The Band Box Tavern

Lately, my sister and I have been reminiscing about our wild social gathering days after we have been younger- after we’d keep out till 5 within the morning and conceal out in my automobile across the nook from the home, ready for our mother to depart for work in order that we would not stroll in whereas she was consuming breakfast in her nightgown. Inevitably, our dialog turned to drunken nights at a bar in Bellmore that we used to frequent known as The Band Field Tavern.

Now, The Band Field was a particular place for my sister and I… we might been Sunday afternoon regulars there since we have been toddlers (actually, not figuratively). My dad, like so many others, performed Sunday morning softball, and the expertise wasn’t full and not using a journey to the bar afterward- beer for the lads, Shirley Temples with additional cherries for the children. I do know occasions have modified drastically and these days bringing a toddler to a bar will provoke a go to from Youngster Protecting Companies, however within the 1970’s and early 80’s, it was commonplace and we have been actually not the one youngsters operating round like ragamuffins.

One Sunday, once I was about 9 years outdated and my dad was feeling no ache, he gave me just a few {dollars} to place within the Jukebox (the type that spun 45’s- eek! I am outdated!). I used to be- and nonetheless am- an enormous Blondie fan, and my favourite track on the time was Rapture (you already know, Fab 5 Freddie and the person from Mars, consuming vehicles, bars, and guitars…) Properly, anyway, I used to be sufficiently old to love music and sufficiently old to place the cash within the machine and discover the songs I needed to play, however I used to be not skilled sufficient to appreciate that after I punched within the code to play Rapture, there could be a large delay earlier than the track really performed. When the music did not begin instantly, I believed I had performed one thing improper, so I punched within the quantity once more. It nonetheless did not play, so now I believed the jukebox was damaged and punched within the quantity for Rapture a 3rd time,…and a fourth. By the point Rapture performed for the seventh time in a row, I used to be getting soiled seems to be from the whole bar (keep in mind this was earlier than distant management, and also you could not “skip” by means of songs), and the bartender lastly unplugged the jukebox.

It was a homecoming of types after we returned to The Band Field as patrons ourselves, and we rapidly reestablished our standing as regulars. Throughout one in every of these blurry nights, one other common, whose title escapes me totally, so I will name him Bear, invited me to accompany him the subsequent day to Atlantic Metropolis. Bear appeared like an obese and getting old Magnum PI, full with semi-unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, showcasing a thick gold chain and tangles of coarse chest hair. I would guess he was in his mid to late 30’s, with thick, curly salt & pepper hair, and a Hell’s Angels mustache. I discovered him bodily repulsive, so, in fact, I agreed to go (insert shooting- myself- in- the- eye emoticon right here).

He picked me up the subsequent morning at 7 am, and in my bleary-eyed, hung-over, sleep-deprived state, I needed nothing greater than to cancel the journey and keep in mattress. However, he was outdoors, honking and he had already paid for my coach bus fare the evening earlier than. I had instructed Bear that I would go together with him to AC, however I had additionally instructed him that I used to be broke… in truth, I feel I had lower than $10 in my pockets. Bear had agreed to pay my manner, so I felt obligated to stand up and go. I did not bathe, and even change my garments from the evening earlier than, so I can solely think about how I appeared as I stumbled to his automobile. We drove to The Band Field, the place the bus we have been taking was leaving from.

Once I stepped onto the bus, it was as if I would walked onto the set of the film, Cocoon. In case you do not keep in mind, that was the film with the entire outdated individuals who swim within the pool with extraterrestrial eggs and regain their youth by sapping the life drive from the alien embryos. In different phrases, I might have been the great-granddaughter of 75% of the group that we have been touring with. Bear appeared to know everybody on the bus; I am assuming from his affiliation with the native Okay of C, rotary membership, or VFW. I attempted to flee at this level, and known as my sister to come back get me, however she simply laughed and instructed me to sleep within the messy mattress I had made.

I took her recommendation. I dozed throughout the four ½ hour trip to Jersey, and, even once I wasn’t sleeping, I pretended to. Like a fly on the wall, I overheard the conversations of these round me as they complimented Bear on his fairly, younger girlfriend and requested how lengthy he and I had been relationship. His boastful reply of how this was our first date virtually made my ears bleed and my abdomen convulse. I used to be groaning silently in my head and devising a plan to sabotage any notion that Bear had that he was going to kiss me inside the subsequent eight hours.

It seems that being a bored, whining, foul-smelling woman was all I wanted to do.

I stood subsequent to Bear whereas he performed Black Jack, yawning obnoxiously and ensuring that no a part of my physique touched any a part of his. I might scent the stale cigarette smoke in my hair from the evening earlier than and the bitter scent of alcohol seeping by means of my pores and skin, and I gave thanks and reward for my disgustingness… I hoped it might act as garlic to a vampire. Bear had given me $20 in order that I might eat whereas we have been there, and we went to some restaurant within the on line casino. He ordered steak, baked potato, salad… the works. I had already spent a few of my $20 on drinks, as a result of, since I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t entitled to drink without cost within the on line casino. So, I did not have the funds for to purchase a good meal, and settled for a sandwich and chips. I complained about my meals loudly (and sincerely, actually- it was horrible), whereas I watched with envy as Bear ate his shrimp cocktail. I used to be drained, hungry, in firm that I did not wish to be in, and I didn’t hesitate to let Bear understand how depressing I used to be. By the point we returned to the bus to depart, he not solely wasn’t chatting with me, he would not even sit subsequent to me on the trip dwelling.

Ethical of the story: Essentially the most painless approach to get out of a foul date is to be a worse one.

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