The Wagon Ride
The owner of the neighborhood bar where I hang out is 56-years-old, so he’s no spring chicken.
There’s been a story floating around how he recently got so drunk somebody had to tow him home in a kiddie wagon behind a bicycle. The people I heard the story from told it as if the owner, Jerry, ought to be ashamed.
I was sitting beside Jerry at the bar tonight. It was slow. It was just me and him and a few other people and his daughter tending bar. Me and Jerry were sitting lazily, buying each other beers and watching baseball.
Then one of the other guys asked his daughter if she’d heard about the wagon. She said she hadn’t so she walked down the bar asking her father to explain.
My interest instantly piqued. I had the sense the next few seconds were going to be the most interesting thing I’d heard all week.
Jerry explained to his daughter how a few weeks ago he was walking home after hours “sorta” drunk. And he added that he was doing so with about $150 dollars worth of change from the bar in his pockets. The revelation of the change added a new dimension to the original story I’d heard.
He explained how all that change was heavy and was throwing him off balance on his long walk home. So when somebody asked if he wanted a lift in the kiddie wagon pulled behind a bicycle, he accepted.
Then Jerry added, which wasn’t part of the original story I heard either, how the wagon tipped over as they were making a corner, and he fell out into the street.
So I asked Jerry, “You didn’t lose all that change when you rolled onto the street, did you?”
I couldn’t help but imagine his plump pockets splitting and what a mess $150 dollars in change spilled out in the street at 2 A.M. would have been.
Jerry said, “No. But the cops saw it happen, so they pulled up and gave me a ride home.”
Sheepishly, Jerry told the story to his daughter. But I think it’s a goddamned good story for a 56-year-old man to tell. People seem to be ribbing Jerry about it, but I think he ought to be damned proud.