Wednesday night Mike H. and I were scheduled to meet with the executive board of the fire company. This was the first big meeting where we were to discuss the Township increasing our involvement in the administration of the department and the entire exchange was going to require diplomacy and a deft hand.
Thing started off well. I
made introductions and provided oversight, then I handed things off to
Mike who started asking for input. That's when the chief said, "that's
great, but didn't share any of this with any of these guys, so they have
no idea what you're talking about." So while we were there to get
information from them to begin our strategic plan, we ended up looking
at a table full of blank faces taken totally by surprise.
the sirens went off and radio dispatch came through the loudspeakers, "
active structure fire Decartes Rd, possible high occupancy residence".
1 minute later I'm in a vehicle with sirens blaring and flying down to
the southern end. 7 minutes later I'm standing in an apartment with a
half dozen firemen opening up windows and taking pictures of a burnt
Eventually we got out of there and started back to the
station..then..." station 66 - class 2 vehicle accident Millersville
Pike and Schoolhouse Road. All units on standby, respond". And so it
Needless to say, meeting cancelled.
After all of the
hullabaloo I still hadn't eaten and needed a drink so I took Mike over
to the hotel bar Loxleys. I go to Loxleys for mainly because two of
their three bartenders are the best in the county. One is a good
looking, smart-ass chick who makes the best Hendrix martinis, the other
is right out of central casting, Scott the bartender/philosopher.
Unfortunately we got bartender #3 - Goofy McDopicus.
Mike went to
use the bathroom and I sat down and ordered. " I'll take a Hendrix,
rocks, olives and I'll take a McCallans rocks for my partner".
partner. OK, not the weirdest thing to say, but the only other people
at the bar were these two guys a few stools down and they kinda looked
at me funny when I said it.
So Mike came out of the bathroom
and the next five things he said, though benign, sounded to my paranoid
ears like RuPaul having drinks with Liberace, " Hey Billy Boy...wanna
split something ? Hey McCallans, a man after my own heart ! God I love
this young kid from Ole Miss...a real good looking young player "
of course I ( holding my martini glass in the manliest of ways) tried
to butch it up with a bunch of comments about the hoops game sounding
like Bob Costas in a hostage situation, " Yeah, they're gonna fuck those
dude's up man !.....Slam motherfuckin Dunk !" Apparently I think
"fuck" to gay people is like holy water to vampires.
Finally one of the two guys at the bar smiled at me and said, " yeah, you're right...that was an NBA three".
Oh cool. We're cool. Everything is cool.
minutes later one of the two guys got up and left, but the other guy
stuck around for one more drink. At some point I turned toward Mike
(whose back was to Mr. NBA 3) to answer a question and the guy stood up,
looked over at me, smiled, tipped his drink, and winked.
No not something in his eye winked. Like, " hey why don't you ditch the old queen you're with and meet me outside" wink.
Or that's what I suppose it was because, of course, I don't know what
gay guys actually say to each other....not that there's anything wrong
with that )
My jaw hit the bar and in shock I just started shaking my head in the negative.
looked at me puzzled, but then continued talking. And with that my new
friend went to sit down, missed his bar stool completely and fell flat
on his back onto the bar room floor.
bartender didn't notice and Mike has his back turned. The dude then
jumped up, looked at me, grabbed his shit off the bar, and
ran....stumbling and crashing into the hallway walls the whole way out
Now, WTF am I supposed to do ? The dude was obviously
hammered. And he was heading out the parking lot. So I can't let the
guy drive - but if I run out into the parking lot after him, I don't
need him pulling his pants down.
I gave a big sigh and
interrupted Mike, " hey, that guy at the bar is hammered. He's heading
out to get in a car. Can you get the manager, I'm going after him ?"
I found the guy in front of the bar trying to light a cigarette. " Hey man.", I got his attention.
" Heeeeeyyyyy", he responded with a smile.
" Oh God....listen...are you driving home ?", I groaned.
Nooooo", another smile, " I have a room here at the hotel." Oh god it
pains me to write that he purred when he said it....purred.
Finally, thankfully, the manager came walking out the door. It was the third life saving rescue I'd witness that night.