Monday, August 29, 2005

Rocky Raccoon

While I was at work today, I suddenly noticed that everybody was making their way outside for some reason.  After a time, I leaned so that I could look out the window to see what on earth was going on.

It appeared to me that some of the guys were taunting something in the back of one of the other fella’s pickup truck.  I didn’t like the general mood of the group from what I could see of it, and decided to go out and see what was going on.

Apparently, a friend of The Nose owns a boat, and a Raccoon was going into the boat and crapping all over the place and eating things.  He had placed a trap and caught the wee culprit.  So here is this raccoon, scared shitless, with a bloody gash on its head, and both of its front paws literally skinned raw from trying all night (I imagine) to get out of the cage.  It was panting, and its heart was beating a million beats a minute.  It was absolutely terrified.

A couple of the guys were poking at it through the cage of the trap with sticks, taunting it and making it snap and growl and attempt to attack the stick.

This instantly pissed me off, as I figured the Raccoon had most likely had all the frightening it needed for quite some time.  I quietly suggested that it was afraid, and that maybe it would be better if they left off the poking part and let it be.  Someone responded that it didn’t matter, because they were going to take it and drown it anyway.

I asked why on earth they would want to drown it, and the group of replies were something along the lines of, “Because we can”, or, “Because it’ll be fun to watch!”  I found this to be incredibly perverse, and basically stated; flatly, that they weren’t going to drown it, actually, and that I planned on taking it, right then and there, and releasing it.  It had enough torment, and I wasn’t about to stand around and let it be killed for some asshole’s perverse enjoyment.

One of the guys commenced to poke at the raccoon through the cage again, and I gave him ‘the look’ and said “Don’t!”  He smirked, and, apparently, deciding to test my mettle, poked again.  I caught his wrist, tightly, and said again, with a little more sincerity, “I asked you not to do that…. DON’T do it again!”  I released his wrist, and waited for what I was pretty sure was going to happen.  Sure enough, he looked me dead in the eye, and began to poke at the animal once more.  I reached for his wrist again, fairly sure that he had some half-assed plan to hit me or something.  He decided to try to shove me away so that he could continue what he was doing.  I let him make contact with my chest so that he would commit himself, and when he shoved, I pivoted and as he slid by me I twisted his arm behind his back, and clothes lined him with my other arm, dropping him onto the road beside the vehicle on his back.  It was a hard fall, and I think it knocked the wind out of him.  I took the stick away and poked him in the throat with it once, and asked him if he enjoyed the fun very much… he shook his head to assure me that it wasn’t much fun, and his eyes filled with tears.  At that point, I felt sort of ass-holish and pulled him to his feet.  I asked him if he was alright, apologized for dumping him on his ass, and explained that what he was doing was cruel and unnecessary.  I turned to face the rest of the group and asked if anyone else wanted to have a go at me, and apparently, it wasn’t worth the trouble, because there were no takers.

The Nose wormed his way through the crowd and I told him that I was leaving to release the raccoon and that if the owner of the truck didn’t want to give me a ride, that I would take it in my own vehicle.  He pointed out that I was working and wouldn’t be able to go.  I pointed out that I wasn’t actually asking.

We stood there like that for a few seconds, and then he came to a decision and told the owner of the truck to take me wherever I thought it would be best to release the raccoon.

We drove to an area that I felt would be a suitable place for a raccoon to live, and I lifted the trap out of the back of the pickup.  The raccoon was hissing and growling and launching himself at me.  He snapped his teeth, and tried to reach me with his front paws, snarling and shrieking in terror and rage at me.  
I walked a way into the woods with the trap and set it down.

The owner of the pickup said, helpfully, “You have to open that trap with your hand, there’s no quick release or anything… it’s going to go after you as soon as it gets out, because you won’t be able to back away fast enough.  They were teasing it for a while.”

It was true enough.  In order to let the animal out, I would have to reach in and actually pull the cage open, and hold it open.  The door was spring loaded.  There was no way to open it and back away.

I sat down next to the cage, and began talking to raccoon the way talk to my cats when they are frightened.  I just sat quietly, and spoke as gently as I could, trying to reassure the raccoon that I meant it no harm.

At first it was backed against the far side of the cage, panting, growling, and hissing.  After a time, it stopped growling and snarling… and after about ten minutes, it moved over to the side of the cage closest to me and lay down.  I cautiously stroked its fur through the grille of the cage; somewhat frightened myself that it would suddenly turn and bite me.  It didn’t though, and when I felt that it posed no threat to me, I simply reached around and opened the cage door.

The raccoon burst out of the cage and ran straight for the nearest tree.  It stood on its hind legs and reached up, ready to climb to safety.  I spoke to it again, in the same tone of voice as before, and it stopped and looked back at me.  After a few seconds, it started to walk back towards me.  This tightened my butt a little, because I wouldn’t have expected it to close the distance like that again after it had gotten free after its ordeal.  It came to within eight or nine feet of me, and sort of bobbed its head up and down a few times at me.  I kept on talking to it, and then it turned and began slowly walking away.  When it was about fifteen to twenty feet away, it turned and stood again, looking back at me one last time, and then it turned and trotted off into the woods to begin exploring its new home.

The pickup truck owner said that whatever I had done was pretty awesome, and asked me where I learned to do that.  I told him I had cats.  He laughed at that, and said that he had been sure that I was going to be attacked, and confessed that he was worried that he would have to drive me to the hospital while I bled all over his vehicle.

He dropped me off at work, and later on when he stopped in to drop off paperwork and such, he told everyone what had transpired.

So now I am hearing a lot of Dr. Doolittle jokes….

I’ll take the ribbing… I just hope the little feller makes out alright…

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hey! Its Me!!

I often find myself wondering what some of my fellow bloggers look like, so I thought I would post a current picture of myself. This was taken just prior to hopping in to the limo on the way to see 'Phantom of the Opera'. This is pretty much what I look like. I'm an old soldier, and I sort of look like one...

So now you are up to date on what Bear looks like and can now all get a full night's sleep with no more worries...


Haggis Bashing Oatmeal Savages

Today was a pretty cool day…  We went to the Long Island Scottish Games, (we go every year… we became engaged at these games a number of years ago), and had a really nice time.  There are folks that we only ever see when we go to the games, and that’s pretty cool, but we also simply enjoy the games themselves.  We watch the pipe bands compete, the solo piper competitions, as well as the ‘heavy games’ where the big boys toss the caber, the war hammer, the sheaf and the stone.  There is good food to eat, and vendor stalls to browse, and everywhere you look there are scots socializing and having a good time.  

After the games, we stopped off at one of our clan members house for a barbecue.  We hung out there until around 11 PM, and then we headed on home.

Tomorrow, we are planning on going kayaking with another member of the clan, so tomorrow should be a good day as well.

After spending the day walking around, or standing, my feet are killing me.  This plantar fasciitis really sucks balls.

Things at work have been pretty busy.  They brought one of the yard guys in to start working in the office.  He’s a smart guy, a hard worker, and we get along swimmingly.  We share a lot of laughs as work, and I’m really glad that they brought him in to the office.  (I’ll call him ‘FatCat’).

Since they brought him inside, the female who did the bookkeeping has quit and moved away to Florida.  This happened with very little notice, so he and I were designated to learn how to do her job and to take up the slack.  What we have learned is that she had no system whatsoever, and apparently made a great number of mistakes that she simply covered up.  It’s a bit of a nightmare, to be honest, but we have sorted out a great deal of it.  The problem is this, since FatCat came to work inside, the other folks in the office have started to carry less and less of their weight, leaving the two of us to handle everything while they discuss fishing, sports, snowmobiling, music concerts, and what have you.  We more or less didn’t address it, but lately, while we are each engaged in taking care of multiple clients and multiple incoming telephone calls, we have been screamed at to ‘Help the fucking customer!’ or ‘Answer the fucking phone!’ by one or the other of the other folks in the office… and this while they are doing what amounts to nothing while we are literally jumping through our asses!

This wears thin fairly quickly…

The Old Man has a penchant for acting as though he was the owner or the overseer or something when customers are in the shop.  At one time he owned his own business… a very similar business which subsequently failed somehow.  It is my suspicion that he is attempting to somehow live vicariously through this job… to that end, I generally never say anything or express anything that would disabuse him of his notions or otherwise make him feel badly… I like the man, and I enjoy working with him, but he has his moments (translate as:  He can be a miserable cranky curmudgeonous old bastard at times…) which sometimes try my (our) patience….  He has a particular affectation which has begun to get under my skin where he will loudly state that he ‘isn’t paying me’ to do whatever it is that he thinks I should not be doing at that particular time… this conveys to whoever happens to be listening that he is my employer… which is decidedly is not.  He is a co-worker, and that’s it.  After a full week of his verbal abuse, I had pretty much had it up to the eyebrows and he stepped over the line when I had watched him chat with his buddies practically all day long as I ran around like an asshole trying to keep up with everything.  That would have been okay, but he wanted me to type something up for him, chiefly because he can’t type and he can’t spell, and I told him that I would do it as soon as I took care of the nine or ten customers standing there waiting for service, took care of the four telephone lines on hold, faxed out the five or six requests for documents of some sort or another, and called back the other sixteen people who had attempted to call in orders but had to be put off because I had a shitload of customers standing in front of me… he blew his top, because he wanted it done right then, and in front of a room full of people yelled that he wasn’t paying me to fuck around all day, and that I had better stop what ever the fuck I was doing and get his thing done immediately.  It was about four steps too far over the line, as far as I was concerned, and I immediately got my back up, and in full bristling highland temper I informed him that he did not, in fact, pay my salary, that he had never, ever, in all of my life before that moment, EVER given me a single solitary cent, and that contrary to whatever beliefs he currently held, I was not his slave, or his secretary, or his underling, and that if he wanted his thing typed, he could scrape the glue off of his ass, or whatever it was that was keeping his ass stuck to the chair, get off of his lazy butt, and type it his fucking self!  I reminded him that he was a co-worker to me, a fellow employee, nothing more, and nothing less, and that I only ever did what he told me to do out of choice, not out of duty or compulsion, and that if he ever expected me to help him with anything ever again, that he had better get the condescending tone out of his voice, or that he could go fuck himself.  And then I turned back to my work and continued on with whatever it was that I had been doing.

Two things happened.  It got very (very) quiet in that place.  And, I learned what 'apoplexy' and 'conniption fit' meant. He turned a number of colors, and basically had a cow. I don't really care. There are some things that are inexcusable under any circumstances, and being a complete dick sort of fits the bill. If you want to get respect, you have to give it. Period. I will ignore a lot of crappy behaviour, and overlook a string of socially unacceptable actions or instances. Once you tramp over my boundaries repeatedly, and then ask me to pay you for the pleasure of having you abuse me or mistreat me in some way, however, you will hear about it (and in no uncertain terms). I feel no immediate compulsion to be apologetic about this, by the way...

He has chilled out quite a bit on the verbal abuse, though, and when he asks me to do anything for him now he is at least marginally polite… (well… sort of …..  you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, I suppose… at least not in this case.)

Regardless… he knows what my feelings are about the way he was acting now, so if there is a repeat performance, I will address it a little differently, I think, because at that time it will be a few shades more deliberate.

I am seeing some pretty decent strength gains at the gym.  I want to get strong as hell, and little by little, I am slowly getting there.  It takes a lot of work, but that’s fine by me.

It makes it all the sweeter when the goals are met!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Phantom of the Opera

Here it is around noon on Monday, already.  It was a fantastic weekend, commencing with the best date of my life on Friday night;  We took a limo into the city (while drinking toasts of Asti Spumanti) to see 'Phantom of the Opera' at the Majestic Theatre, and then to dinner at an absolutely marvelous Venetian restaurant called 'Osteria Al Doge'.

