On Townies

I hate bars.  I hate pubs.  I hate taverns, speakeasies, public houses, what have you.  I hate them all, and no amount of argument to the contrary will convince me otherwise.

This is a hate that I’ve developed since I’ve been East Coast Side.

Take today.  What did I do today?  I went to a goddamned  bar to watch a goddamned football game, that’s what.  (The football game wasn’t worth watching, but that’s irrelevant).  I sat down at the goddamned bar with my goddamned friend, Dan, and we watched a quarter in peace before somebody, some kid who I recognized but couldn’t put a name on, decided to accost me.  Here’s what went down:

Kid: “Hey, Tom.”

Me: (turning to kid, hoping that this will be quick) “Yeah?”

Kid:  “It’s Todd.  Todd Porter.”

And now I remember you, Todd Porter, or, rather, I remember your name.  Before that I just remembered that you were some prick from back in the day who I had no interest in talking to about anything at all.  But now I remember you, Todd Porter.  Yeah.  You’re a shit head…

Me:  (reluctantly) “How’s it going?”

But instead of answering that simple question, Todd goes into drunk-Dr. Phil-mode and starts lecturing me about how I should have said Hi to him and Jeff Bennett, who I now realize is his co-drunken-conspirator in this whole thing.  I acknowledge Jeff.  “Hey, Jeff.”  We were friends when we were kids, what can I say?  Up to now I hadn’t recognized him, as he’s put on 100 pounds and grown a neck beard.

Todd, though, was having none of it, as I had apparently insulted his dignity.

“So, what are you doin’ for work these days, man?”

“Not too much, I guess.  Painting houses at the moment,” I say.

“See, that’s weird,” and here he gets that craaaazzy look in his eye, “I remember you were an over-achiever as a kid, right?  But look at Jeff–he just bought a big house, dude, he’s got kids, he’s got–”

I interrupt–“Do those kids have a mother?”

Todd goes on– “And you aren’t doin’ shit, dude.”

At this point, I’m starting to get the old What-The-Fuck-Does-This-Dipshit-Know-About-My-Life feeling in my belly, and I’m considering–abstractly–violence.  Instead I throw a coaster on my beer, grab a cigarette, and walk outside, inviting Jeff Bennett to tag along.  We smoke our cigarettes and talk about our respective families (he also: advises me against traveling anywhere in the world, tells me to buy a house, indicated that he’s pro-life, and bums a cigarette) and I realize that Todd Porter is just a townie, that he’s completely shit-faced at two in the afternoon, and that he’s living vicariously through his friend’s achievements in order to belittle what little I’ve told him about mine.

I realize, in other words, that it ain’t worth huffing about.

Back inside, Todd has cozied up to Dan and talked his ear off.  I go to reclaim my seat, and Todd again reminds me that I’ve acted like a “homo.”  I ask him if he sees a dick in my mouth.  He says No, but that I’m acting like a homo anyway, and I tell him to use more apt language next time.

When he finally leaves, and once he’s tipped the waitress six dollars on a 65 dollar tab, he tells me that I should try to fuck her, and that my strategy should be to trash talk him, Todd, all the way to the bank.  He’s been so rude, he figures, that I can’t help but get lucky.  I thank him for the advice, but I don’t take him up on it.  Number one, his strategy is stupid.  Number two, the waitress is not attractive.  Number three?

There is no number three.

Point of the story?

Fucking townies.


7 responses to “On Townies

  1. The waitress ploy endeared him to me a bit.

  2. Who the hell is Todd Porter? Also, try this old Jeff Bennett chestnut on for size: “Get this evidence down to zaibeers for analysis.” (Attempting to say “Get this evidence down to forensics for analysis” during one of our ill-fated movie-making endeavors.)

    Also also, isn’t it a little hypocritical to write a post about how much you hate bars when literally every time we’re both in town at the same time, you suggest going to a bar to catch up?

  3. You’d recognize him if you saw him. I think he had a twin, too. Maybe.

    I remember that(attempt at a) line. If I still had a VHS player, I’d watch all of those movies right now. MacGuyver, anyone?

    It’s not hypocritical, it’s masochistic. There’s a difference.

  4. tom, i’ve had this experience, too. except that i’ve found when you tell people you’ve been living on the west coast, you can often deterr their ability to accurately assess your success by filling their brains with images of beach girls, bonfires, and more legal drugs. and casualwear at dinner. i guess that’s different when you’ve returned to town indefinitely – which leads me to question, not with any malice – what exactly is the difference between you and a townie again? lack of real estate?

  5. The difference, Kate, between me and a townie? I got out for seven years. And I ain’t going to stay.

  6. http://www.theonion.com/content/news/26_year_old_to_see_every_asshole

    I’ve decided not to go home this year. It’s gonna be nice.

  7. i hope this post now shows up if someone googles this fellow’s name

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