Copping a ‘tude

What do you do when someone gives you a MAJOR attitude for no reason at all?

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Black Diamond about 2 in the morning, meeting a friend, who had just gotten off work, for a drink. She was sitting at a table with a few of her co-workers and four or five other people. Then she got up. “Paul, we have to run across the street to Club 152 for about 5 minutes,” she told me. “We’ll be right back.”

“Okay, I’ll be here,” I replied, and she and the other girls walked out. After about a minute, I figured, well, no point in standing when there’s a place to sit… so I took her empty seat. No sooner had my butt touched the chair when a booming voice behind me said, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!”

I turned around and saw a nicely dressed guy in a club shirt. “What?” I asked him.

“Don’t even THINK about sitting in that seat! That’s MY girl!” he yelled, motioning toward a blonde sitting to my left. I have to admit I hadn’t even noticed the blonde, because I had been there to meet someone else.

Now, I didn’t appreciate his attitude at all, but he was sitting at a table with people I considered friends, so I figured I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. “Hey man, I didn’t realize it was your seat, take it,” I said, getting up. “And I was here to meet someone – I wasn’t trying to hit on your girl.”

“WhatEVER,” he replied. “Just go. GO!”

Now, I’m not one to cause trouble in bars but you gotta admit, I had every right to be provoked. And I realized quite a few people in Memphis, who take the “respect” thing way too seriously, would have started a fight with him. But instead I thought, why should I ruin my own evening because of this asshole? I was there to have fun with a friend, when she got back. So I decided to give him the attention he deserved, which was none at all. I walked over and sat at another table.

It reminds me of some of the best advice I ever heard – “When someone has an overly strong reaction to you, they’re saying something about themselves, not about you.” If that guy behaves that way all the time, I thought, I don’t need to create problems for him – he’s more than capable of doing that on his own.

Funny thing was, later in the evening I saw him go over and give the bartender at the Diamond a hug. And recently I saw him at Blues City watching FreeWorld, and he went over and gave the bartender there, who I’ve known for 15 years, a hug. So at least some people who I think are good people think he’s good people. Who knows. Maybe he was just having a bad night. I’m happy with the way I handled it.

As usual, I’m sitting at the Union Avenue branch office on my lunch break. This place is very well staffed today. I’ve heard from friends that the owners of The Majestic Grille would like me to name that place as a branch office as well… I haven’t been there in almost a month, which is an unusually long time for me. Their application for branch office status is under consideration, and hopefully I’ll get back there soon. Right now, though, it’s time to spend the afternoon imprisoned in a cubicle…

Tuesday evening post: political controversy, sad news from Little Rock

I want to alert my readers to a news story that ran on Action News 5 tonight. As you know, I am a huge supporter of Novella Smith Arnold, one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever known, for County Commission. Her opponent, Henri Brooks, is not only running for the Commission seat, but also for her District 92 seat as a state representative which she has held for many years. There is no law prohibiting Brooks from running for both seats, but if she wins both it could cost taxpayers up to $250,000 for a special election to fill the seat she decides to give up. As Memphis Flyer editor Jackson Baker put it, “$250,000 is a lot to spend cause somebody couldn’t make up their mind what to do.” Click here for the story, and decide for yourself whether Brooks has taxpayer interests or her own in mind.

Also, I want to mention another news story… as many of you know, I grew up in Little Rock, and as I grew up I listened to sportscaster Paul Eells call Arkansas Razorback football games for years. As fellow Little Rock native Charly puts it, “He’s that guy you knew would live forever to be the voice of Arkansas.” But he didn’t. Last night he was killed in a car crash as he drove back to Little Rock from Fayetteville, where he had been interviewing Razorback head coach Houston Nutt. Arkansas football won’t be the same without his distinctive “Touchdown, Arkansas!” call. I can promise you everyone in my home state has a tear in their eye today.

Tonight was team trivia night at the Flying Saucer, and the Rapscallions failed to add to their accumulated stash of 10 gift certificates valued at $270. We had a different trivia guy: Rather than Pete, it was John, the manager who used to do trivia at the downtown Saucer until January when he got sent out to the new East Bumblefuck location. He told us that they’ve actually had to dumb down the trivia questions out there – at the east location it has been possible to get one or two questions per round right and win, whereas downtown if you miss more than one or two questions per round you’re going to lose. Why am I not surprised?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night: Free Sol at Court Square in the opening night of the concert series, 6 to 8. Not sure I’ll make it to this one – may have other plans, we’ll see. Regardless, at some point later in the evening I’ll probably make an appearance at the Saucer, and depending on how I feel I may catch The Dempseys at Blues City Cafe, starting at 9. The Dempseys, by the way, have just added new pics to their photo archive of themselves with President Bush and the prime minister of Japan, and pics of themselves in the movie “Walk the Line.”

That’s all for now… I bid a fond good night to my readers in Memphis and around the world.

Early Tuesday post

Happy August everybody! Finally, Tube Top Month Extended is over at last, so I can go back to typing posts without having to incorporate a theme.

Got a beer recommendation for you… Avery White Rascal. It’s one of the newest beers at the Flying Saucer (the downtown one… don’t know if the East Bumblefuck location has it). My friend IQ told me about it last night, and since it was on the $2.50 Pint Nite list I decided to try one. Then I decided to try five more. It’s a Belgian-style beer, very light in color and tasty. I hope this won’t be one of the beers that the Saucer has for three weeks and then gets rid of. They always seem to do that with my favorite beers.

Early this evening I will be at the Farmers’ Market Pavilion (Front at GE Patterson) for National Night Out, a block party thrown by the Memphis Police. Check the news section of the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website for details. The party goes on from 4 to 7 – I will be there from the time I get off work until about 6:40, when I have to leave to make it to trivia night at the Saucer on time.

There’s a new magazine being distributed around town called Image Magazine. It’s a little magazine (about 4″ x 6″, 42 pages) that covers nightlife in Memphis. I’ve seen it at Big Foot and Blues City; not sure where else you can pick up a copy. Anyway, on page 11 they have “Hot Spots,” where they list their top 7 or 8 picks for things to do every night of the week in Memphis, and I have to admit, they did a damn good job. Just about everything I would pick is in there. Pint Nite at the Saucer on Mondays. FreeWorld at Blues City on Sundays. Rooftop party on Thursdays. Raiford’s and Wild Bill’s are listed as Friday and Saturday options. If you’re from out of town, or even if you’re from in town, this is not a bad list to get you started on things to do in Memphis. Even I learned a few things. For example, I see Dish has White Trash Night on Wednesdays. I may have to make the drive to Midtown and check that out sometime soon.

I can’t think of anything else right now… so I guess I’ll hit Publish and get ready for work.