Well, now that you all have digested your turkeys, thanked God for all the good things he is giving you, and enjoyed your four days off, let me do my whining.
As you know, Laurie worked all weekend. Because she works at Wal-Mart, and a strong majority of the population think that cashiers and others have nothing better to do with their lives than providing them with the opportunity to fight each other in the aisles of retailers over panties. Why should they want to have a sit-down holiday meal with THEIR families, after all? And I, in an effort to not infringe personally on anyone's holiday, did my shopping on Wednesday- and did not have the foresight to pick up a Marie Callender's dinner for me, breaking the streak that, even in my most destitute days, I had some form of turkey on Thanksgiving.
Then comes Friday, when we learn my favorite Oakland Athletics have traded my favorite Josh Donaldson to Toronto. I have been an A's fan for 42 years, and have watched damn fools get rid of favorite players all that time. Doesn't kill the sting, especially after they traded another big favorite last summer to get a pitcher "with World Series experience", who proceeded to get plastered in the first (and last) game of the playoffs.
Then, in an effort to cheer me up, KC, Laurie, and a friend of his decided to get me out of the house Saturday, which I responded to by leaving a trail of consumed Long Island Ice Teas and duck fart shots across northern Fort Wayne. And learned that, in addition to the stupidity that naturally comes out with alcohol, hangovers take a lot longer to get rid of these days. And leave you susceptible to stomach bugs, one of which laid me out today.
And today, today, Bobby G. clued me in on a news story that occurred last night, via the Journal-Gazette:
A shooting at an after-hours club early Saturday left one person in serious condition at a hospital, according to Fort Wayne police reports.
Officers were initially called to the 2600 block of Coliseum Boulevard South about 4:20 a.m. but found two businesses that were closed and no other activity.
Within minutes, though, officers were called to a hospital where a man had come in suffering from a gunshot wound, the police reports said.
According to witnesses, about 75 to 100 people were in Tycoon's Cabaret and Grill when the shots rang out, scattering the crowd. A woman at the hospital told officers she saw a man lying on the ground. She took him to the hospital.
His name and his condition were not available.
I had to look up Tycoon's to make sure, but I knew the place. Up until March 2013, it had been The Coach Room.
The Coach Room was a bar right across from the old Harvester Tower, which is where my old job started out at. It was a short walk on Friday night from work to the friendly bar, where many cashed their checks and knocked back some brews. They cooked the best bar hamburgers in the world back then- nothing special, just the taste of food made at YOUR bar. They had the requisite poker machines, and one night, my ex won $200. The next week, she lost her entire paycheck. Me, I rarely played, recognizing a) I had no luck at the things, and b) what was the challenge of playing something that regulars just put a 20 in, jammed a toothpick in the button you bet with, and watched it spin their cash away.
As I recall, a supervisor also pissed away a paycheck one night.
There was the pinball machine which was a portion of the legend of me and my best friend at the time. We were playing one night and she left out a belch that rattled the glass and made the ball hop. Several nearby Mexican co-workers tried to blame it on me. But they learned, and a few months later I let out a belch at a company meeting they blamed on her.
There was the short-term first production manager of our company, who I believe did a lot of speed, result of which was one night he had me sniff a new-opened beer against his belief that someone "put something in it". Or the lady who he got the hots for (and was far too smart for that). She, her BF at the time, my ex, and I had some adventures there, including the night where each sex guarded their restroom door so the opposite gender could check the facilities out. We boys were far more impressed than the girls were.
Many times, it was the jumping off point for further debaucheries, notably a pair of trips to La Hacienda for karaoke that I remember far less than I should of (and more than I really want to), as well as an expedition to the strip bar down the street best left to the fevered imaginations of bad dreams.
At Christmas break, the plant manager would buy a case of bottles and set them at our tables. At least, until the night the Mexicans started buying him tequila shots and he somehow deduced they were going to mug him later.
One particular night was one with me and my best friend right before the ex and me were going on a little weekender. As that weekender pretty much wrote finis to our marriage, that night was the last happy one I had for a while.
And now, it's another ghetto shoot-em-up bar. I don't mean to be prejudiced about this, but everyplace in Fort Wayne where black clientele are served specifically- or anyplace that becomes the latest hang-out- becomes a shoot-em-up, because Fort Wayne's black community must, it seems, bring weapons and grudges to anyplace they party. And so you have last night.
Can anyone explain to me why people have to measure their self-confidence/self-worth with a gun? I went to bars through my wild youth and the closest to a fight I ever saw was a meeting between a fresh customer at a strip bar and the bouncer's fist. But now, it's the thing in Fort Wayne- bring a piece, make it a night to remember. I know we did some stupid, stupid things drinking- Saturday night sure reminded me of that. But we never needed a gun to have a good time. And if anyone got out of line, you didn't need to end their life to get them back in line.
I don't think I was ever back to the CR after that night- the plant had moved away by then- so it's been probably 20 years. Not exactly the death of a relative. But, I wish you could have been there when...