Friday, March 11, 2011
I went to a quiet neighborhood bar the day where I could eat dinner and read the paper for an hour or so. It was just me, one other guy and the bartender who pulled a Tuesday shift. The other bar patron's back was to me, and I thought he suffered from a medical condition that made him scream obscenities. Women's college basketball was on TV, and he kept yelling during halftime and commercials, so I knew he wasn't yelling at the game. Turns out that hockey was on a second TV. I'd jump a bit in my seat every time he screamed. It wouldn't have been so bad if I'd been watching the same game and known when it was coming, but it was so loud and irregular. Maybe the bartender noticed I was on edge, because she offered to do a free shot with me. I said, "No thanks, I have to get up early and didn't even really feel like coming out," and then I instantly felt guilty. She launched into a defense of why she does shots on Tuesdays, and I realized that I've never turned down a free shot at a bar. I also realized that if I told my friends about turning down a free shot at a bar, I'd probably get beat-up.