I Love the Night Life
I don't get out much.
So it was with mixed emotion that I accepted a recent invitation to a local watering hole that featured live music.
The joint was packed to the gunn’ls with an eclectic buzz of mid-week revelers. Movement about the premises was affected by gently elbowing oneself through the crowd. I felt like the insistent one in a herd of manatee.
I particularly liked the music being offered up by the wild eyed southern boys who were playing there that night. That isn't the group name, just a personal observation.
One of the reasons I'm not a big nightspot person though is that I find it impossible to converse with people over the music. On the night in question I was there to meet some folks I did not know and looked forward to talking with them. The band had a different agenda. The sound waves sent ripples across the surface of everyone’s glass.
I took up the stool that was being held for me and smiled what I hoped was a pleasant smile to several attractive ladies seated round about. The one to my left leaned toward my ear, yelled something and laughed. I laughed back but for all I knew she had just told me that my mother dressed me funny. The band ground out a Bob Seger tune, I think. It was difficult to tell while dabbing trickles of blood from my ear canal.
I sat there tapping the rim of my glass with my straw to the beat of the music feeling like the child of a lesser God for most of an hour. I continued trying to look pleasant and laughed on cue as I pretended to know what everyone was talking about. I had managed to communicate effectively with the kindly waitress however. That blessed phrase, “scotch-and-water” passed to that good woman’s trained ear and she responded early and often.
Abbreviated rebel yells bounced around the room from time to time and ad hoc conga lines were formed and dissolved with fleeting indifference.
Just as I bent my little red straw over the rim of my third tumbler, a medical miracle occurred. Apparently the Scotch was of sufficient quality to restore my hearing in the midst of the din. Suddenly I could hear perfectly well despite the fact that the band had not backed off one decibel.
I rejoined the conversation with renewed confidence.
It turns out that I had been seated amidst a rare gathering of revelers born to Welsh ancestry. One introduced herself as Gwyb Fleebly, I think. I took her hand in mine and lifted my fourth scotch to her with the other as she introduced me to her husband, Gleefp.
The lady who had invited me leaned over and told me that they were in the marfling business and had just taken a trip to Maargenfolpen to buy lamfels for their pennastugin.
I laid a finger alongside my nose to Gleefp, acknowledging my admiration of his fiscal prowess through inspired investments in the lamfel market.
Once more my date spoke. She launched into a story about her children, Klag and Darfy and how they had both recently enlisted as balloonists in the foreign legion.
She seemed confused when I told her how proud she must be to have two mercenary/aviatrix teens in the family.
She disappeared for awhile soon after. I spotted her on the dance floor with another Welshman so I asked Gwyb to dance and, despite her adamant shyness, took her by the hand. She began dancing too soon though and nearly tossed me off balance before I could even clear my stool. I guess she changed her mind then because she stepped behind Gleefp and peered at me over his shoulder with one eye.
He was a friendly guy. A big friendly guy. Concerned I would lose my balance again, he steadied me in my seat by grabbing my lapels in each hand. He yelled something about a stupid gun in a ditch and sat back down. He didn't seem near as friendly after that.
It wasn't long before I shrewdly deduced that those good people had imbibed more spirits than they probably should. Every one of them had grown blurry and indistinct in my view. So I counseled them on the evils of alcohol and the wisdom of sobriety. After patting everyone on the head for their mothers I began the exhausting walk to my car.
It was then that I noted the construction flaws in the establishment. The floors were woefully out of kilter and the carpet was always shifting under my feet.
My date did reconvene with me at the curb. I thought she was flirting but it turned out she just wanted the car keys from my pocket. About that time this shiny yellow limo pulled up and offered me a ride. I supposed the driver recognized me from the postage stamp picture in this column and wanted to talk about journalism but it must have slipped his mind because we rode in silence.
Turns out the driver lived near me because the next thing I knew I was standing in front of my house, pounding on my door and yelling for the Welsh peasants inside to come let me in. I didn't even know I could speak Welsh but the door opened by and by.
I think all that noise has had a negative impact on my date's hearing though. Each time I've tried to call her on the phone she picks it up but as soon as I say hello she just hangs it up. I guess she can't hear that it's me.