Sunday, July 27, 2014

One Weird Guy

     One weird guy.  One weird guy.  There is always one weird guy every night when I work at the bar.  You see, Company, like any good media mogul, I work regular, everyday Joe jobs in order to keep in touch with the people who consume the many, many products my empire creates.  Smart, I know.  So anyway, I have been bartending recently and I have noticed that there is always that one weird guy hanging out at the bar.  And for some reason, he always seems to stiff me on the tip.  But that is neither here nor there, I think that what we need to address is the weirdness.
This is a ghost ninja.  Or the one weird guy.
     Why, weird guy?  Are you not familiar with the fact that you are weird?  Lately, there have been a lot of twenty-somethings out having fun at my bar.  And that is fine.  Celebrating a birthday.  Girls night out, etc.  No big deal.  And in a tourist town there are always some folks on vacation who wander in from the boat or a pack of middle aged men who just can't stand to be drug through ONE MORE STORE by their families, and those folks are no problem, because they tend to travel in packs and usually only have a drink or two.  So they filter through while the younger set camps out with their phones and plugs the jukebox.  But then, somewhere along the way, that one weird guy filters in. 
     He never sneaks in the back door, which is strange.  He always comes in the front so I can see him coming from a mile away.  But nobody else sees him coming because they are having fun, I see everything, and he operates somewhere on the spectrum between ghost and ninja, at least when he is entering a bar.  Once in the bar, though, the one weird guy sticks out like a sore freaking thumb.  And once he sits down and orders a beer - the one weird guy always drinks beer - the whole tone of the place
See if you can find the one weird guy in this photo.  He is in there somewhere.  It's like "Where's Waldo?"
changes.  Sure, the jukebox is still pumping.  And sure, the phones are still out (because your are at the bar with your friends but either not ALL of the friends or not the RIGHT friends and there might be something better out there).  And sure, the drinks are still flowing.  And sure, the jokes are still being made.  But it gets different.  The tone drops a notch because you don't want the one weird guy to hear.  The groups turn inward towards one another and stop interacting with one another because the one weird guy is usually sitting in between.  And any dancing that might be taking place stops too because the one weird guy is watching.
      He is always watching, because he wants to be part of the action.  But he can't be.  There is always something keeping him from being part.  He is either too shy or too old or something.  Or maybe he just likes watching.  But that is what he does.  He watches.  Even when he wants you to think he is watching SportsCenter on the big TV he is really watching all the twenty-somethings.  And it is painfully obvious.  To everyone.
     Just about the time that the mood has settled significantly, the one weird guy disappears.  He slinks out just like he came in - silently.  Or, he stays long, long after all the other folks have left.  But that is okay, because in a weird and strange way there is value to the service that this ghost of the party provides to any bar scene.  He comes in at the height of the party precisely because he sees the party going on full tilt.  And simply through his presence he starts the process of winding down the party.  It causes the groups to filter out to their ultimate destinations.  He starts the end of the night.  He serves a purpose.  And of course, he always gives a shitty tip, despite the eight beers he has drunk.  And for that I will always dislike you, one weird guy.  Just like all of the twenty-somethings in the bar. 

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