.  He returned with a Charlie Chaplin doll.  Hey, Chaplin did play Hitler in The Great Dictator, so it’s all good. Without a second thought, we taped the doll to the cross.

A reminder to potential disruptive customers.

When the Humming Bartender came in for his shift (more on him in a later post) little did I know an icon would be born.  That night he broke a leg of the poor doll and glued a peanut – which he painted red to simulate a bloody stump – into the void. I wish I had a dollar every time someone asked “What’s up with the cross?”  I know, I know, the expression is a nickle, but I have a reputation to uphold.

Aw, yes, I think you’re starting to agree that our asylum’s, errr, our establishment’s collective  twisted mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Don’t you agree, now that you’ve been here a while, it really does seem quite normal.

What’s that?  You want to know what the bumper stickers atop the cross read?

Stupidity Kills – just not fast enough, and my personal favorite, the one that answers that age old question: “What would Jesus do?”

Jesus would slap the shit out of you!

Yes, my world is fertile ground for an author. With this kind of inspiration, I better have interesting characters, or I’ll risk the reader slapping the shit out of me.

The Shithouse Poet Returns – The Men’s Room… The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 9

It was only a matter of time, you knew it was coming –  the yin to the  women’s room yang, or is it the yang to the yin? Who knows? All I know is that I can’t help  reading this stuff multiple times a day – no wonder I’m twisted. 

Without further ado, allow me to reintroduce the shithouse poet – the Men’s Room edition.

If you're weak kneed, sensitive, or a stick in the mud, do not attend!

Warning: If you’re sensitive, easily offended, or are politically correct…  Oh wait, you wouldn’t be here. If you managed to stumble across this blog and don’t know my tastes and find it offensive, tuck your skirt in or leave before you stain this beautiful poetry with your tears of sensitivity and good taste. 

Phew, now that we handled that and you’re still here, did you ever consider that good taste is a euphamism for a humorless stick in the mud. I know of such a person who took offense to what follows and in protest demostrated his outrage by urinating over the bathroom walls. But then his name was on the wall and next to his name is an activity in which I cannot confirm nor deny the said person is alleged to have participated. 

Without further ado, let’s step into the men’s room. Just don’t step on the butt print in the floor. We don’t know where that bottom has been other than sitting in wet concrete at a specific point in time.  (Hopefully picture is forthcoming. An edit is required to live up to wordpress standards.)

The first thing you may notice is a note about our town:

Shithouse Poet at it again!

Alberton: Where you don’t lose your woman, you lose your turn!

Placement is everything, and it’s no wonder I have a complex. Every time I pee, this chestnut stares me in the face: 

Why are you looking up here, the joke is in your hand.

Of course there’s plenty to read about men’s favorite topic, and it ain’t football, hockey or basketball:

I like them in frills…  I like them in lace…  But I like them better when they sit on my face!

Snow is like pussy… Fun to play in, you never know when it will cum, and only some of it is clean enough to eat!

Here’s to the breezes that blow through the treez’s and lifts little girl’s dresses above her kneezes… Lil boy seezes, does what he pleases and catches social diseases.

A trick is a trick, a ho is a ho, it ain’t no fun less you get some mo.

Now that we’ve discerned a man’s favorite topic, here’s a little lit about what we do when we get what we want:

The religious amongst us pray:   Now I lay me down to eat, I pray her muff don’t smell like feet, and if it smells too much to lick, I hope she’s good at sucking dick!

Others boast our own accoutrements:    It’s as long as me arm and thick as me wrist with a knob on the end as big as me fist and it just longs to be kissed.

Other’s wax poetic:  Love me tender, love me sweet, wrap you lips around my meat! Watch me smile, watch me grin, watch my cum run down your chin.

Other’s wax to the wax: I’ll love you tender, I’ll love you sweet, but it won’t be my lips you’ll see on your meat.  We’ll see a smile, we’ll see a grin, and we’ll see who’s cum is running down who’s chin!

And then there’s the result of such shenanigans:  As I stand here trying to piss, I think of the girl who gave me this!

When us men tire of pussy, there’s always our best friend:

My dog is smarter than you… She’s spayed!                                

Lady, keep your hands to yourself!

It’s a dog’s life… If you can’t eat it, fuck it, piss on it.

Some of us prefer a different kind of pet:                                          

I’m not a Spring Chicken… I’m the Rooster!

And often when we sit to contemplate we give birth to the following drivel:

 Here I sit buns a flexin’  givin’ birth to another Mexican!

