Snce it was indeed St. Patrick’s Day, and since there were friends who had requested his presence, your humble narrator decided to partake of these dubious festivities with trusted parties. Never mind that your narrator wasn’t Irish, but that his heritage constituted the dubious combination of Dutch and German, which likely led to his strange temperament and fey physical appearance (consider, for example, your narrator’s family’s long line of bulbous heads). Never mind that your narrator’s hair color had transmuted over the past year and a half into a much darker shade of the reddish brown hue that had once made him the darling of family photographs, now with slight flecks of grey that only your narrator might notice, altogether a rather undistinctive shade for what little hair your narrator had left. The point was that this was St. Paddy’s Day — a time for drinking, a time for carousing, and a time for talking with rather curvaceous gals. In short, the holiday had justified nearly every act of minor debauchery called for.
Anyway, your narrator, rapt in a conversation concerning the Soviet conquest of Eastern European countries in the 1970s, was interrupted by a curvaceous and quite attractive thirtysomething (from the rather indistinctive territory of Walnut Creek, natch; he should have seen this coming) who was trying to attract the bartender’s attention. Said lady batted her eyelashes, rubbed her physical form against your narrator, and otherwise turned him into a lust-driven dumbass. What can the narrator say? He was single and susceptible.
Your narrator, of course, was a man of adventure, eager to ensure that an attractive woman could, in fact, order her drinks for her lovely coterie. He was prepared to stand on the bar, if necessary. Fortunately, matters being what they were, this was not necessary. And so, it was with this impulse that he flagged a rather industrious bartender’s attention, no small feat considering the prodigious inhabitants, all claiming to be Irish, who hoped to siphon the Guinness pipeline, securing the XX crowd’s drinks and winning them their trophy through some kind of unspoken nobelese oblige.
Anyway, the chief curvaceous lady, purportedly grateful for your narrator’s efforts, decided to reward him with a drink. But it was here that your narrator was an outright fool. The tab of the XX crowd’s drinks came to $48.50. They only had forty-seven bucks. And the lady, batting her eyelashes ever so fastidiously, called upon your narrator to put up the remaining capital, which of course included tips. Your narrator placed a Lincoln and all the George Washingtons he had in his wallet on the bar and completed the purchase, and was rewarded, if paying his own way can be called such, with a Guinness.
Thus, the $48.50 ruse. The idea here, no doubt contrived by these ladies, was to hit up a nice guy for these drinks, which your narrator foolishly did.
Granted, your narrator would have purchased another Guinness anyway. Not a colossal sum, mind you, but it was the principle of the matter which kept your narrator relatively lucid and a bit dismayed.
And so your narrator completed the purchase of drinks by his very presence, realizing that he is one of those fools who is commonly identified as “a nice guy” and realizing that, at the age of 31, he clearly has a lot more to learn about such chicanery in the universe. Not that it will hinder his kindness or generosity in the future. But the incident does remind him why nice guys finish last.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.