The performance was magnificent (Elysia cried throughout the whole thing! She loved it!).  The sets, the costumes, the voices!!  It was just unbelievable.

There was a woman in line when we were out front who was wearing a service star pin on her dress.  This originated during World War II when parents would display a small white flag with a star for each son or daughter who was serving in the military.  Gold stars indicated how many had died in service to their country.  I spoke to her, and asked her what branch of service her son or daughter was serving in, and where he or she was.  She told me that her son was in the army, and that he was in Felujah, Iraq.  She herself had served in the Air Force.  She pointed to the pins on my lapel (Special Forces Distinctive Unit Insignia and a Ranger Tab) and asked when I had been in the service.  I told her that I had also served a tour in the air force prior to joining the army, we had served at approximately the same time.  I told her that her son would be fine, and wished her well.  I used the tone of voice of an experienced Sergeant First Class who would naturally know these things.  I could tell that she needed to hear this and that she was happy to hear it.  I only hope that I predicted correctly.  I feel compelled to reach out to other service members and also to their families.  We share a common bond, and it means a lot to me when others reach out to me... I expect it may be the same for others.  The line started to move inside, and we parted ways.

The 'Majestic Theatre' really lives up to its name... it is truly 'majestic'!!  Its an old building, built in the 1920s, and you really feel as though you are someplace special when you are in that place.  

I was an actor for many years, from when I was about 8 years old, until I was 17.  Walking in to the theatre brought back nostalgic feelings of many summer stocks, off-Broadway productions, and other theatre companies that I had worked with...  I could see in my mind's eye all of the commotion that was taking place back stage.  Although I never think of those times on a conscious level, it must still rattle around in there, because I find (somewhat surprisingly, as it turns out..) that I miss that feeling that is unique to the theatre...  being part of a company, the frenetic activity as everything is made ready for the upcoming performance... the sound of the audience as they get seated and converse excitedly amongst themselves... the smell of greasepaint, the jokes and grabass humor that is so much a part of every acting company...  I had forgotten, on some level at least, what those feelings were like..  and I was caught somewhat off-guard by the nostalgia that washed over me.  It was good to be in a theatre, again... on either side of the curtain.

(TIME SHIFT:  It suddenly got incredibly busy, and stayed that way... Believe it or not, it is now Wednesday night, 12:00AM)

When we left the theatre, we had the limo driver drop us off right in front of  ‘Osteria Del DogĂ©’.  It was really great not having to walk for blocks, or fight to find a parking spot, or worry about catching the next train so that we don’t have to wait for hours for the next one…

The restaurant was perfect!  The food was out of this world, and we were the only native English speakers in the whole place!  The quiet murmur of conversation all around us was in Italian… if we avoided looking out through the window, it felt as though we were in a quiet restaurant in Venice!!

The night couldn’t have been any better.  We had the greatest time together, and what’s more, we will share this memory for the rest of our lives!!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

In the Arms of the Sea

We were invited to spend the weekend at a beach house on Fire Island this weekend, so we packed up our knapsacks, hopped on the ferry, and headed over...

The sea was rough due to offshore hurricanes, and it was magnificent to stand on the beach and watch the waves crash onto the shore. Some of the waves were cresting at heights eight or nine feet!! Standing there feeling the water that was just up to your chest rushing out to sea until you are standing on bare wet sand, and seeing a wave rise up in a wall of moving water that is rushing directly at you is somewhat... intimidating to say the least.... being hit by it is something else again!!

I spent some time out in the ocean, swimming around until I got tired of being picked up bodily and hurled onto the bottom and rolled along like a piece of flotsam over and over!!

I am a strong swimmer, and am very much at home in the water... but the sea was tiring me out after a while, to be honest.

I was thrilled to be there... something about the sea speaks to me... it always has.

