When we were having a beer, you looked around the almost empty bar and asked me why I wasn’t sitting outside like everyone else. I told you that I had been working outside all day before coming to the bar and I wanted to sit where it was cool. Nodding in agreement, you added that the patio was packed with tables and that you prefer sitting at the bar.
It’s a fact, two guys will squeeze in next to each other at a crowded bar and strike up a conversation, but it feels awkward asking if you can join another guy at his table. Nobody wants to hear: “well, actually, I’m waiting for my wife.”
I added that I also wanted to watch the NCAA women’s softball playoffs.
“I know, did you see the girl from LSU? 68 miles per hour and she looked like she was going to tie herself in a knot during the wind-up.”
“It’s scary. Not only is she throwing fast, but she’s on target.” If I tried to throw a ball like that, it would end up in the stands.”
I told you about the only time that I ever played any form of organized sports. In the summer of 1973, when Title IX was in its infancy, I pitched in a women’s softball league. I didn’t pitch like that women from LSU. No 68-mph-around-the-world-windup-underhand-lightening-strikes from me. But I did pitch. The league hired guys to pitch to both sides for $10 per game. I pitched and did the normal kind of fielding a pitcher does. You know, cover the bases if one of the basemen, sorry, basewomen was off chasing a ball and
protecting myself snagging any line drives hit at my body parts.
They also hired guys to serve as umpires. I would have preferred being an umpire, but they had plenty of older men who wanted that gig. You had to be young and dumb to pitch to both sides for the full game.
“What, no bullpen?”
“No bullpen. No closers. No one to get me out of a jam.”
“Did the coaches come to the mound to yell at you?”
“They yelled from the dugout, but the catchers came out – a lot.”
Having noticed that a couple that we know had joined us at the bar, I carefully added that, at the time, it was kinda humiliating to have a “girl” come to the mound and snark:
“You might want to visit the strike zone, I hear it’s nice this time of year!”
You bought me a second beer. It was my turn, but you said it was because your glass of wine costs more than two of my beers. Apparently, you drink the good stuff. I tried to explain that we shouldn’t be doing math on this, that it’s more the act of buying a beer than the dollars and cents of it. You looked at me and said:
“That kind of thinking could get you into trouble. Maybe next time I’ll order the MaCallan 18.”
“There’s no way you’re old enough to know that song. That was a hit when I was in high school.“
She said that it’s on the playlist in the bar and she’s heard it so many times that she knows it now.
We agreed that it isn’t that hard to learn, I mean:
“All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now.
All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now“
Throw in a “baby-baby” here and there and you’re all set.
Then you said:
“Playlist. Everybody has a playlist these days. The Mobil station has a playlist”
“Sigh, gas station radio, The Amp Radio Network. They play that stuff so loud, you could hear it from the Shell station.”
“You think they have awards?”
“You know music awards, maybe the ‘Ampys’ or something, for the best gas station music.”
“Jeeze, entertainers make fun of people who get Golden Globes, I can’t imagine anyone would want an Ampy.”
Suddenly, “Almost Like Being in Love” started playing. The woman of the couple next to us asked:
“What the heck is that?“
Me: “It’s from Brigadoon.”
You: “That’s Gene Kelly singing.”
“I didn’t come here for a 1940s history lesson. Can you make it stop.”
We both corrected her: ”50s”
The bartender explained that they were working on a new playlist and asked her “what kind of music would you like to hear?”
“How about WFNM, you know, ‘effing normal music? How can you put 80s hits, old-man-classic-rock and briga-freaking-dune on the same playlist?“
You pointed to the TV
“Quick, watch this replay.”
“Watch that fastball, Seventy. Two. Miles. Per. Hour. And right down the middle. I don’t guess you’ll ever be pitching to women again.”
“Bring him another glass of that expensive wine.”
Note: This post is almost a “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” post. I messed up the tense thing something awful so I had to edit. The SoCS prompt was almost.