Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Taking the high road
You hit the breaks. You find a parking spot, you walk through the front door into the darkened pub and you grab a stool at the bar. And you learn more than you could have bargained for. The first thing you realize after ordering a pint of Smithwick's is that in this nearly empty pub you have taken a stool immediately next to Michael, a regular who is playing the juke box.
He comes back from his play and, realizing you are now elbow to elbow with him, you apologize and offer to move down a stool. "That's all right," he says.
"Yeah," you reply. "Everybody can use a friend."
"No," says Michael, an elderly gentleman with a ruddy complexion. "I do not need a friend. I have the juke box and Tracy."
And soon you find out Michael is right. If you have this juke box, and Tracy behind the bar to serve you, humor you and keep tabs on you, you already have two of the best friends in the world. The juke box takes credit cards and Michael, who still has 11 selections left, plays them one at a time, sipping his beer in between songs. Here is what he was playing yesterday during our pit stop:
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom Time, Perez Prado
People Get Ready, Chambers Brothers
Puff the Magic Dragon, Peter, Paul and Mary
Begin the Beguine, Artie Shaw
Shine Little Glow Worm, Mills Brothers
Can't Find My Way Back Home, Blind Faith
Michael explains that "Puff" was for the young girl who had come in with her mother. We assume "Glow Worm" was for the same reason. The plays, all in all, were brilliant and we said so. We were even going to buy Michael a beer but he was getting up to leave.
"Tracy, would you like me to leave my nuts here?" Michael asks our new favorite Scottish bartender. Michael had brought some almonds with him in a snack bag and there were some left. Tracy looked as if she had heard this line before.
"I'm sorry," says Michael.
"Don't be sorry," replies Tracy. "Be careful."
How was McCabe's Guitar Shop going to top this?