I am a creature of the water, and the ocean lives in my heart. I seek out the ocean when I am happy, when I am grief-stricken... when I'm pensive.. just about anything makes me want to hear the waves crashing, feel the salt spray on my face... and smell the ocean air. I crave the sea, and I need to be near enough to it that I can go to it on a whim. There is nothing like it! I absolutely love it!!

We had a fantastic time!! The food was unbelievable, the people were friendly, and the constant sound of the ocean was like a lullaby to the soul.

Standing there facing the ocean, seemingly on the very edge of the world... and looking out over the vastness of the mighty Atlantic reminds you of your real place in the grand scheme of things... it is very difficult, I think, to not feel insifnificant when you are facing the ocean in its fury. It is a good thing to be reminded of what is and what is not important and enduring. I needed this weekend... I needed to be held in the arms of the ocean... it is like a balm to the spirit...

We got plenty of fresh air, lots of sun, and for some of us (me) more sea water than we knew what to do with!!

I got a kick out of watching the sandpipers running like hell away from the waves, and then running back to pick choice morsels off of the sand as the retreating waters revealed them!

I learned a thing or two from them... after being slammed to the bottom twice in quick succession, I got to my feet only to have a very bad feeling; I had been in neck-deep water a few seconds before, and I was standing on bare sand. The first rule of the sea is that you never turn your back on her... not even for a moment!! I looked back over my shoulder and a HUGE wall of water was rushing towards me like a freight train!! I took off like a bat out of hell!! Every one burst out laughing because, apparently, I looked very much like a very large sandpiper running away from a very large wave!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sore but Happy

I have been working my ass off for the past few weeks.. no choice, just stuff that had to be done. I finally got all of the work in the apartment done, so its pretty much ready to go.

I worked both jobs yesterday, up at 6AM and hit the sack at around 3AM. I woke up around eight in the morning with a near bladder crisis, could barely walk between the plantar fasciitis and my lower back, which was freaking out due to all of the heavy carrying that I've been doing. I took two advil, hit the sack again, and had bizarre dreams until I woke up at around one in the afternoon (!!)

I don't like to sleep my only day off away like that, but I think I really needed the rest.

I'm still in pain right now on both counts (feet and back), but I'm happy!! I had been planning an anniversary surprise for Elysia for quite some time.. saving every last penny of my 'pocket money' from each week's paycheck, so that I could take her to see 'Phantom of the Opera' on Broadway. (We actually celebrate two anniversaries, quite close together: Our wedding anniversary, in September, and what we call our 'Eclipse Anniversary' which celebrates the night that we transformed from friends, to a couple. That night was the last solar eclipse of the millenium, so that explains the name... at any rate, it is in August. This year is our 6th Eclipse anniversary.

We were at the video store, looking for movies to watch. I pointed at the 'Phantom of the Opera' DVDs and said, "Hey look! Phantom! ... but, you didn't want to see the movie until you saw the show, did you?"

She looked mildy sad at the prospect, and replied, "No.. but I don't think I'm going to be able to see it before it closes..."

I said, "Why not? Why don't we go next weekend?? I'll take you..."

She interjected, ".... but... how?.... wha-?... (sputter, sputter)"

I continued, "I've been saving money for just that purpose... we are going next weekend, okay?"

Her eyes filled up with tears, and she said, in a very small voice, "...yeah.. okay... Wow! That's really nice!"

When we got home, we went online and looked at showtimes and tickets and limos, and all sorts of stuff.

I'm looking forward to it, and she is hopping around like a flea on a griddle. I love to see her so excited about something like this... especially when it happens to be something that I am doing for her!!

It seems that a few of you seemed to think that I have a Scottish accent, and were disappointed that I didn't on my audio blog. Well, as it turns out, I *do* have a scottish burr, but I can turn it on and off. Who knows, maybe the next audio blog will be different... you never can tell!!

