I went out on a date with my wife Thursday night to an authentic old Western bar/restaurant in the bay area. Date night doesn't happen as often with a little one in the house now. I'm not talking about our baby, I'm talking about the mischievous, jig-dancing leprechaun that we recently adopted. Sure, at first he was a lot of fun, with his magical teleportation onto my ceiling and his crass joke telling..... but after a while I realized he was just a small drunk who hides my car keys.
We were sitting at the end of the bar, when a local regular shuffled in. With his walker leading him, it took 15 minutes for him to get from the front door to his regular barstool, which lucky for me, was right next to mine. He couldn't have been a year under 90, and I'm sure he was partially being slowed down by the weight of his cowboy hat. He finally sat down, his drink already waiting for him. The bartender motioned to him...
Bartender- "Hey there, Cowboy. How you doing tonight?"
Cowboy- "I'm here."
'I'm here'. And those were the only words he said all night. He was there and that was all that mattered. I began to wonder about the Cowboy. Did he have a hard day? A hard life? What's his real name? What's his living space look like? Does he have a closet full of those hats like Batman? How often does he come here? What time in the day did he leave to get here? Was he ever a real cowboy? Could I take him out if a bar brawl started? Is he packin' heat?
This is how you play the story game. My wife and I play it whenever we see interesting characters wherever we are. Airports, city parks, strip joints, nudie bars, gentlemen's clubs, church functions ....wherever there's people you can play it.
It's easy: you pick someone out, and to yourself, figure out their life story. Their name, occupation, family life, social situation, why they're where you are.....etc. Whenever I play this game I always wonder how close we get to the actual truth. But that's the fun part I think....not knowing. If I did know, I always feel I'd be a tad disappointed.
Take this photo that I stumbled upon on Google.
Soak in it's awesomeness. I googled the word "natives" for something I was doing, and this image popped up. Besides being in my top ten list of coolest pictures ever, I wonder what's the story here? Who is this tight denim shorty-shorts guy? Is he dating both these girls at the same time like some real life Archie dating Bettie and Veronica? Has he ever met these girls before this picture was taken? Is he married/divorced to one of them still today? Is that his jeep? Where are they? Who's taking the photo? Are these people still alive? Then there's the story of this actual photograph. This was taken with real film, which means it was developed at a photomat most likely, put in an envelope with the other photographs that were developed, given back to the photographer, they kept the photo (probably in the bottom drawer of their dresser with all the other photos they were going to put in an album...someday), and eventually it was scanned by someone and uploaded onto the internet. Why? Again, I don't want to know. The potential is better to me than the reality.
These are the universe's billions upon trillions of daily tiny questions that few know the answers to, and the rest of us will never know.
But it's also fun to just make up the answers yourself.
Unrelated question: Anyone know how to properly dispose of a leprechaun? I got mad and kicked him in the crotch and he split into two mischievous, smaller leprechauns...and they won't stop mocking me. Is there anything I can spray into their eyes to blind them?
Thanks in advance.