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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Part One: Funny Story, That Fencing

I am staring out the bus window.

It is late summer.  All things in Minnesota, by the way, are referenced by season, and I recall the grass, the warm breeze, the wanton display of my bare ankles on a city bus – and the tore-up chain link fence around the four-plex kitty-corner from The Spring…

This sort of thing makes me frown.

The Spring is one of my favorite bar and grills.  It has everything you expect in a local joint:  affordable drink specials, truly delicious burgers, and rosy-nosed drinkers earnestly holding down bar stools, some of them for long enough to be served by different shifts of bartenders.

This is the bar where I once watched a remarkably happy man belt AC/DC tunes to an equally happy following whilst punctuating the bass line with "thazz mah dawg".

It haunts me.

I am still frowning at the tire tracks that lead up and over the boulevard and into a now rather ineffective bit of fencing when, less than a block away, I notice a good chunk of bark torn off a sizeable oak tree.

Well that ain’t right, is it?

I consciously stop frowning, attempt to smooth my brow with my fingertips.  

This place is gonna give me wrinkles.

Still, life -- and the bus -- goes on.  It is several weeks before the chain link fence is fixed, but the tree, and its missing bark, roughly headlights high, stares daily into my commute.

It is October, I suppose, when I meet George for drinks.

I specifically remember my suede boots, no danger of rain.

We are at a booth, finishing what strikes me as our third beer.  The day is crisp and shiny, the kind of autumn day when one stands amidst the fallen and falling leaves and smiles:  summer was beautiful, and winter’s not yet here.  How lucky we are!

We step outside on the large deck, George and I, artfully cadge a cigarette from those we believe to be our admirers.

“That fence across the street got hit by a car this summer,” I say. 

George looks at me.  “You know who did that, don’t you?”

I start laughing.  Maybe it’s the beer, maybe it’s the cigarette, but this strikes me as funny. 

“I know a lot of things,” I say.  “But I don’t know who hit that fence.”

George exhales, takes another thoughtful inhale and tosses the butt into an ashtray balanced on the deck’s railing. 

“It’s a drunken tale of jealousy, lawlessness, and age discrimination,” she says.  “Buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about it.”

Hmm.  George has a tale for us…

34 comments:

Leenie said...

As always, a well set stage for a compelling tale of drama, intrigue and entertaining farce. The stuff urban legends are made of. Oh, please! Do tell us more!

Sioux said...

Pearl--Thanks for the teaser. I can't wait (but I guess I must).

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

George is sucking us in...

Amanda said...

The stage has been set and it sounds exciting!

Pearl said...

Leenie, the power of the beer compels me. :-)

Sioux, you know, the only reason I break these up is because they get so long! It's my opinion that a post shouldn't go much beyond 500 words or so, but sometimes, there's just more to the story!

Green Girl, oh, that George can tell a story!

Amanda, after driving by that lousy ruined fence every day for weeks and weeks, it amused me greatly to find out there was a story behind it. :-)

Jacquelineand.... said...

I have to wait for the rest of it? I'm not good at waiting...

Is it ready yet?

How about now?

Now?

Dagnabbit!

Pearl said...

Jacqueline, very funny. :-)

Shelly said...

Any story that has someone belting out AC/DC tunes has my full attention. Don't make us wait too long~

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Waiting patiently..okay, you know me too well, NOT waiting patiently.

Pearl said...

Shelly, AC/DC is always funny. :-)

Delores, I'll finish it tomorrow, promise!

Eva Gallant said...

Why did I assume George was male?

Pearl said...

Eva, most George's are male. Unless they are Georgina's, in which case they are not. :-)

jenny_o said...

I ask you, what more could you want in any post than seasonal references, suede boots and a guaranteed sequel?

Rhetorical question, whilst I await tomorrow :)

Douglas said...

I must admit... I was thinking "epee" but I am happy I was wrong. And George is, indeed, gorgeous.

Pearl said...

Oooh, very nice, Douglas!! No, not that kind of fencing. And yes: George is beautiful, not to mention a fabulous artist.

Buttons said...

Well now I want to hear it:) B

klahanie said...

Gosh Pearl,

I met a lady when I was in Hope, British Columbia whose husband was in a Canadian AC/DC tribute band named "Eh C/DC. I didn't make that up.

And what about George. Of course, even though I note somebody else related to another type of fencing in their comment. I Pearl, heck no, would never take 'epee' out of your postings :)

There you go, your wait for one of my um eagerly anticipated, much loved comments, is drawing to a conclusion. What conclusion, I have no idea.

Have a good New Year, eh.

Your starstruck fan in lil' ol' England,

Gary........

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I'll buy you a cosmo, Pearl, for the rest of the story.

Happy New Year.

xoRobyn

Pearl said...

Buttons, and now I'll have to tell it!

klahanie, your comments always amuse me. :-) And a Canadian Eh C/DC band? Genius.

Robyn, ooh! We have a deal!

bill lisleman said...

Nothing like starting my Pearl reading for the year with the image of beer. As you wrote, "how lucky we are".

Lulu LaBonne said...

what Bill said ... looking forward to the next bit

Pearl said...

Bill, I shall envision you holding a frosty one while I am writing tonight!

Lulu, lovely! I'll get you a beer, too!

NotesFromAbroad said...

Oh good, I love stories ! Especially the age discrimination ones .. love you. Come help me pack.

Daisy said...

*pulls chair up closer to computer screen and turns head listening carefully for George's story*

Daisy said...

It's cruel to make us wait!

Stephen Hayes said...

I'm looking forward to the rest.

Linda O'Connell said...

I just know you took George's bait. Can't wait to hear the details.

Gigi said...

UGH! I have to wait until TOMORROW?! I suppose I don't have a choice in the matter either? I thought not.

*sigh* I guess I'll see you tomorrow then.

HermanTurnip said...

I cannot believe you left us hanging like that. Will be pressing F5 until I know the rest of the story...

The Elephant's Child said...

You really have elevated teasing your faithful readers to an art form haven't you?

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yes a funny storey indeed thanks for bringing a smile to my face

River said...

Like Douglas, I was wondering what type of fencing you were referring to, and I thought George was male too. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

Stephanie said...

Ooooh...cliffhanger. Beautifully crafted as always. Can't wait to find out who murdered the fence!

Pat said...

That'll teach me to click on a link and establish a person's gender.