“My turn to pay.”
“No, I’ve got it, my wallet is already out.”
How easy was that? Right up front, the bill is a nonissue. One of us steps up and picks up the tab. It’s a badge of honor to pay the bill, especially at Caverly’s Irish Pub, where the beer is cheap and the ambience suits us perfectly.
Caverly’s is our ‘home’ for ‘Bar Nights’, we set up shop in the back room, away from the din of bar talk and the hoopla of an occasional dart game. Tonight, even before we toasted, the evening conversation began with some slight complaining, bemoaning is a better word, maybe bitching is better yet, about the lack of vocational courses in the general public schools.
“What happened to auto mechanics and shop classes? It’s not part of the general curriculum today!”
“Who’s going repair the cars and do the plumbing?”
“What about home economics?”
“And they don’t teach cursive handwriting, anymore”, I added without thinking. Heads turned and silence prevailed, but only for a moment.
“Handwriting? Who the Hell writes anymore, anyway,” I was reminded.
“Well, they should!” There I was, the ‘old man’ in me rallying to the defense of ‘how things used to be’, the ‘glory days’, as Springsteen coined them. My mother had beautiful handwriting, thanks to the strict nuns and her Catholic education, as limited as it was. But, I digress.
Enough ‘bemoaning’, there’s beer to be drunk. We clinked our bottles and glasses, toasted to good health, wealth and happiness, and began anew.
Do you feed our feathered friends?? It’s a popular pastime with some ‘Bar Nighters’, and the Baltimore Oriole is one of the regular visitors to their feeders. A bright orange feeder and a healthy portion of jelly attracts these beautiful specimens, apparently.
(Photo by Tom Lathrop, a Bar Nighter)
I say, ‘apparently’, because I wouldn’t know. I lost interest in bird feeding years ago when my family was traumatized by a red tail hawk crashing onto our bird feeder and flying off with a mourning dove clutched in its talons. The kids were young as we watched in horror when the hawk lighted on an overhead branch and consumed the stunned bird, piece by feathered piece. Sometimes, Nature’s way is disgusting.
The squirrel challenge is another reason not to bother with a feeder. These furry creatures can make a grown man look silly, as they outsmart every system we devise to stop them from intruding. They wore me down.
Some ‘Bar Nighters’ might think they’ve put up the proper defenses against these critters: a long, thin stainless steel wire to a raised feeder; a tipping feeder that closes under the squirrel’s weight; or my favorite, cover the pole with sticky substance, honey or mollasses, but then you attract ants. What’s your remedy?
By the way, if you’re counting, the next gathering will be our 25th Bar Night, a milestone. I thought about making a calendar, ‘The Men of Bar Night’. Maybe I should take a vote.
The beers are done and we call it a night. I need to get home to fix a dripping faucet. It’s hard to find a good plumber nowadays, y’know! They don’t teach it in school…