May 24th, 2002

JOY

When it's time to rock a funky joint, I'm on point.

At around 5:20 yesterday, I get a call at work from bobwhite who happens to work about 10 blocks or so from me, saying that he brought his car in to work today and would I like a ride home. Being no fool, I gladly meet him outside within ten minutes. Fighting to get across the 14th Street Bridge is a lot easier when you have someone to chitchat with. Bob, for the record, is a Last-minute-lane-switch-no-turn-signal-Maryland-minivan-dickhole-behavior Enabler. He lets this happen. He's the guy who allows those fucks to just cruise right back into traffic when they get to the thing blocking their lane. Just to let you all know. I'm sure that's not what he meant when he asked me to tell the story.

So we cross into Virginia and Bob asks me the easiest way to 66 from my place. I remind him that 66 is HOV for another 1/2 hour and he can't drive on it alone until then. He concedes to taking the long way, but I suggest we hit the Cowboy Cafe for a few happy hour beers while while waiting for 66 to switch. Being no fool, Bob takes us straight to the Cowboy. Turns out it's dollar drafts until seven.

The Cowboy Cafe is a dive bar oasis in the middle of yuppiefied Arlington. It's fantastic. Neighborhood folks walk over at opening time and stay all day. The jukebox is a strange mix of Faith Hill and Destiny's Child. Beers are cheap. Coverbands on Fridays. PG-Photohunt, pool tables, cheap pitchers, good food. Everything I could ask for in a bar that's within walking distance. Well, I'd ask that the photohunt have nudie pictures, but it's still good.

The dollar drafts drew a pretty large crowd last night. Bob and I managed to find a good spot on the bar and began the shitshooting. In the midst of our in-depth comparison of veggieburgers to real burgers to those goddawful processed chicken patties, we notice that the guy to my right is chuckling along with us. We include him in the conversation and as we carry on, the fellow to his right joins in as well. As we talk, we realize that these two men play for the other team, which in all honestly, I didn't expect to find in a bar such as the Cowboy. The conversation turns from food variations in England to where to find the cheapest beer specials around. I ask the guy closest to me where they live, and he says, "oh, we're not an item." I said I really meant it in the royal sense of "you", but the second guy interrupts me to gasp open-mouthed, "did you just say we're not an item?!?!"

We call Mickey just as he's getting back from work, to tell him to meet up with us, and continue chitchatting with Ralph and John, who call for their check just before Mick arrives. Bob and I are telling Mickey about our earlier conversation and start bullshitting about work when a very drunk man with disheveled hair, loose dentures and a very well worn Kiss T-shirt comes up, pats me on the shoulder and says, "you guys all look very photogenic!"

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