Since I asked those of you who read my blog to let me know who you are, or to contact me and tell me a bit about yourselves, a few of you have!! You guys and gals are awesome!! Thanx!!

I'm trying to foster a sense of team spirit and espirit at work. During most of my professional life, I have been called upon to build teams, and teach them to work together, depend on one another, and get along. Here we go again!! The difference this time, though, is that nobody has put me in a position of authority where it is clearly my function to do this. I have to lead by example without actually appearing to 'take over' or undermine anybody else's (read: The Nose and The Fly) leadership authority. I have a few ways of doing this, and I have already put a few into motion. I'm not sure how it will all pan out, but I'm hoping to get the guys all pulling together. Its better for the company, better for the guys, and better for the customers.

On Friday, I cooked up a Korean meal for lunch and Elysia heated it up and dropped by the shop with everything. Everybody ate and they loved it!! Now they can talk about the Korean food that they had... not a one of them had ever eaten Korean food before.

This accomplishes a couple of things, at least from my point of view; Families eat together, out of the same common serving bowl. When you share food, by definition you are members of a common group. Most folks don't think this on a conscious level, but it is in there anyway... secondly, it promotes a spirit of generosity, nurturing, and togetherness. Tribes, teams, crews, squads, and units eat together.

Another phase of my plan is that I am fostering an 'Us and Them' mindset. We are 'us', and everybody else is 'them'. I am doing this by looking out for everyone else on any level that I can. If an 'outsider' (one of 'them') makes a disparaging comment about one of 'us', I will address it immediately by sticking up for whichever one of 'us' is under attack. It may very well be that I think that that particular member of 'us' is a complete twit... but it doesn't matter. Twit or no twit - they are one of 'us'. Next, I will insist that others do the same by creating a social more that demands it.

Little by little, I will pull this motley group together so that we can work better, rather than having to work harder.

I know I can do it, and it has already been having an effect. As a group we are stronger than we are individually. (We have already demanded more computer terminals... as a group... as well as a new printer, new (nicer)uniform shirts, a brand new fax machine and an industrial sized coffee machine, rather than a tiny little coffe pot, and have gotten them. I quietly told each one of them that if we worked together and stood together, regardless of our personal differences, that we would have the power of unity behind us and would be able to affect changes that would benefit all of us as well as the company...NOW people are starting to pay attention!!)

I have been wanting to take my Mook-Jong down and reinstall it a litte bit higher than it is right now. I screwed up by putting it up at its current height. I just haven't had the time to get anywhere near the damned thing.

Since I killed Elysia's computer, I have been devoting a great deal of time sorting that out. Naturally, when we got it back, we had some major home-networking problems to figure out as well. Figures. The first time I set up the network, it worked like a charm from step one. This time it fought me every friggin step of the way! I think I've worked out the major kinks, but I just don't know enough about it to really dig into it (yet!!)

Last night, I bartended at a wedding. Towards the end of the night, the groom's father came to my bar (there were two bars) and said something like, "asdhjleklmrmmppltrmzzzz!" (uh, yeah... he was a little wrecked...)

I said, "Excuse me?"


Me: "My apologies, I can't hear you very clearly.. what did you say??"


Me: (Hmmm... I think that last part may have been ' fuckin asshole! ') "What would you like to drink sir??"

"Jmbrbn nafkn gls onna rox..."

Me: (... some friggin' thing on the rocks...??) I got a rocks glass, iced it up, and began picking up bottles, with a 'This one??' expression on my face...

He shook his head violently, obviously annoyed with me, took a deep breath, leaned closer, and yelled, "BOURBON!" in my face...

I raised my eyebrows at this, picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels, and poured the glass...

"What th' fuckiziss?"

Me: "Jack Daniels, sir..."

"Don wan thz fukk'n shit... JIM BEAM!"

Me: I'm sorry.. I don't have Jim Beam at this bar. I believe the bartender at the main bar has a bottle of Jim Beam expressly for you, sir... (He did, and the jackass had been obviously getting it from him all night... but what're ya gonna do??"

