A couple of months ago an attractive blonde sat down at the barbecue joint’s bar, ordered a stiff rum drink and announced that it was her birthday. I wished her a happy one, and almost immediately my “looney sense” began to tingle. That extra-sensory ability is one that has been honed in me by years of dating and/or dealing with women of varying degrees of sanity, and this chick was registering a solid 10 of warning vibes. Heeding my instincts I avoided her and observed from a distance, and sure enough she was as crazy as an outhouse rat, a condition that was only amplified by her copious liquor consumption. I swear that I could almost hear the out-of-tune toy piano soundtrack of her madness as she sloppily worked the room.
This woman has since showed up a few times, always reminding me that she’s “the birthday girl,” and last night she dropped in again. She appeared to be slightly drunk when she arrived, and quickly compounded her intoxication with a few rounds of rum and coke, loosening her tongue and making her irritatingly friendly.
I walked toward the front door to get some fresh air after tending to the contents of the billowing smoke shack, and as I neared the threshold she beckoned me over. I politely greeted her and asked what was up, and she stared blankly at me for a moment before asking me if I was one of the establishment’s managers. I explained that I’m just the cook, and she warned me that I had better watch it because I might get fired. She then reached out and took my hand while looking up into my eyes and stating that when she was last at the joint I was clearly upset and yelled at people so much that I drove away customers, including her, but my obvious anger caused her to come back…
Folks, let me tell you that the incident she was referring to NEVER happened, and as near as my co-worker, Tracey, and I can figure out she has me confused with some other psycho at another establishment.
Anyway, I withdrew my hand, a move that offended her, and she then demanded my hand back and requested that I sit down next to her. When I refused to sit, she told me that I shouldn’t yell at people because that’s not what God would want me to do. At that point the crazy carnival music began to play and she asked me if I believed in God. When I told her that, no, I do not believe in God, she got silent for a moment and then looked at me incredulously, and said “You don’t believe in God? Why not?” I offered that in my forty years I had seen enough evidence to convince me utterly of the non-existence of such a deity, and once I dropped that bombshell Birthday Girl attempted to sit me down and give me the God rap. I stopped her in mid-sermon and said, “Look. You have your opinion and that works great for you. I have my opinion, which you clearly are not willing to let me have, and once you try to drag me down the road to religious conversion, I’m OUT.” I then retreated to the safety of the kitchen, doing chores that I had reserved for the next day in a successful effort to avoid Birthday Girl’s rantings.
Presently Rob and Andrea — two of our favorite regulars — arrived and sat down next to Birthday Girl. Andrea came to the kitchen to chat with me, but I warned her not to leave her unsuspecting boyfriend with the drunken loon. She soon sat down with poor Rob, who had been kindly weathering BG’s lunacy, including her sad tale of how her family couldn’t deal with the fact that she was in love with a black man, a development that also killed her intentions of becoming a nun. At that point, BG noticed Andrea and said to her, “I am white. You are black.” Now Andrea has a slightly spooky way about her, and she looked at Birthday Girl with an expression that read to sane eyes “Bitch, I KNOW I’m black,” or “Come near me again and I’ll fucking deck you, right here and now!” Rob and Andrea soon left to go to a show, but they both stopped in to the kitchen to see me before they left and let me know in no uncertain terms that Birthday Girl was “twelve shades of fucking crazy.”
My boss was behind the bar and very wisely cut off BG’s liquor flow, but just as soon as Rob and Andrea left a group of three Polish contractors came in and took up residence at the end of the bar right next to our heroine. They tried to hit on her and buy her drinks — which my boss put the kibosh on — and that’s when Birthday Girl revealed her native-speaker proficiency with the Polish tongue, which we were treated to at Motorhead arena-concert-level decibels. Between loud pronouncements and brief crying jags, BG would excuse herself and head outside to smoke and communicate via cellphone with her ebony lover-man. Soon enough, the merry Poles realized that the Birthday Girl was pretty much partied out and made sure she got into a cab.
But where one birthday girl was a tiresome irritant, another was a welcome bit of Latina sunshine.
A few months back two cute Puerto Rican chicks just barely of legal drinking age dropped in late one night, and we instantly hit it off because we are all movie geeks. The girls in question are named Ericka — a luscious mami if ever I saw one; too bad she’s young enough to be my daughter — and Joyce, and last night was Joyce’s birthday.
Joyce is funny as hell (when she laughs she snorts just like Chrissy on “Three’s Company”), smart as a whip, and very easy on the eyes; she has a slight Rosario Dawson/Vanessa del Rio look that totally works. She and Ericka had been in the prior night and now Joyce was ready to go out dancing and partying to celebrate her twenty-second year of existence. She sat at the bar for a couple of hours, waiting for a friend to pick her up, and we kept each other amused. I hope she had a happy birthday and I also hope she comes back soon. With the yummy Ericka in tow…