Well, I hope you’ve all been following along and have read
parts 1 and 2 of this segment. If you have, then you are up to speed and no
intro is necessary. If you haven’t…number one-shame on you, and number two-
with just a few mouse clicks you can go back and read from the beginning. What
was supposed to be an article for one week has now stretched to three—it’s that
good.I’ve been discussing the “old guys in the bar” and the great stories I’ve heard them tell
over the years. To recap, the typical “old guy” sits quietly in every bar in
America until it’s his time to speak and regale you with something worth
remembering. He’s the suspiciously silent, statue still, stool-sitting senior,
swilling suds, sipping scotch, shyly staring into space in social settings. He
remains in this role until perfectly prepared proper provocation invokes a
response. That’s when the transformation takes place. He becomes without
warning, a wrinkled, weathered, wickedly wily wordsmith wistfully weaving wondrous
webs of wit and wisdom.

I’m reasonably certain I will never use it again, but my
eighth grade English teacher would be both thrilled, and shocked that I was
awake on the day she taught alliteration. Now it’s time to pick up where we
left off last week.


A bar I worked
in many years ago had two elder statesmen who were practically daily attendees.
They enjoyed a nip or two in the afternoon.  They were best friends, yet constantly badgered each other
like a pair of twin twelve-year-old boys. They were not at all unlike the two
old guys sitting in the balcony on the Muppet Show so for the sake of this
story, we’ll call them Randolph and Mortimer.

The pair of almost eighty-year-olds always seemed to travel
together. More often than not, at the end of their “shift,” it was not in the
best interest of either of them to drive home. Some days were easier than
others convincing them of this fact. It was not at all uncommon for myself,
other staff members, and even other patrons to transport this duo of hysterical
curmudgeons to safe haven. One particular day, Randolph was adamant about his
ability to drive them both home. After a lengthy debate which I lost, the two
departed. Randolph climbed behind the wheel of his grossly oversized sedan and
slowly pulled away with a turn signal blinking throughout the length of their
trip. Inevitably, they were in fact pulled over by a police officer.

This is the story as told the next day by Mortimer. After
being stopped, a trooper approached the driver’s side window. For the next few
minutes, the standard “license and registration”, “do you know why I pulled you
over”, blah, blah, blah roadside conversation ensued. I won’t bore you with
those details.

Trooper- “Sir, have you been drinking tonight?”

Randolph-“Yes sir I have.”

Trooper- “Could you step out of the car for me please?”

Randolph- “What?! Don’t you believe me?!”

I’ve never been in law enforcement, but I think that should
warrant a tip of the cap and a ride home.


As promised, I’ve saved the best stories for last. In yet
another bar I had the pleasuring of occupying space behind many years ago, resided
yet another “old guy at the bar”. It sounds as if I can’t hold a job, but all
of these stories came from only three different establishments over the course
of a quarter century. The names and locations are irrelevant. This particular
senior subject, unlike some of the aforementioned gents, was not necessarily
the silent, introspective type. In fact, to say he was boisterous would not be
too strong a word. If he had an opinion, you heard it, willing or not. He
usually sat in or about the same stool likening him to our previous cast
members. His perpetual drink of choice was Seagram’s V.O. and ginger ale. Though
when he ordered, it sounded more like V.O. and gingaaaaahhh.

On this particular day–a rather slow one–he was perched as
usual near the service end of the bar. Standing in the service area was a very
attractive young waitress. She also happened to be, dare I say, very well
endowed. This lovely young lady had sufficient time to engage in conversation
with “the old guy”, myself, and some of the other bar patrons. She, however,
happened to be positioned directly under the air conditioning vent. The cold
air though must have only been hitting half of her. I know this because only
fifty percent of what we’ll call her “torso” was showing the unmistakable signs
of being cold. I’ll give you a moment to visualize what happens to a woman’s chest
when very cold.

Moving right along…we all saw it, only one brave soul had
the courage to comment on it. The “old guy” looked directly at her. Not in her
eyes, needless to say. He then uttered the following words in a voice not at
all unlike W.C. Fields.

“Sweetheart, if those puppies are for sale, I’ll take the
one with the big nose.”

These words will live for, at the very least, as long as I
do. If I walk this planet for 200 years, that will never cease to be a great
moment and a great story.

Those are just a handful of the stories I’ve collected over
the years as told by and about these wise old gents I’ve had the honor of
serving. Each has impacted me in a way they’ll never know. As usual however,
I’ve exceeded my allotted space and I’m hours beyond my deadline. So check back
next week as I give my final thoughts on this League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen. Until then, thanks for playing along.

I hope you enjoyed.

Syd Nichols

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