Thanagarian Warrior vs. Summit (150/365)I am in a blissful state, and there are many reasons for this. I’m sitting at the Horne, which is a bar. This bar is twenty yards from my parents’ kitchen door. Thirty minutes ago I ate a Philadelphia cheesesteak at the kitchen table two feet on the other side of that door. There is baseball on the television and there are beverages in front of me which make me funnier and enhance baseball, making every game seem like the 7th game of the World Series. My bartender, T, is a chalky voiced brunette who has a bent nose and a heavy Jägermeister arm. I love her.

So I haven’t noticed that the room has been begins to fill up behind me. When I do notice, I spin around on my bar stool to ogle the room in the blatant way of men wearing belts with shorts in small town bars. I am surprised to see that there are girls in the bar. Girls. The Horne is a small town bar; it attracts roofers, townies and me. Sure, girls come to the Horne sometimes, but they are usually with roofers, townies or me, and either in a state of abject terror or supernatural intoxication.

These girls are free range.

I turn back around to set up my persona as mysterious stranger, a strategy I find solid. Thirty seconds after installing this strategy, I forget that I am installing this strategy and intersperse baseball with jotting notes about a blog post about townies and terrorized girls.

A voice comes from my left. “There are many girls here.” The voice has the lilting rise and fall and the pure vowel pronunciations of Indian English, which is fine because the sentence was spoken by an Indian man speaking English. He is hunched over a beer and nudges his glasses up his nose. “What are you drinking?”

“This is Jägermeister.”

To my surprise, his name is Peter, as Indian men are rarer in the Horne than cute girls and I am expecting his name to demonstrate this. Peter has a PhD, is in an arranged but happy marriage, and lives in Langhorne. He asks me questions at an improbable pace on a variety of topics—baseball, teaching, Jägermeister, Prague. He is curious about, and unimpressed by, everything that comes out of my mouth. As if to remedy this, I buy him a Jägermeister.

Ten minutes later Peter shifts his attention from me and towards the bartender, T. He makes several cracks which aren’t rude or invasive, but do show that the shot has made women a priority in his evening.

T shoots me a look and I can’t figure out if it’s meant to share an unspoken joke or scold me getting him a shot. Peter has taken this opportunity to spin on his bar stool and leer into the room. A move I scoff at and identify with at the same moment. He turns back around.

“Look at these two girls here at this table behind me,” Peter says. He points too. They notice. “Let’s go over there.”

“You’re married and I am…watching baseball.” I do not want to do this.

Peter looks at T. “Can you believe he doesn’t want to go with me?” He has become animated. “Look at those girls over there?” He points again. “They are just dying for two guys to come chat them up.”

He may be right, but I am pretty awkward on these missions and the only person in this bar more awkward than me is Peter. The most awkward person at the bar has selected the second most awkward person at the bar to act as his wingman. This is going to be a train wreck. Nevertheless, he talks me into it with another shot and I walk to the table with him. I have no idea what to expect.

Peter starts immediately. “We saw you two beautiful women here and wanted to tell you how much we love you. Because you are so beautiful and sexy. ”

I am dumbstruck, which is completely ignored because the women are wearing looks on their faces akin to those by white-tailed deer on the Serengeti. I attempt a recovery. “Ha, ha. He wants to make you smile. It obviously didn’t work.”

And neither did that.

I introduce the two of us and the girls mumble their names into their straws. It seems that they are trying to take in as much alcohol as possible. We then embark upon a conversation so stunningly awkward that I would rather be a white-tail carcass on the Serengeti.

The conversation must be having the same effect on Peter because he stands up. “I am not feeling well,” he says and walks out of the bar.

The good thing about being wingman is that this wasn’t my mission to begin with and I do not care what these people think about me. I am only interested in returning to my blissful state of baseball and my notebook. I nod to the girls and walk back to the bar.

T smiles at me as I sit back down. “How’d that go?”

“How did it look like it went?”

She pours me another shot and laughs in her chalky voiced way. I love her. But I hate Peter, who stuck me with the shots I thought he was buying.This is no way to treat your wingman.

  1. #1 by PJ on August 27, 2012 - 10:21 pm

    “who stuck me with the shots I thought he was buying”… are you sure it wasn’t just a really tan Andy?

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