There’s this pub attached to the hotel where I go dancing; I’ve been to this pub a few times. The first time I stepped foot in the bar, I met this guy named Jack. I sat down a couple seats away from him and it took him all of 3 minutes to start talking to me. I think he opened with “Have you ever seen Alcatraz?” because there was a commercial for that show on the TV above us. I had to say no because, for one, I had never watched it, but also didn’t even know it existed. In fact, I had to look at the TV to understand what he was asking me.
Luckily, the guy a couple seats down from me actually had things to say on the subject and the three of us had a nice conversation about TV shows. I say the three of us, but I think they mostly talked and I was just hoping that something Simpson related would come up so that I could actually contribute to the conversation. I’m not sure if it ever did; I might have just sat there and looked pretty.
Conversation ended up turning to what brought me to the bar that night; I explained that the hotel next door had salsa dancing. He said he didn’t know that the hotel offered such things, but that it explained why he often saw little Latinas wearing sequin-y clothes on Saturday nights. I told him I wasn’t sure the pub even existed and I certainly didn’t know that it had five pool tables. I think it’s safe to say that we both learned something that night.
Stopping in at the pub before dancing quickly became my regular routine; every time I went there, Jack wasn’t there. Until about a month ago. I pulled up a seat at the bar, he looked over at me and said “Oh, hey… … salsa dancing, right?”. That’s right. I ordered my drink and he reminded the bartender that I enjoy lime in it, even though I forgot to ask. Always looking out for me.
Last night, I went back, I sat down at the bar and a couple seats away from me was Jack. I hardly recognized him, he normally sits on the right hand side of the bar, and that night he was on the left. I guess he didn’t recognize me from that angle either because he asked if I was going samba dancing. Close enough.
He was playing Keno and asked if I play. I said not really and I had only just recently learned how it worked. Jack set me up with a game card and told me to fill it out. The only other time I’ve played the game, someone else was driving and all I had to do was pick numbers. I tried to fill out the card and make it look like I knew what I was doing since I’d just declared my knowledge of the game. I may or may not have had to ask a question or two.
After filling out the card, I looked at it and said “I’m done now!! … … So… how do I turn this into a ticket?”. Apparently I don’t know that much about the game. He summoned the bartender and made it happen because next thing I know, I have a Keno ticket in front of me with my numbers on it. Magic.
My first draw comes up and within seconds my two numbers are drawn. I’m very excited about my win, which is so unlike me, I know. I bounced in my seat, clapping my hands, saying “I won, I won!”. After that, every time, one of my numbers got drawn Jack would clap his hands and say “One more…”.
I’m not sure if he was making fun of me or not.
My other nine draws were a bust, but I was still high off my win, so it all ended well. I cashed in my ticket and the bartender asked if I wanted to replay; I decided to quit while I was ahead. I got my $10 cash, and slid it over to Jack, since he was the one that paid for the ticket. I guess it wasn’t that magical after all. He wouldn’t take it. He said I won it, told me that they were my winnings. I did the whole “No, no, I insist”, he did the same thing; I feigned a valiant effort, but inside I was really like this:
To try and make it up to him, I ordered us a shot. It’s the least I could do. After awhile, he was getting ready to leave, as was I; my bill got dropped on the bar. My bill which miraculously only contained half of the drinks I ordered. Any other place, I would have brought this to the bartender’s attention, however, at this bar, it’s par for the course. For some reason.
Jack snatched up my bill, grabbed my $10 win, threw another $10 onto the pile and handed it off to the bartender. I reached across the bar and grabbed the pile before the bartender could get there. I gave him his $10 back; he put it back on the pile. The bartender, smart girl, walked away to give us some time to settle our dispute. I gave him his $10 back, he put in back on the pile. I started to give him his $10 back, he pushed it aside, literally ran away and said “Have fun at salsa!”.
I walked out of the bar, high on my win, drunk off my drinks, with as much money as I walked in with. That just doesn’t happen everywhere. Gotta love that place!