The Bar Chronicles: #12, The Listener

Bar Night 2

This warm July evening was a good night for ‘howling at the moon’, so we headed for Caverly’s Irish Pub. An old dog greeted us at the screen door with an obligatory sniff from foot to knee (all he could reach) before stepping aside. I was tempted to say, ‘Fido sent us’, but doubted his sense of humor, never mind the language barrier.

The patrons are friendly at Caverly’s, as is the occasional dog who roams from table to table, lingering long enough for a scratch behind the ear. It’s said that a pet is therapeutic. So is a frothy beer and friendly conversation. We came here to do both, and without further ado, ordered our favorite brews from the chalkboard menu, scratched the dog and began another evening of beer and banter.

Only three of us tonight and once again the talk was lively, intriguing and instructional.. We learn a little bit more about each other in these ‘bar nights’. Tonight was no exception. However, we never get too far in conversation without raising our drinks and with a gentle clink of the glass, wish each other ‘cheers’.

“Are you serious, you really don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet?”

And with that unexpected ‘ice-breaker’ our exchange was underway with a detailed description of how to fold that fitted sheet. Needless to say, without a fitted sheet to fold, it was futile (long ‘u’ and ‘i’, for effect)… it was futile to expect me to fully grasp the process.

Admittedly, I’m a poor listener to instructions or directions. I did enough listening during my sales career, it’s a critical component of selling. But retirement loosened those shackles and now I primarily listen to myself.

However, critical listening is important in many areas, including military readiness. One of us, tonight, was a listener; a military listener at a far outpost during the early years of the Cold War, listening to the ‘other side’ for a ping here and a ping there to help us understand our adversary’s intentions or movements. The narrative was fascinating and we listened…stopping long enough to order another round.

The thought occurred to me. With today’s social media phenomenon when the chatter is overwhelming, do we listen more or are we too busy planning what to say next?

At ‘bar night’, we listen and that makes an enjoyable evening.


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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

12 thoughts on “The Bar Chronicles: #12, The Listener”

  1. Great atmosphère I wish to be with you.
    Yes listening is important.
    Greatings to the chap nr 4 who was missing.
    What does Fido sent us means.. ? Another dog ? Fido is dog food manufacturer here.
    Expecting next story soon.
    Think about to publish your stories…
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Fido’ is a generic name for dogs, here. For example, “oh, look at Fido”, “the neighbors have a new Fido”, or, “Look, a lost dog Come, Fido”! Hence, when talking to my story dog, I said ‘Fido sent us’, a sarcastic comparison of people going into a private club and they might say, “X sent us”. Make sense?


  2. I’m going to be slowly working backwards. Your post is the first! It’s gonna take a while. 😀 Um, exactly how do you correctly fold a fitted sheet, because I have never learned the art. It starts out well enough, but somewhere about halfway through the process the sheet and I both give up. Sometimes, I think listening is a lost art, but you and your comrades seem to do it very well. It must the be pint. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Each time we’ve been there, a dog is part of the crowd. It’s a great corner bar with a good beer selection, old furniture, locals from young to old and sometimes a guy with a eye patch. Not seedy but certainly not high class. You’d love it.

      Liked by 1 person

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