Monday, September 1, 2008

Well Ain't That a Damn Pity

It’s been a heck of a busy week. Work and all just kickin my ass. I hadn’t had a planned day off in over a year until I finally took a vacation day Friday, giving me a four day weekend.

Dabnabit if I didn’t deserve it. ‘Specially now as it’s coming to a close here on Monday night.

Ehh? You guys agree? Right?

OK, so it’s sort of like the end of the summer too. Just means hockey season is around the corner then. That’ll be some good shit to get that going again.

The honey and me went for pizza and beer Friday night. Went to an end of the summer country music concert in the park on Sunday and just kicked it easy today and Saturday. I tell ya, me and the honey danced our little drunken asses off this summer with those concerts in the park with some damn fine music, friends and family. Love our little cultural community if ya know what I mean.

Now, Thursday night if I didn’t have just one surprising evening.

I told the honey that I was gonna stop into Culla’s to watch the end of the game on my way home. Last of the pre-season, and the Vikings let the Cowboys take it away 10 to 16. Shit! Well they’ve got all season to make amends, ehh.

Culla’s ain’t such a bad little hole in the wall. I been going there since the ‘70’s – back when you could get a pitcher of draft for sixty cents and a pickled egg for a dime. Damn if prices haven’t changed over the years – sheeeet! To say the least. The bar had to move twice since back then due to municipal construction. But the beer’s just as damn good – same with the pickled eggs and all the new shit you can get there now.

Culla passed away a long time ago now and her grandson runs the place. He’s put in some big sports screens in three of the corners and one behind the bar – so there ain’t a bad seat in the place.

I’m basically drinking by myself tonight. I mean, I know most of the old hacks like myself in the place but usually don’t know any of the young college twerps. Their girls are sweet to look at but if the young-ons ain’t pucksters, then they got their fool heads right up their asses. (Sorry about that guys – but that’s my after-work-attitude coming through – until at least I’m juiced up or laid.)

So, I’ve got a couple a pitchers in me, several of them green eggs, peanuts, chips, popcorn, pretzels, and greasy little sausage links on toothpicks – damn If I’m not going to be foul tomorrow I’m thinkin calling this dinner. But I’ve got the vacation day, so what the hell.

Culla’s starts getting pretty filled up. I got a seat at the bar and folks are standing behind jabbering away and hooting and hollering at the appropriate times as the game goes along. Except for one fucking ass-hole who’s just saying the most inappropriate things inside of a frigging Viking’s bar. And he ain’t being none to subtle with it either. At one point when it sounds like it gets really rank I turn around and glance at the guy. He’s just some old codger like me, really tan though and wearing some sort of south-seas getup like Jimmy Buffet or something. One of the college kids is starting to give him back some “What the fuck?!?!” shit and I’m thinking here we go another damn bargument, why don’t you guys take it to the street.

Before it escalates into shoving and shit the Jimmy Buffet dude yells out over the noise of whole damn bar, “Hey Wheats, ain’t that a damn pity the way the Vikes are playing?”

Well, like I said most the old folks know me in this bar and I guess I’ve got a reputation with the young-ons too, cuz the place got real quiet. Like you could hear the TV it was so hushed.

Now what the devil? This surfer looking dude knows who I am and seems sure as shit to be calling me out. So I spin my stool around real slow like and plant my feet wide (though lopsided) getting ready to rumble. “What’s that you say ass-hole?”

“I said, “Ain’t that a damn pity….” he growled at a few decibels above a whisper as the crowd splits an opening between us.

He had one of those shit eatin grins on his face like Jingles gets when it’s time to drop the gloves. I’m guessing its one of Tidwilly’s friends from the joint – so I’m just about ready to give it a go when he says again “Damn pity!”

Wait a bloody second …… I’m thinkin again. The gears are spinning upstairs but the beer’s impeding engagement. Damn pity, damn pity, ummmm, damn pity???? What the …? Come on Jasper – I’m starting to sweat as I stand up off the barstool. What’s going on? My memory banks have peeled into overdrive. Damn pity, damn pity …. D-Pity.

Oh for goodness sake.

I shut my bad eye to get a better look at this dude and I say “Wayno Studholm?”

And he responds “Abso-friggin-lutely! At your service, Jasper Wheats, you old coon’s ass!”

We each took a step towards each and then both reached for an embrace like long lost friends will do and the bar crowd got lively again.

Dang, I hadn’t seen him twenty or thirty years. He had gone to school with me, played hockey with me and then just disappeared a year so after high school. His parents had named him Wayno Edward Studholm, but back when we were playing Midgets some wise ass on the team started calling him “Damn Pity’s Boy” and eventually just abbreviated it to “D-Pity”. And it stuck.

Wayno’s dad had been in a bad accident before then and had had some minor (I think it was minor anyway) brain damage. When he’d come watch Wayno play (oh shit and Wayno played sooooo bad) he’d always be yelling after a bad play or lots and lots of times after we’d lose a game, “Ain’t that a damn pity?”

So we back off from our man-hug and the guy in the seat next to me points at his stool and moves on.

So me and D-Pity sit down to the bar and the barmaid, Heidi, brings us a fresh pitcher on the house. I’m sure Culla’s smiling down from heaven. You know, when we were eighteen, after high school, you could legally drink around here and me and D-Pity tipped our share of brewskies while she was still pulling drafts.

Well, you can’t really get completely caught up on twenty to thirty years of living while you’re trying to get your Vikings to win a game. But D-Pity gave me his high points while I shared some of mine.

His dad had been hurt much more seriously than any of us ever knew. His lawyers had secured one hell of a hefty sum which Wayno inherited after his dad passed away about two years after we got out of high school. He’d gone off to college in the east somewhere and got a PhD in some zoological subject that nobody’s ever heard of (I’m sure of this – no way, no how, nobody’s ever …) that led him to a stint in the South Pacific and making his home for a while in Australia. But now he’s back and looking for a place to hang his hat for a long time in the back woods.

The shit is though, he asked me if I was still skatin. Said he’d been going to hockey camps for a few years now and could pretty much hold his own on the ice as opposed to his lack of skills back when we were kids.

Damn, we’ll see. D-Pity might just be walking with wood, ehh?

I’m sure there’s a story or two to pull out of his ass for you folks that read this garbled shit of mine.

Until, next time, Jasper here just tellin ya to skate hard ya roudy puckheads!