Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tell Me, Honestly, Does My Forehead Have Freak Magnet Written On It?

I'm pretty sure it does. It's just written in invisible ink that only freaks can read.

Want to know how to attract colorful characters? Feel like your personal space is not violated enough each week? Interested in ending up in semi-humorous situations that you can tell and retell at parties as stories? You've come to the right place. I'm going to tell you the secrets to finding freaks, having freaks latch onto you, and how to note those striking details that will make your stories even better!

First off, mind your own business. For example, sitting at a table with your friends, making no eye contact with said "freaks" is a great way to attract them.

Engage yourself in conversation with those you like. For some reason, said "freaks" really enjoy this. It makes you appear like a nice person who is willing to listen to their jibberish.

When said "freak" speaks to you, bluntness and rudeness are good ways to keep them talking. Oh, being polite also works. Actually, I have not found anything that is effective in getting them to shut up.

In the past few weeks, the number of strange interactions with strangers seems to have sky-rocketed. Is it just me? I know I tend to run into unique people when DM is around, but now I'm finding even more of them when I'm with others or even alone.

Take Thursday, for example. Karaoke is ending and I'm sitting at a table, talking with DM and Liz. We are having a nice, quiet conversation, and a man sits down in the chair to my right, diagonally from me. He leans back and lifts up his sleeves to show off some arm work tattoos he has. My first thought is to gag. While I do appreciate a good tattoo, these were far from good. They were basically lines on his arm. Not even straight lines. Blah.

He yells at our table, finally bumming a cigarette from Liz and giving her a high five that he turned into a handshake. All of this while leaning over me and slurring his speech. I'm still replused while I'm typing this.

He sits back down and feels the need to start yelling in my ear. "Can I sit there?" He points at the chair that holds my purse that had held James (the man whom DM will call the most attractive man in the world. While I think James is great and funny, I do not hold him to the same esteem she does.) Liz thinks he asks, "Is someone sitting here?" She replies, "Yes, he's in the bathroom." The man tries to sit down and she clarifies, getting him to sit back down in the other chair.

"THAT'S A NICE PURSE!" He is aimed directly at my right ear.

"Yes, it is." I pick it up and move it away from his gaze and reach. (In fact, it is not a nice purse. It is a functional purse that I bought at Target for about $10 or maybe $15.)


I do not respond.


No response, thinking to myself, If I ignore him, maybe he'll go away.


I open my mouth, "That's just sad." (Not in the fact he's not rich, but in the fact he thinks it is cool that his parents found him to be enough of a loser to have to kick him out.)


"Because you are yelling directly into my ear."

"But, we're IN A BAR!"

"Really, I hadn't noticed."


"You're not."


Ignoring again.


Please, please, please go away.


"I work for a bank."


I didn't answer.


"If I am being mean, take it as a hint that I don't want to talk to you. You can leave me alone. I'm not forcing you to talk to me."

At this point, Donny, Ki, Bryan, and Andrew are all watching this guy.

He keeps yelling for a bit and continues to be drunk. He does finally wander off, mostly because his friend dragged him away. On the way out, he's blocking the exit. I hang back, avoiding him as much as possible. DM tries to pass and politely says, "Excuse me."

He sways away and as she walks past, he rams into her. "OH! EXCUSE YOU!"

She replies, "I said excuse me."

His reply (which I'm a bit glad I didn't hear at the time, because explaining to my boss why I was arrested for beating up a drunk does not sound plausible:

Me: Well, I was arrested.
Her: For what?
Me: Kicking a drunk man in the head.
Her: Why?
Me: 'Cause he was rude.
Her: Yeah. We need to re-evaluate your employment here.): YOU TAKE UP A LOT OF SPACE.

DM reacts, "You're kind of an @$$!" We leave. Kind of was not needed. He was an ass.

The previous Tuesday, I was at another local bar, a place some of us go to after work on Tuesdays once a month. It's a nice place, quiet and doesn't do a ton of business on week nights. It's a sports bar without the sports and really makes money by serving great food. (I took my dad there for Father's Day and we each loved the food.)

After the bar closed, a few of us ended up talking in the parking lot. Not too long had passed and there were two of us left. Ben, one of my bankers, and I were there for about two hours. (Yes, yes, loitering. Bad us.)

A cop pulled through the lot, looked at us and knew we were not drunk and just waved as he drove by. He probably heard us talking shop and figured we were harmless (true.)

A man is wandering back and forth. He has a bleach blonde mullet. Ripped jeans and a wife beater complete his outfit and he sways up and down the sidewaks. I figure he was a patron of the other local bar, the one across the street from the bar we had visited.

He's walking in our direction, not towards us, but needs to pass by. He looks at Ben, makes eye contact (Ben hasn't learned yet...), and then puts his hands up in the air, as if to say, "Don't shot me!"

Ben replies to me, after the man is out of earshot and eyesight, "He was odd. He put his hands up like he was telling me he wouldn't shoot me. Which makes me think he was going to shoot me but decided not to."

Within 15 minutes, another man is seen wobbling across the street. He is walking with a bike and using it as a walker. He is upset about something and apparently the building he had consumed so much of the intoxicating beverages he must have had was to blame. It took him a good seven minutes to make it all the way past the building. He was no where near us, didn't look at us, and there were no other people to be seen. His ranting escalated and he kept yelling, "You're jealous! You p*ssy @$$ b*tch! You're jealous of my bike! Yeah. I've got a bike. Ha! You think that I don't like my bike, you PAB (abbreviation - I like it. I might start using this.)!" This repeats and I try not to giggle.

And then, it was Sunday. Time for karaoke. Normally the insanity comes at the end of the night. No such luck this evening.

We walk into the Chalet to be greeted by Justin. There is only 8 people total in the bar. (Justin, Andrew, Adam, Bobby, the pulltab lady, one other patron, and us.) Justin sees us and yells, "Ladies! Don't sit down! Don't sit down! This is a BAD party!"

Andrew and Bobby are already dealing with Justin. His antics are not funny in their eyes.

Cat Scratch Fever starts playing on the radio. "Cat Scratch Fever! Man Scratch Fever! Cat Scratch Fever! I'm jamming! This is my song!" He is bopping up and down.

Andrew tells him, "Justin. Come over here. Sit down. You've alreay fallen once."

"I've fallen 10 times!" He wears it like a badge of honor.

"Ladies! Look! Look! Are you looking?! Look!" We are staring at him the entire time. He starts to flail his arms in a rubber figure sort of way.

"Is this good?"

DM replies, "It is intriguing."

"Is this good?" He asks me.

I am trying to find the correct thing to say. Finally I say, "In comparison to some things, yes. (Like death or being beaten with a stick.) In comparison to others, no."

"I'm a dick! I'm a hot dick!" We seriously lose it here. Bryan walks in and is in instant bouncer mode.

Justin tells us, about Andrew trying to get him to leave, "He's pissed. Should I tell him?"

DM says, "I think he knows."

They do get him outside and Bobby suggests locking the doors. I guess they called him a cab, he refused to get in, and tried to get back to his car to drive home. They call the cops and he takes off. The cops later find him passed out at a local car dealership. He is arrested. The cop shows up (he was very tall) and takes statements from Bryan and Andrew.

The rest of the night was nice and peaceful.

But I swear, I have a habit of finding colorful characters. And they're not all found at bars. I run into them at the river, shopping, and at Perkins. I meet them with DM or without her. How do I make this stop?