Often contemplation leads to the philosophical:

Civilization exists by nature’s consent – subject to change without notice.

If the creator was a pessimist, he would have put your asshole in the middle of your face!

And then there’s the management’s promise:  We shall serve no whine before it’s time!    

Orson Welles has served 'whine' in his time... but he agrees literature is best enjoyed upon thy throne!

Please ignore the beauty right above the hopper,  it may cause you to piss on the walls:  Blankety Blank, you Blankety Blank, don’t you?

That’s funny, it didn’t cause me to do it either…

I’ve hope you enjoyed this tour into the filthiest of all places… and I’m not talking about the men’s room, I’m refering to man’s one track mind.

The Petition… Episode 8 of The Barroom Chronicles

Did you ever have one of those days when you scratch your head and say: “What the F#$%?” In my part of the world, these days are, well, an everyday occasion. But sometimes I’m so amazed that I end up scratching both my head and my butt. This past Saturday was such a day, a perfect storm of silliness and awe that makes you think: wait a minute, is this really happening?

Another such day was an afternoon a little over three years ago when two  elderly ladies came into our fair tavern.  Along with their brooches, one was wearing a smile, the other was wearing a snarl. I was on the phone growling at a vendor and didn’t recognize the impending good granny, bad granny routine.

We the old people...

Little did I know they were the messengers for a sinister organization – The Senior Citizens of our Town. “We have a petition to deliver to you,” the bad granny snapped as she handed me the piece of paper.

I took it from her and read the first line: “We the Senior citizens who’ve lived in our little town for 50 (and up) years find your sign “Welcome pimps and hos” offensive. ((Actually the sign read: Pimp and Ho Party, Saturday Feb. 14) Yes, that’s right, it is our way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.)

Like some sort of sixth sense, or maybe it’s my built in bullshit detector , whatever it was, I sensed displeasure with their message. They weren’t visiting  to proclaim my greatness or draft me as their candidate for mayor.

 “Listen, I’m in a bad mood, I don’t have time for your nonsense,” I said.

Good Granny, Bad Granny

“Read it!” The bad granny snapped.

“Stick it,” I replied.  I can be such an anal aperture. “And while you’re at it, buy something or leave!”   This always works on the non-paying, especially if I’ve never seen the person before.  Listen, being a customer has its priveledges – mostly throwing me a line or two of grief. This was different, I had to draw a line in the sand against the Granny Gestapo.

 “You really should read it, it’s kinda funny,” the good granny chirped.

“No drinky, no stayie,” I barked. (I really didn’t say that, but it sounds good.)

Their task complete, the Grannies walked out the door with their heads held high. It wasn’t till a couple hours later that I cooled my jets enough to peruse their masterpiece. And I thought we were offensive, we’re completely bush league in comparison.  This is what their note read:

“We the Senior citizens who’ve lived in our little town for 50 (and up)
years find your sign “Welcome pimps and hos” offensive. I believe that
parents of young children will also find it offensive. However if you
really think that calling people denigrating names is the way to appeal
to potential customers you are neglecting whole classes of people…

You have your Spicks and Micks and Dagos and Wops,

Who are they calling a Kraut?!

Your Hunkies and Junkies and “pigs” (for cops)
There are Bucks and Squaws, slant-eyes and Frogs
Your Rednecks and Polacks and female Dogs
You’ve got Chinks and Finks and Pansies and Dykes
Niggers and Limeys and don’t forget the Kikes,
There are Greasers and Japs and the German Kraut,
Just so you didnt leave anyone out…

Why not have an all-inclusive sign “Welcome Scum of the earth, this is your
home away from home” Better yet how about a really family- friendly
sign. “Welcome friends and neighbors!””
 
There was almost fifty signatures signed at the bottom of the page. My wife and I got such a kick out of it, we promptly posted the petition with the names on the bar’s Myspace page.  Remember Myspace? It makes me feel as old as the Gestapo.
 
I did take the senior’s advice.  Two new banners went up. One proclaiming a Kikes and Dykes party, and another for  party that gained traction for a couple of years. The Scum Ball.
 
Less than two months later, the town was in uproar about the name change to the 1000 Bra Bar…   See Episode 2  of The Barroom Chronicles. https://johnzunski.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/the-prank-that-keeps-on-giving-the-barroom-chronicles-pt-2/
 
 

Not our bride and groom, but you get the picture.

