Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Scottish Fireplug

On PigPen's birthday a couple of weeks ago a group of us took him out to Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Addison, which is an annual tradition for him. Now, as most people who've been to Pete's might be able to guess, it's not exactly my type of place. On the one hand, yes, there's lots of music and sing-along possibilities, which is nice, but on the other hand, it's also crowded with drunk folks who like to smoke. Last year we got a table near the stage, which was cool since, y'know, I could sit down and fight off the smoke-induced headache, plus I was less likely to be crowded and shoved by people fighting to get from Point A to Point B -- although I did get whacked in the head by a beer bottle brandished by a totally plastered and oblivious blond who eventually got escorted away by a bouncer. This year, however, there was to be no table sitting, as we were much later getting there than usual due to us heading there straight from picking PigPen up at the airport. So, it was while Cap'n Cluck and I were trying to cool down by virtue of moving away from the tightly packed crowd and hovering near the front entrance and its accompanying breeze that I first saw The Scottish Fireplug.

Of course, that's not how I first thought of him; no, my original nickname for S.F. would have been closer to "That short, white-haired, wrinkle-faced, incredibly creepy, totally drunk old guy in the bright red t-shirt." It was the red t-shirt combined with his short, stout physique that made me think of him as The Fireplug. Standing about 5 foot or so, he first drew my attention by stumbling back and forth in front of us several times, running into various people and then fixating them with a look that can only be described as the height of creepiness before making his way back to his lone companion, a guy in his late 20s/early 30s who was probably 6'2" or so. After awhile he wound up standing pretty close to us, and somehow either Cluck or I caught his attention and he started to move closer to us, gazing creepily the entire time. After standing there for a minute or two with him swaying on his feet, cigarette coming dangerously close to Cluckity a few times, she and I decided it was time for a change of location. Luckily he didn't decide to stalk us, and while Cluck was done dealing with him for the evening, I got to witness his excellent social skills a few more times before the evening was over.; two of these times took place in the rest room.

The first time he was leaving the rest room just as I was entering and some jovial drunk decided to strike up a conversation with him; Mr. Creepy jabbered something back at him that I wasn't really sure was English at first, but soon discovered was actually a thick Scottish brogue worsened by the heavy amounts of alcohol he had apparently consumed that evening. Ironically, when I was finally able to decipher his ramblings, I realized he was telling the other person that he couldn't understand what they were saying.

The next bathroom encounter was a bit less pleasant. There was a pretty long line to get into the rest room at that point, and I had just moved through the door into the crowded room when I heard a huge commotion coming from the sole bathroom stall, with a belligerent drunk hollering that he was about to kick somebody's ass; three guesses who the target of his ire was. I'm still not sure precisely how it all started, since the open rest room door blocked my view, and by the time I poked my head around to see what all the hubbub was about the Scottish Fireplug was stumbling from the stall, spouting off his gibberish while the other guy was ranting about how S.F. had gotten in his face, threatened to push him, you just don't do that, he needs to learn to watch his mouth, etc. etc. The guy right in front of me in line stepped in to break it up, and since he was a big dude who probably could have taken the angry guy out with one hand tied behind his back, things calmed down. The peacemaker was trying to get angry guy to back off, saying "he's just an old drunk dude, let him be." S.F. kept mumbling things that were incomprehensible to most folks, but the elderly bathroom attendant -- apparently schooled by many hours offering hand soap and paper towels to barely coherent drunks -- stepped in as interpreter and claimed that S.F. was apologizing, a claim I kind of doubt but who can say? Finally S.F. stumbled out of the room and as he went past all of the people who had been standing outside hearing the commotion without being able to see the action I heard several people making sounds the likes of "oh, it's him," signaling that I wasn't the only one who had marked S.F.'s creepy presence. The folks behind me in line started talking about things he had done that night, but the only one that really jumped out at me was the fact that supposedly earlier that evening he had gone up to some guy who was sitting down and licked him on the ear; this, of course, resulted in a drunken chorus of "Dude, that's so gay! Like, so, so gay!" The Peacemaker said "Oh, come on, he's just a squirrel looking for a nut." It was at this point that The Lovable PigPen happened to wander into the restroom and say "Well, he's looking in the wrong forest, that's for sure."

I didn't see much of The Scottish Fireplug until after closing time. Li'l Random and I were standing outside the main entrance to Pete's, which is located on the second floor, waiting on Cap'n Peanut and PigPen to come out, when S.F.'s companion came out and started talking to one of the bouncers in a thick, but understandable, Scottish accent of his own. After a minute or two of looking around for S.F. he finally saw him sitting on one of the benches right inside the entrance, slightly slumped forward but still conscious. The Young Scot went over to gather up his older and drunker pal, but apparently our Scottish Fireplug didn't want to leave and when the Young Scot was insistent, S.F. took a few half-hearted swings at him. The Young Scot immediately dragged S.F. to his feet and began to march him towards the stairs, S.F. struggling the whole time. Li'l Random looked over at me and said "I'm going to follow them out and watch." I tagged along, figuring I could get the valet to retrieve my car and get a show on the way. After fending off a few blow from S.F., The Young Scot had had enough and sought to neutralize S.F.'s striking ability, grabbing both of S.F.'s wrist and yanking them up over his head. And so they proceeded to and down the stairs, S.F. not even muttering or mumbling any more, just feebly struggling in The Young Scot's grip; halfway down the stairs they reached a landing and made room for someone else to pass by, a move that enabled S.F. to free one of his arms and throw a few more hammer fists at an increasingly less patient Young Scot who shook S.F. hard and began to threaten his general well-being if he didn't calm down. They made it down the stairs and out into the night with no more incidents, thus ending what both Li'l Random and I considered the most entertaining part of our evening.


Flunky lover said...

Ugh. Cigarette smoke is so gross. When is Texas going to ban it? They're so behind the times.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Right there with ya, F.L. Before I went to Pete's I made sure to do a nasal rinse, use some Zicam, and take an antihistimine; then as soon as I got home I took a shower and did another nasal rinse, this time with triple the usual amount of salt, all to make sure that helping PigPen celebrate his birthday didn't knock me on my butt for a week.