Monday, February 9, 2009
It’s a day like any other. I drop off my son with his mother and decide to go out for lunch since I‘m already in the car. I head towards my favorite bar for no particular reason. I’m not especially intending on drinking this day; I’m just drawn to this general area of town. You can pretty much eat every genre of food on this particular intersection, save for basque, and there’s about 800 basque restaurants in town, so I’m not especially worried.
I get there and immediately run into my best friend’s stepmom and her good friend. Both bartend at this particular establishment. They ask what I’m up to and I answer. I decide to grab a sandwich at the place next to the bar (Tuna, wonderfully done, in case you were wondering) and head in to say “hello” and toss back a few.
In short order, we are joined by several regulars and another bartender. To keep count, including the actual bartender, there are four bartenders in the bar. I’m drinking vodka tonics with them. I’m quite happy, actually. The day is turning out to be rather lovely. I listen to their stories. I try to forget that I’m starting to hit that age where everything seems over, but there might be better things around the corner.
There’s another guy in the place, who saunters over to our end of the bar. We’re singing along to a Madonna song. “Holiday,” I believe. I’m not quite picking up on what he’s doing. He tries to get some attention. I assume the bartenders remember him. They don’t quite remember him, but they’re friendly people. I think he’s making a bad pass at them, starting at the end and heading his way towards me. He tries another tact. He starts to tell a joke:
“It’s a regular school day and the teacher wants to play a video for the class. The teacher says, ‘I’m going to go get the video. Everyone stay seated while I’m gone.’ When the teacher leaves, three kids run up to the chalkboard and scrawl on it. The teacher walks into the classroom and notices something on the chalkboard: T. T. T. 1A. She looks at the children and asks, ‘Who wrote this?’ Keith raises his hand. ‘Well, what does it mean, Keith?’ asks the teacher. ‘It means, 'To The Teacher 1 Apple,'’ he replies. She sees the second note on the chalkboard: T. T. T. 2A . She asks the children, ‘Who wrote this?’ Little Bobby answers, ‘I did, teacher.’ ‘Well, Bobby, what does it mean?’ Bobby says, ‘It means, 'To The Teacher 2 Apples.’’ Finally, she notices the third message on the chalkboard: F. U. C. K. 3A. The teacher is, unsurprisingly, quite shocked. She asks, ‘Who wrote this?!?’ Little Michelle Obama raises her hand. ‘Michelle, what does it mean?’ Michelle replies, ‘From Us Colored Kids, 3 Apples!’”
My best friend’s stepmom and I immediately jump up from the bar and head away from the man. She runs to the jukebox to put another song on. I head outside to smoke a cigarette. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to translate what the two of us were thinking: