Monday, June 3, 2013

Dining al fresco, it's not always what you hope for...

This past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous.  In fact, it may have been a bit too humid.  Nichole and I had a bus full of patrons for the Saturday installment of the Maine Beer Tours brewery crawl, and we finished up around 4:00 in the afternoon.  As we normally do, we had some errands to run, and decided we wanted a quick bite to eat somewhere in town.  Sitting outdoors was a must, and we decided to give West End Deli a try.  Good sandwiches, quaint neighborhood, and outdoor seating made it an easy decision.  We found a parking spot right across the street, ordered up our sandwiches and claimed one of the two outdoor tables as our own.  While we really enjoy living in our small town of New Gloucester, you just don't have this sort of setting there.  Things are looking good so far!

Remember how in the last sentence I said things were looking good so far?  Yeah, that changed, and pretty quickly!  I'm about three bites into my sandwich, and I see what appears to be a rather intoxicated lad stumbling down the sidewalk toward us.  He is all over the sidewalk, carrying on a pretty intense conversation with himself, and clearly not a fan of buttons, as his less than slender belly is desperately trying to escape from behind his shirt.  I quickly suggest to Nichole to keep her head down and continue eating, hopefully he will just pass on by.  While that thought sounded so good in my head, it was not even a remote possibility in reality.  As the gentleman gets close to our table, you can't help but see his toothless grin just light up the sidewalk.  We are screwed, aren't we?

The next 40 minutes are filled with our three toothed friend Roy happily repeating himself over and over again, rambling on about how he has made bad decisions, and how much he really likes us.  A sample sentence would sound something like this: "So I say to myself, self, I'm crazier than hell."  I was offered a sip of vodka from his backpack a solid half dozen times, and was even offered some meth.  While both offers were extremely enticing, all I really wanted was my sandwich, which was getting cold, and not nearly as appetizing at this point.  Next thing we know, Roy is reaching into his pocket and pulling out cash.  He wants to buy our dinner.  The very same dinner we had already paid for, and just really wanted to eat, without Repeat Roy standing over us.  We tell him not to worry about it, it's all set.  Not wanting to listen, which I think is mostly in part to being so drunk his ears stopped working, he insists on paying the tip.  He tosses $4.00 down onto the table.  We beg for him to take his money back, he refuses to listen (I'm serious, drunk ears, it's a real thing).

At this point, it is clear that Nichole and I are just too nice to ask him to leave, and the conversation continues.  For some strange reason, we tell him that Nichole is pregnant (if you didn't know, and just found out from reading this, yeah, we're having a baby!).  Ol' Roy lights up with excitement.  You would think he is a long lost uncle or something, he's just so happy for us.  He reaches back into his pocket and pulls out a $20.00, and tosses it onto our table.  "Open a bank account for that little one.  I made some bad choices, but I want you to open a bank account for him or her, do the right thing".  We beg him to take back his money, but he will not listen.  Six or eight times he tells us to open a bank account.  I see him look at Nichole's belly, and he reaches back into his pocket.  We are sassing him at this point, please stop!  He pulls out $10.00 more dollars, and throws it on the table.  For those keeping score, that's $34.00 on the table.  Sorry, I spoke too soon.  He looks back at the belly and reaches in for more cash.  Please, don't give us more cash!  Boom, $10.00 more on the table.  $44.00 in total.  From a drunk.  What the heck do we do?!

We feel dirty, we feel bad, we are confused.  What the heck just happened?!  We beg for him to take his money back, and he just won't hear it.  He insists that we open a bank account for the baby, and "do the right thing".  Realizing that the only way to end this craziness is to leave, we collect our half eaten sandwiches and get up and walk toward the car.  Several more attempts to give back the money are unsuccessful.  Ol' Roy even tries to get Nichole to add some of his vodka to her ice tea.  We watch him stumble away, scratching our heads.  What just happened?  We climb into the car and drive off laughing.  That sort of thing seems to find us, no matter where we are.  Moral of the story?  If a drunk offers you $44.00 to open a bank account for your baby, honor his wishes.  He may have lived a life of bad decisions, and this could be the karma he needs to make his life feel complete.  We are going to the bank this afternoon to honor his wish.  Oh, and maybe dining al fresco in the West End, on a late Saturday afternoon wasn't the best idea after all.  I'm just saying...