Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do you feel lucky?

About a week ago, I was minding my own business in my favorite bar. A guy came in who looked to be a few years older than me, but with a lot more mileage. He had a Neon Tan, complete with the Bourbon spiderweb/vein marks on his nose. We made some small talk, and then he started harassing one of the ladies at the bar. He eventually asked her if she was a lesbian, which didn’t go over well. She got very angry and gave him a five minute harangue that I’d pay good money to have on tape. It was a brilliant beat-down.

The guy retreated and started talking to me again, and asked if I wanted to shoot some pool. I said “Sure”, mostly because that lady was going to go Postal on him if I didn't get him away from the bar.

I walked over to the pool table and the guy said “How about we play for a pitcher of beer. Loser buys.”

I’m not a great pool player. I can hold my own, but not against a legit shark. However, I knew that I wanted to beat this clown, and I wanted it bad. So I agreed to the bet.

The guy (who I’ll call Morton from now on) watched me rack the balls, and he was getting ready to break. Morton looked over at me and said “You know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”

A seasoned pool player or gambler would’ve sat down at that moment, or asked someone else to play. But I wanted to beat Morton so, so, so badly. In public. In front of the lady that he had called a lesbian. I wanted his broke, deceptive, beer-hustling ass to retreat from my tavern owing me a pitcher of Shiner.

I told Morton that if I won we could work something out on his next trip to the bar.

Then we started playing. I spent more time lining up some of those shots than I did filling out my home mortgage paperwork. I made some two-cushion bank shots that I’ve never even attempted before. And I also got lucky. Morton flubbed a few easy shots. Throughout the entire game, I heard Morton’s voice in my head saying “You know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”

It came down to the 8-ball. I made it with nothing else left on the table. (Graduates of North Sunflower Academy or Ole Miss won’t be surprised that I heard the marching band fight-song version of “Dixie” playing in my head when I sank the 8-ball. I’ve never made a touchdown in my life, but a marching band plays “Dixie” in my head whenever I win anything, including Tic-Tac-Toe, coin flips, and pool games.) I shook hands with Morton and we both went back to the bar, where I explained to the bartender that Morton didn’t have any money for the pitcher she was about to pour at somebody’s expense.

The bartender was almost as pissed as the lady who wasn't a lesbian. 

The more I talked with Morton about meeting him at the bar some other time for my pitcher of Shiner, the more uncomfortable he became. He left before the lady who wasn't a lesbian got involved in the discussion.

“You know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”

I don’t care what Morton does or did with his paycheck. I'd feel sorry for the guy if he hadn’t tried to hustle me. He’s probably an alcoholic. I’ve never come close to having a drinking problem, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a thirst strong enough to try a stunt like Morton tried that afternoon. I didn’t think much more about the incident.

Three nights later, Thursday night, Barack Obama gave his Jobs Speech. I didn’t write much about it, mostly because I suspected it would be a re-hash of Porkulus One. And it was.

But certain phrases started reminding me of something, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until today….. And then it hit me.

Barack Obama and the George Bushes and Reagan have spent us into a hole that we’ll probably never get out of. (Clinton was fairly restrained by comparison.)

Obama has already added 4 trillion dollars to the national debt. Obama threw $800 billion in Porkulus at the unions and government employees. He destroyed about 600,000 automobiles to “stimulate” Detroit. Businesses and Doctors are acting like ObamaCare will make Death look like a reasonable alternative. Obama fired up another war in Libya. And now our economy is behaving like we owe $15 trillion dollars to somebody, which we do. Very few people want to take the risk of bringing on more employees. The piper must be paid.

They have blown it all.  Every cent of it. 

So here are some excerpts from the Obama Jobs Speech, the way that I now hear them.


Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America. Everyone here knows we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over the country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world. It’s an outrage. “And you know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”


There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work. There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America. A public transit project in Houston that will help clear up one of the worst areas of traffic in the country. And there are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating. How can we expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart? This is America, and by the way “you know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”


Ask yourselves -- where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance? “And you know I’m broke, right? I don’t have any more money on me. Just thought you should know.”

Barack Obama is like an old drunk trying to hustle one more round of drinks for his union and government cronies. He's got a strong need.  He's getting the shakes.  But he's blown it all. 

You know he’s broke, right. He doesn’t have any more money on him.

Just thought you should know.

So do you feel lucky?


CharlieDelta said...

Brilliantly written my friend! Bravo!

Nick said...

Great story, only slightly blunted by the fact you voluntarily gave the drunk a chance to get free beer from you.

Of course, it was your money and your choice. In Obama's world, the bar would be packed with the drunk's friends, and they would vote on whether you bought him a pitcher, and he would get a three ball handicap, and you would be given a bent stick and forced to shoot with one hand.

I love your stories, especially when they involve lost wiener dogs.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Nick - in Obama's bar, the bartender simply walks up to everyone, swipes their beers, pours it all into a giant pitcher, give 80% of it to his 43 employees and 20% of the remainder (dregs/backwash mainly) to the jackass guy.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I wish I could've worked a wiener dog into this story.
This place does allow poodles with mohawks, but I've never tried to get a grown dachshund into the place.

justjohn said...

Perhaps your best ever. Loved it.

CenTexTim said...

"poodles with mohawks" - Talk about a blast from the past. When I was in college I had a 'poodle with a mohawk' poster. After I read your comment I rummaged around in the attic and found it. I'm going to get it reframed and hang it in my den (no matter what my wife says!).

poodle with a mohawk image here

CenTexTim said...

I must have messed up the link above. Here's the url for cut-and-paste purposes.

Cassandra J. said...

First time reader, Brilliant!