Oh, I almost forgot about what happened this Saturday.  In addition to our Spread your Wings Party, we had another wedding at the bar.  That’s strange enough, but it’s not terribly unusal, it’s the third. What makes this one odd was not that the mother of the bride was summoned from the golf course, she didn’t know her daughter was getting married.  Apparently, forty-eight hours early, neither did the bride.  The story goes the happy couple met a few days prior to the wedding.  Move over Vegas!

What Comes Around Goes Around… The Barroom Chronicles, Episode 6

It was bound to happen, the prankster got pranked.  Yes, I was the biggest fool this April 1st… actually, on the 2nd. Here is my story of  Just Deserts.

(Que Keith Morrison of Dateline) The morning began as so many others, with a trip down the creek and a stop at the local coffee shop.  It was a beautiful spring morning, if not brisk. Birds where busy dining while the dogs patrolled the streets.

(Cut to me, sweating, sitting in the interview chair)  When I first pulled up, I noticed something was wrong.  Sheriff’s department tape was strung across the deck. “Crime Scene – Do Not Cross,” it ordered.   A chalk outline of a body lay strewn across the deck.  Blood dried in the sun.

“What the… ” I mumbled. My mind raced. Ah shit, what happened? Wait, the date. It’s a joke. It’s an April  Fool’s joke. Hell, if something really happened, I would have gotten a call at home, I thought.  Relieved, I got out of my truck, stepped over the tape, and tromped across the deck and opened the door.

Crime Scene

The bar was trashed!  All the lights were left on; The TV’s were on; all the neons were glowing – even in the window; A couple of bar stools were laying on the floor.  Peanut shells littered the floor like dead soldiers.  Behind the bar, the contents of the Shake-a-day boot were scattered across the ground. Water was left in the sink. Dishes were unwashed. The tray to the till was upside down on the bar top. Half drank bottles of beer lingered here and there.

The scene was perfectly staged and I was standing in the middle of it thinking: Aw Shit, there was a fight, an attempted robbery, somebody got killed and I just contaminated the crime scene.  Yes, I know, I watch too much Investigative Discovery. Not thinking that I own the place and my DNA and fingerprints are everywhere, I realized I couldn’t use the phone.  I can’t use a cell phone, hell, I don’t have one.  This is rural Montana folks, and the town’s nickname is the vortex – in part because there’s no cell service.

In a moment of panic, I bolt from the bar and race next door to the Fat Belly Deli.  Doors are locked… It’s closed.  I run down the street to Ghost Rails Inn – the local bed and breakfast.  It’s locked up. No one’s around.  I look across the street at the town hall. I hate to do it, but I have to.

Disregard the Crucifixion in the background.

I compose myself and step inside. The clerk asked. “What happened at the bar?”

“I think someone got killed. But, I don’t know, I think it’s a joke, but it looks like a robbery. Do you have the Sheriff’s Department number?”

She hands me the phone and gives me the number.

I dial, dreading what I would learn.

“Sheriff’s Department,” the cheerful voice answered.

“Aw… ” I begin and tell her who I am. “I think there was a murder at my business last night, but it could be a joke. Did you have any calls?”

“What do you mean you there could have been a murder?”

“Was there any calls last night?” I insist.

“No,”

“Can you check CAD?” I ask…  my wife used to be a 911 dispatcher, so I know the lingo, it makes me sound smart.

“Nothing happened,” the voice answered.

“I think I’ve been had. Sorry to bother you.”   I hand the phone back to the town clerk and do the walk of shame out of the town hall and across the street.

Inside the bar, away from the gawking eyes – I heard there was a buzz generated amongst the town’s senior citizens over the tape and chalked body – I learned that my detective skills need a little sharpening.   As I popped open the till to replace the tray, there was a big note proclaiming: “April Fools!”  And the chalk next to the till, looked suspiciously like the chalk used  to outline the body.I’m awaiting confirmation from the forensic’s lab if this was indeed the same chalk.

Laughing, I set about to cleaning up the crime scene. Hey, I appreciate the effort that went into the set up.

Did I mention that I have a phobia of rats and mice. They scare the living shit out of me, when I think of them, I get creeped out.  As I write this, I’m picturing a bunch of mice running across a floor and I’m skived out.  Knowing this, imagine my reaction when I bent down and was met with the grin of a big ole plastic rat.  I screamed like a little girl and managed a record for the over 40 high jump.

And you thought you had a tough Monday Morning.

A note to the perps:  Remember boys, what comes around goes around.  You’re fired!