I almost had a Lindsay Lohan moment last night. My son broke his shoulder in a HS football game a couple of months ago and I get to take him to re-hab a couple times a week. I usually hang out in the waiting room and read or watch sports on their TV. Last night I went into the center and lo and behold on the TV was the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting show which I absolutely despise, nothing but a cheap money grubbing faux gala event with half-baked stars lip-synching shitty Christmas Carols. I was pissed. The Michigan State Miami b-ball game was on and I really wanted to watch it since I was taking the points with Miami and the Hurricane's coach is Jim Larranaga from Archbishop Molloy HS in Queens.
I told my son I was heading down the street to a local watering hole to watch the game and he should call me when his session was over.
I walked down two blocks, swung open the bar door and my jaw dropped...the place was empty except for some half-drunk woman sitting at a corner table sniffling into her snifter of cheap scotch. The college game just doesn’t draw like it used to.
I ordered a pint and asked the barkeep to put on the Miami game. No problem, he forgot it was on. I kinda knew the guy in the apron; our kids played against each other in CYO baseball a couple of years ago. He switched the channel and the cry of a banshee arose from the corner table.
"YOU SON OF A BITCH!!! PUT THE TREE LIGHTING BACK ON". My head swiveled like Regan MacNeil.
"I WANT THAT SHOW BACK ON!!! FUCK THE NI**ERS AND THEIR NI**ER GAME! I WANT MY SHOW BACK ON!!"
I got a strange look from the Tim the barman, who is retired from the NYPD, and he loudly but firmly told the woman to shut her filthy mouth or she would have to leave. The woman stood and took a shaky step forward, put the snifter to her lips and drained its contents although half of it found its way onto her chin and down her Santa sweater. She then hurled the empty container at me and Tim. I ducked and Tim gracefully swayed sideways in an elegant move I had not expected from the big man. The snifter shattered against a half filled bottle of DeKuyper’s Blackberry brandy.
The Woman took another step forward glancing around at the surrounding tables for another object to launch. She latched onto a salt shaker but before she could secure a firm throwing grip she stumbled forward and fell to the floor landing on her knees. She tottered and let out a burp which made me believe that she was about to do some different hurling.
"IF I WAS IN MY PRIME I'D KICK BOTH YOUR FUCKIN' ASSES".
"That's it", said Tim. He came out from behind the bar in full police/bartender speechifying mode. “We’ve heard enough from you and your filthy mouth ma’am. I am informing you that your presence in this establishment has come to an end. Please leave immediately, like right now!”
Still kneeling she leaned back, sitting on her heels. She let out a sigh and appeared defeated, out of gas. In a softer voice, “Ok. I know when I’m not wanted. I shall go now but first let me rest get myself together.”
Tim nodded and stepped back. The woman labored a bit to upright herself and staggered over to her chair and sat. Tim returned to his beat behind the bar and I sipped my pint.
A minute later I heard whispering then in a louder voice, “Of course I’m sure. They both attacked me and threw me into a chair. I’m being held prisoner. They are trying to get me drunk so they can take advantage of me.” I looked at Tim and shook my head. “Tim, this is turning into a Hunter S. Thompson story.” He rubbed his eyes with his knuckles and poured himself a short beer. It disappeared in one gulp. ”Ma’am it’s time to go. Shall I call you a cab?”
“Oh no, I’m expecting a ride in a couple of minutes. May I have another Scotch?”
“No”, barked the keep, “You’ve had your fill.”
Tim leaned over and whispered to me, “They should be here in a minute.”
“Who?” I stupidly asked.
“My old co-workers.”
As he predicted the door swung open and two cherub faced boys in blue entered followed by a gruffer looking older gent, a sergeant, who nodded at Tim.
The woman jumped up and lurched at the two young cops. ”Thank God you finally got here! A minute longer and they would have dragged me into the back room and had their way with me.”
“Them! I want them arrested and I want to press charges!” She then melted back into her chair. One of the young blues crouched next to her and she whimpered her story to him in between thanks to the Virgin Mary for her protection and every so often pointing a finger toward us.
“How goes it Timmy?” the sarge inquired as he removed his hat took a stool at the bar. Tim gave him a small draught and exchanged pleasantries about family and kids. Then he got into the meat of the situation and police jargon with words like perp, skell, mope, bus, FTP, 10-63, filled the conversation.
“That’s what I figured when I heard the call and your address. I was riding with the kiddies and told the radio op that we’d take this one.” He finished his beer and nodded for another when one of the kids came over with his note book in hand. He went into the woman’s story and the sarge placed his hand on the kids shoulder, ripped the page out of the book and explained to him that he should shut up. It’s under control.
He told the kiddies to offer her a ride home, which he knew she would accept, and to come back and get him. The boy inquired about her charges? “Fugetaboutit! She’s not going to remember. Make sure she gets in and make sure she locks the door. Also, check her pockets for cigs, matches, lighter, whatever, and take them. I don’t want to go to a barbecue tonight.”
The kid nodded returned to kid number two and they assisted the drunk with her coat and gathered her shopping bags.
I leaned over and told the sarge that the woman still had a salt shaker in her hand. He looked at me strangely. “Whadya think she’s doin’, stealing it?” I then told him about the flying snifter and before I could finish one of the blue boys yelled “Watch out!!”
The salt shaker went flying by and smashed against the old cash register. Thick shards of glass and salt consumed the air around us and the drunk started screaming about missing her 'effin Christmas show.
Sarge brought his hand to his mouth; flying glass had sliced open a small cut on the back of his hand. “Son of a bitch!”
He stood and grabbed a napkin from a table, wrapped it around his hand and menacingly approached the old drunk who was now lofting apologies all over the room. Sarge leaned over her and whispered something in her ear. She shook her head and blessed herself.
Sarge turned and came back to his seat. Tim had already gotten out a sanitary wipe and band aids and a shot glass.
“Good eyes. Were you on the job?” asked sarge. “Nah. Just spent a lot of time in places like this.” I replied.
“Hey, watch that talk.” Tim advised with a grin.
We all smiled and the mixologist set up a round of cold ones on the house.
My cell rang. It was my injured one who told me that his re-hab was over and I had to come get him. I downed my brew, visited the men’s room and when I got back sarge asked me what I saw tonight. I told him I sawa good Miami basketball game coached by an old Molloy grad. It was the right answer.
I left my cash on the bar which Tim refused. I told him to stuff it, the cash that is, in the jar on the bar for hurricane Sandy’s victims and ventured out it into the strange night.
I woke up this morning and flipped on the TV to see that Lindsay Lohan got into trouble again at a bar. Nothing good happens in bars at 4:00 AM and for that matter at 7:30 PM.