A Long Time Ago in a Bar Far, Far Away…

Believe it or not, this post is somewhat related to being a Vegetarian.  This writing is a memory of mine from about fifteen years ago.  At the time I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian and I lived in Washington State near Seattle.  A friend of mine and I had decided to take our holiday time together and go visit her family in Idaho.  Now this was several hours drive away from where we lived but it was fun too.  I love road trips and I had only ever seen Idaho once before if I remember correctly.

Anyway, on one of the nights we were there, my Friend…we’ll call her “S” wanted to go to a town about forty miles away to visit a friend of hers.  I guess at this point I can say that Idaho – in comparison to Seattle Washington – is rather rural and small town-ish (yes, I do make up my own words…you will soon get used to that in my blogs).   The town we went to was a place where the only thing in it that was open, was the bar.  The ONLY bar in the town.  It was very understated and full of people and had loud music and a small corner of the place had flashy lights and two strippers.  Yes that’s right, strippers. 

Now, I am one of those pagans who did have to fend off a few non-pagan male suitors back in those days who assumed I was a wanton slut simply because I was pagan.  So not true.  In fact I was probably a bit prudish in some ways.  So I was a bit put off by the fact that we were sitting in a rinky dink country bar watching two strippers flaunt their way around the place.  Now to be fair, neither one of them got totally naked.  There was one male in a teensy tiny undergarment about his nether regions and one female covered in tattoos and rather ‘Goth’ Looking with a ton of facial piercings as well.  Now this bar was predominantly crowded with MEN who wore cowboy hats, boots and a few even had spurs on their boots.  To say that these particular strippers seemed ill suited to this environment is a vast understatement.  Because of this, the male stripper wasn’t performing too much.  The goth stripper was the one getting all the attention not to mention all the money.

My friend and I were sitting at the bar and had ordered our drinks.  For the record, there were two choices: bottle beer or bottle beer poured in a Styrofoam cup.  So very exciting to be sure.  My friend saw I was a bit uncomfortable as the male stripper sauntered up to us.  She said,

“Oh don’t worry about him that’s my friend we came here to see!” 

That made me relax a bit and he was the neatest guy too.  We spent the next several hours talking in between his performances.  I was amazed at the amount of gyrating that can be accomplished by the human body in a shower sized corner of a room with a mirror ball twirling overhead. 

During one of these times I was approached by an older…(OK, that is putting it mildly) gentlemen.  He had a scraggly white beard and scraggly white hair.  The hair growing out his ears was also scraggly and white.  He had no teeth to speak of and smelled as though he had not bathed in over a month.  He was drunk and spoke in a real country accent that I had a hard time understanding.  He sat RIGHT next to me which was even more right next me, after he scooted the bar stool closer to me.  He leaned over and SMELLED MY HAIR.  I pulled away as my friend gasped and tried to stifle a laugh as she saw the look on my face. 

“You sure smell purrty!” He drawled. 

“Um thanks” I said, trying not to be rude. 

“You know what I think?” he said in a manner that made it seem that he thought he was the smoothest operator on the planet.  “I thank we oughta go out t’ ma tray-lor in the woods and go a huntin’ “

At this point in the conversation my friend “S” leans over and LIES loudly in an attempt to get this guy to go away,

“I don’t think her husband would like that!” 

The old man looks at my hands and says,

“Aint no ring on yer fanger… me and you be out huntin and you could cook that deer I done brung home last tooos day” 

My ever so witty reply to this was,

“No thanks. I’m a vegetarian”

I was terribly timid back then.  I had no interest in hurting this old mans feelings,  even though I also had no interest in being breathed on for the rest of the night either. 

He paused and stared at me for a moment than apparently decided that wasn’t too big an obstacle for a budding romance and said,

“Oooo KAY little lay-dee!  Then we can go fishin’ together!”  He seemed so pleased with himself for coming up with an activity we could both partake in even though I was one of ‘those’ people.  I looked at him and said,

“I don’t eat fish.”  (Yes I know, I was SO talkative back then)  He got a bit of a confused, even irritated look on his face and said,

“You mean you don’t eat deer or fish?”

I said, “No I don’t. I told you I am a vegetarian.  I don’t eat ANY meat at all.”

At this point things got serious. My friend was laughing so much at this spectacle she had tears streaming down her face.  He stood up from the bar stool and stumbled toward me and breathed heavily:

“You mean, you don’t eat no beef?”  I shook my head ‘no.’  He shook his head in disbelief and said,

“An ya don’t eat no chicken neither?!” 

I said,  “No, No meat of any kind at all, no fish, beef chicken or anything that’s alive.” 

To which he turned and walked out of the bar without another word!

I am NOT kidding! This really, really happened!  And so began my lifelong peculiarity of attracting similar men anytime I’m left alone in a pub for more than two minutes.

Here is the lesson: If you should ever find yourself in a bar in a rural area of the united states, being hit on by someone you don’t want to be bothered by say the magick words: “I’M A VEGETARIAN!”  and all will be well.

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