Sunday, December 11, 2016

Check Please

A man walks into a bar. He is neatly dressed and stops at the door to look around before finding a bar stool. In the mirror behind the colored bottles he can check out the other participants in this establishment. He orders a beer from the bartender and while it is poured he spies a rather attractive woman sitting on the next stool scrolling on her phone and drinking a half filled Manhattan. He turns to her and introduces himself.
Hank: “Hi there. My name is Hank. Hank Henderson.”
Woman (not turning away from her screen): “Hi”
Hank: “I just got into town for a business meeting and the hotel bar was rather packed so I decided to wander. This place looked good.”
Woman: “What did you say your name was again?”
Hank: “Hank. Hank Henderson, why?”
Woman: “Are you the race car driver or the banker?”
Hank (seeming a bit confused but noticing she is searching the web): “Neither. I’m really Henry Henderson. Hank is a nickname.”
Woman: “Why didn’t you say that HENRY. You got a profile on Facebook and you use Pinterest.”
Hank: “Yeah, I guess that is me.”
Woman: “Where did you come from? Where were you born?”
Hank: “Just outside of town in New Cumberland. My dad had an apple orchard after the war. His dad was a coal miner.”
Woman: “New Cumberland. Where are you staying?”
Hank: “Well the family farm was sold and converted into a place called Drexel Hills. I’m at the Best Western on Park Drive. It is a little pricy but that is where the convention is.”
Woman: “What do you do?”
Hank: “My title is Assistant Director for research support at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. That is quite a mouthful. It means I help find answers to questions.”
Woman: “Where did you go to school?”
Hank: “Cornell class of ’06 in Ithaca. It gets really cold up…”
Bartender: “Can I get you folks anything?”
Hank (noticing the woman hadn’t touched her glass) “I’ll have another and can I get you something?”
Woman: “No, I’m good. Wow. Cornell established the first four-year schools of hotel administration and industrial and labor relations. Go Big Red Bear.”
Hank: “Yeah. What about you? What brings you to O’ Reilly’s Tap Room and Kitchen?”
Woman (ignoring the question): “What do you drive Henry?”
Hank: “I’ve got a 1998 Toyota Camry, why?”
Woman: “Is that the red one out front with the ding in the side? Looks like a family car to me.”
Hank: “Yes, my daughter is not a very good driver.”
Woman: “Daughter? You Facebook profile said you are single? So does your Tinder account and your Pinterest profile and your….”
Hank (signaling to the bartender for another round and refreshing the ladies drink) “ After Jess was born my wife and I were living in Hersey and were not getting along. We divorced in ’08.”
Woman: “That would make her about 18 according to her birth records and her Snapchat page. Did you know she was seeing two boys at the same time?”
Hank (confused): “Well just turned 19. How are you finding out all this stuff?”
Woman placed her phone face down on the bar and looked at Hank with a smile: “Excuse me while I go to the powder room.”
Hank watched her walk off and went back to draining his pint. Checking his watch he realized after 15 minutes she was not coming back.
Bartender: That will be $156.00 including the lady’s drinks.”
Hank opened his wallet and pulled out two Benjamin’s and started to walk away then turned back to the bartender and said: “Do you know who that woman is?”
Bartender checking the bills on the counter and smiling: “Sure. That is Flat Bottom Sue. She comes around here now and then. Story says she was the girlfriend of the previous owner and likes to just come back to check things out.”
Hank: “Previous owner?”
Bartender: “ Mr. Brendon started this place I believe in the 90’s. It was a refurbish of a previous owner and it was a tavern before that. I think the building was a warehouse before that but just not sure.”
Hank: “And Sue?”
Bartender: “Joe, the bartender before me, said that ole Flat Bottom would come in here every Friday night. She would only stay at the bar, talk to strangers, smoke cigarettes and drink Manhattan’s.”
Hank: “Why Manhattan’s?”
Bartender:  A few years ago she came in with this cell phone and would just sit and scroll through it.”
Hank: “Why does she leave it?”
Bartender (picking up the phone and flipping it over): “It is broken. Never has worked. Some patron left it here and we keep it on the bar to use as a coaster until Sue wants to use it.”
Hank: “Do you know when she will be back?”
Bartender: “Not really. She just seems to be here one night and then gone the next. She told me one time she was looking for a guy.”
Hank: “A guy?”
Bartender: “Yeah, she said his name was Frank or Bently or something like that.”
Hank: “Henry?”
Bartender: “Yeah that might have been it. I wasn’t paying attention. You want something else? You want some change?”
Hank: “No, no thanks. This has been plenty for tonight. Thank you for your hospitality and the story. I’ll drop in the next time I’m in town.”
The man turned around and walked out the door sucking on the cherry stem and wondering how the bartender knew his name.
Bartender (turning back to his other patron at the bar): “You’ll be back. See you next time Hank.”

1 comment:

TripleG said...

Ooooh...creepy. Like a ghost story.

People will be looking up New Cumberland!