"Don wan thiz...." he put the glass down on the bar, and I dumped it and put the rocks glass in the bus tub.

"GIMME A FUCKIN' BEER... marxqszz sdklj peeesaSHIT!"

Me: "Right away, sir!" (Big smile!)
(I poured him a beer, and handed it to him.

Now, as an aside, of sorts. I had acquired two ticks during the evening, one was the videographer, who kept coming over and standing about six inches away from me, and talking to me. He was a nice guy, and I didn't want to be rude to him, but I didn't really want him there, and no matter how I tried to phrase things, he wasn't getting the hint..

"Hey! It's been nice talking to ya!! Maybe I'll see sometime when neither of us are working, and will actually have some time to talk!" or "I apologize for not being able to listen to you with all of my attention, but its a very busy night, and we're hopping." -- basically, anything short of "Piss off, Clown!" was falling on deaf ears. (I harbor suspicions that even that would have flopped... [sigh]).

The other tick was a guest at the wedding, who had huge boobs stuffed into a dress cut down to about her solar plexus, and who, for some reason, decided that her night's mission was to stand eight feet in front of my bar, facing me, and dance suggestively. This dance was in no way connected to or in time to any music that happened to be playing. In some cases, as a matter of fact, it didn't seem to much matter that NO music was playing at all! This one kept asking me perodically "What do you think about when you watch me dance??"

I kept giving noncomittal answers until I finally tired of the game and said, "I keep thinking that I wish the DJ would play the couples wedding song again..."

Fun Bags: "Really?? .... .... Why??"

Me: "Because their wedding song is also My wedding song, and I miss my wife and can't wait to get home to her."

Fun Bags: ".......oh..." (That was pretty much the last I saw of her near my bar)

Back to the current situation with the Groom's Dad:

I have Vidographer Dude (Henceforth 'V-Guy') glued to my left elbow, and Groom's Dad takes a sip of the beer, apparently decides that he doesn't care for it much, and and gives me a sly out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye look, and says, (strangely, he was much more coherent now, for some reason.. the power of beer, I guess...)

"I oughtta throw this beer in your fuckin' face!"

Me: "You look like a fairly smart guy... I think you are pretty much able to figure out how that would likely go..."

V-Guy: (Shitting his pants, but holding fast!)

Grooms Dad: "What're ya, gonna hit me??"

Me: "When you start throwing things at folks, who knows what might happen?? I don't expect much of it could be good though.... Maybe its time to go sit down and not ruin your son's wedding by making a scene though, don't you think??"

He stared at me for a few seconds, turned his back and swayed for a moment, and then turned back and began methodically pouring beer all over the top of my bar, in the fruit garnishes, on my bar gear, all over the bottles of liquor, and over the napkins...

V-Guy: "Wha- ?!" (Horrified look in my direction, and then he broke and fled. Last seen heading in a generally westerly direction at a high rate of speed.)

Groom's Dad: "Whattya think a that?"

Me: "I think I'm going to have to charge you a $20.00 clean-up fee."

Groom's Dad: (Uncertain) "Clean-up fee?"

Me: "Naturally... It'll have to be cleaned up, won't it?? Somebody has to be paid to do that. It doesn't matter to me, you can pay the fee now, or they can bill you for it with interest. Your choice."

(For the record, no such charge exists. I just sort of made this new rule up on the fly because he miffed me by pouring beer all over my shit for no good reason other than to act like a dick....)

He wandered off and came back with two of his daughters a few minutes later.

Daughter #1 (Two Tons of Fun!): "What's going on??"

Me: "I just explained to your dad about the clean-up fee. I guess he wanted your opinion on it. You should probably ask him about it."

Two Tons of Fun: "What has to be cleaned up??"

Me: "You should really talk to your dad..."

They walked off, huddled for a while, then dad came over and dropped a crisp new twenty dollar bill on my bar, and walked off. Pop, you can dump beer on my bar any time you like!!