Well now, this is awkward.

3 Aug
Image Source: National Committee Against Tobacco (France)

Nasty.

When the weather’s nice, my friend B- and I often meet up to walk her dog Willow and catch up. Last week that was the plan, but the thermometer was around 90º and it was super humid, so after meeting up, we decided that the extent of our walk would just be to a neighborhood pub where we’d sit in the shade and sip a cold beverage while chatting.

We went to a place that’s been around for years and that was recently featured in the Washington Post for having a pet-friendly patio. When we got there, it was pretty empty so I headed inside to see if there was table service while B- and Willow grabbed a table. As I chatted with the bartender, a guy at the end of the bar – who looked like a Ron Howard on meth – tried to throw himself into the conversation.

Having bartended in college, I’m no stranger to the site of a regular. I know that they’re usually looking for someone new to talk with (since everyone else at the bar has heard their stories and is sick of them), so my strategy is to be polite but somewhat curt so I don’t get sucked into a conversation.

I was glad I heeded that rule because – as I grabbed my drink to head back to the patio – the guy said, “So. Are you here alone?”

Shiver.

I went outside to update B- and before she headed in to grab herself a beer, I cautioned her to not talk to the guy at the end of the bar. Of course, while she was inside getting her drink, Methy Ron came outside (presumably to smoke a cigarette) and approached Willow and me. “I love dogs,” he said,  coming toward us in a haze of smoke. “I’m a real animal person. What’s it’s name?”

(Yeah. I can tell. Sort of like how people know I’m a “baby person” when I refer to their child as “it.”)

Silently, I willed B- to hurry back. Willow must’ve agreed, because she curled herself around my chair, peeking out at him from behind my leg.

Again trying to shut things down, I said, “You’re wasting your time. She’s a rescue and she doesn’t like men. Enjoy your cigarette.”

He began pulling dog treats from his pocket. And Willow loves treats, so before B- returned to the table, my simple rejection had been ignored and Methy Ron was petting Willow as if they were old friends.

For the remainder of the evening (with the exception of a couple 15 minute stretches) he hung out near our table, sitting on the ground drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette, telling stories and trying to touch Willow. Under different circumstances, I might have said, “Look, we came here to talk to each other, not you – do you mind?” but – in a Scooby Doo-like twist – it turns out he was the OWNER of the establishment (!), so if someone needed to leave, I guess it was us.

The only thing that made the interaction remotely bearable was that he was gay (or so he claimed), so at least we knew he wasn’t hitting on us. Just the dog, as it turns out, because he became obsessed with getting Willow to kiss his face. B- and I tried to continue our conversation, but it was distracting to hear him on the ground saying, “C’mon. Just a kiss. Give me a kiss…”

Then, a few minutes later, our conversation completely ground to a halt when we heard him say, “C’mon. I’ve got my tongue out – where’s yours?”

Record scratch. OK, that’s it – time to go.

In hindsight, I guess the Washington Post meant this place was “dog friendly” the same way people may say West Virginia is really “family-oriented.”

Shiver.

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5 Responses to “Well now, this is awkward.”

  1. thesinglecell August 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    First of all… this is the second photo of a person Frenching a dog that I have seen in as many days. The first one was Brad’s three-year-old meeting the tongue of the family dog. And that one kind of grossed me out, too.

    Secondly… the first direction this story went with the guy at the end of the bar was bad enough. The second was worse. The third would be enough to make me swear off that bar forever, dog or no.

    Third…I’ve been wondering where you’d gone off to. Just this morning, I’d checked your site (WP is oddly terrible about its feed these days, no? Most of the people I follow no longer show up) to see if you’d regaled us with a tale I’d missed, and at that hour, you had not. I was still staring at an Angry Bird ass. Glad to have you back.

    • pithypants August 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Yeah, so we’re probably never going back there. I just hope they rename the place “Creepers”so people know what they’re signing up for.
      And glad you were checking up on me… I think you and I have been in the same boat of “busy” that’s trumped blogging regularly in 2014.
      Good to hear from YOU!

  2. dianeskitchentable August 5, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Aw geez, I love my dog very much but I’ve seen where her mouth’s been so kissing isn’t a ritual I’ve encouraged. I’d never be able to take my jumbo dog to any pet friendly place that had food anyway since I’d end up having to pay for everyone’s meal.

    • pithypants August 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Unless you really get to know the owner…

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