Monday, December 21, 2009

Seaweed peddlar

I was practicing my dart game and enjoying a pint of lager at JJ's Irish Pub and Grille when I should have been working at my day job.  It was a little after noon, so I knew I still had time to get my desk before my boss would show up.  Tossing darts at a target is an important skill for a gentleman to have, so even if I was a few hours late I knew my supervisor wouldn't begrudge me a little time spent practicing in front of the bull's eye rather than the computer screen.  He was probably doing the same thing in a Somerville barroom if he wasn't clicking heels with his mistress.

A man came in with a trash bag of seaweed.  Now this is December and a foot of snow had fallen the day before.  Who collects seaweed in this weather?  The wind at the beach must have frozen his fingers.  To put wind-whipped hands into piles of wet weed took a ligamentary fortitude I can't imagine.  The trash bag stunk like low tide.

The bartender, a lady in her late 40s called out, "What's that rot you've brought in here?  Don't you know people are eating and drinking?  You're going to put them off their plates and cups!  I'm trying to run a sanitary establishment here, not a dumping ground."

The man tipped his hat and placed his belongings in a corner.  "Beg pardon," he said, "I just want to get warm before I take my haul home to Pearl Street.  The wind is biting cold on my poor limbs."

"Biting cold, I bet," Chauncy snarled at the man.  Chauncy and I had been shooting darts and, while he had been amicable enough while we were competing, his face took on an unpleasant look.  Chauncy looked at the seaweed peddlar and said, "I'll bite ya, I will.  I'll bite ya with my wee dart.  Look out!"  and he motioned as if he were going to toss a missile right at the man's backside.

Things didn't get uglier than that.  The seaweed peddlar beat a hasty retreat, maybe headed to the Burger King down Dot Ave where the entrance requirements aren't so strict and the staff and clientele aren't so judgmental.  The man opened the door and hauled his trash bag through it.  The wind blew at the same instant and the bar room stunk like rotten fish and unpleasant things for a long time afterward.


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