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Dinner at the Bar

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The downside of short business trips.

Arriving at the hotel eight and a half hours before having to make an appearance at a client site isn't a great way to ensure a restful evening and night. Making matters worse, some cities in this country don't have the bustling downtown areas that they once did, meaning that options for a late dinner can be quite limited.

By the time I got checked in and settled, it was nearly eleven in the evening and the only serious option available to me was a seat at the bar in the hotel lounge. I managed to make it in before the grill closed and slip in an order of a hamburger and fries.

About the time a pint of Guinness landed in front of me, I surveyed the bar to discover that the last occupied table was being vacated, leaving me alone with the staff and a group of three at the other end of the bar. Two youngish women sat at the bar, on either side of an older man. They were a difficult group to assess; the dynamic was strange. When the center of attention suggested that the three of them return to his room upstairs, the others pretended to take exception. Then one of them suggested that instead they go to another bar to watch topless women. The other woman said that she'd go, “but seriously, I'm tired.” I suspected that they had been there for a while.

I felt the smirk form on my face as Miss Tired's friend looked at me from the other end of the bar and commented to her companions that “he's going to split in about two and a half seconds.” An airhead might well be forgiven for stupidly supposing that I would be chased out of my place by a sexually-frustrated middle-aged man or the two half-drunken girls that won't let him close the deal. With the televisions turned to even more mindless drivel than the scene before me, I took out my notebook and watched the live show, alternatively jotting notes and sipping my well-poured pint.

Some two and a half seconds later, Miss Airhead, Miss Tired, and the sad specimen of human male with them split. Looking for something even more lowbrow to watch, the bartender turned on the Ultimate Fighting Championship for himself and his co-workers while they cleaned up in preparation for the last customer of the night to finish his hamburger.

Finished, I was exhausted but no longer hungry. Upon hearing the television announcer shout “Next up on Spike: Round Three,” I decided that the space held no further interest for me. At least back in my room, I could read a good book.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2007-07-19 08:38 PM
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