I had decided to pop up to the Shore for an impromptu visit on Saturday, and I made a surprise stop off at the Celtic Cottage. In attendance were Casey Waterman, Joe Degnan, and numerous other Strong Branch All-Stars. Casey had been there since 4:30 along with his soon to be brother-in-law Ronnie. Ronnie’s incoherence was astounding, while Casey was able to maintain some form of composure, as I didn’t realize the level of his intoxication until he proved it handily.
Joe and I were sitting at an outside table, when Casey walked over and sat down. He began to tell us a story about a gentleman’s wager that was made moments before at the bar. Ronnie bet Casey that he would not slap a rather attractive girl on the butt, not only forward, but also backward. Casey demonstrated on the air as he spoke, first with a regular slap, then returning with a backhand slap. Casey then proceeded to tell us that he only was able to accomplish the first part on the girl, but wasn’t able to seal the deal with the reverse slap.
Joe and I, knowing Casey and his drunken antics, were not shocked… yet.
I am not one who readily believes in fate, but the stars must have been aligned at this exact moment, because an older man and his wife were walking by about to leave through the back gate.
Casey took this opportunity to demonstrate his earlier tomfoolery. The woman walked past, and began fiddling with the gate. The man, and more importantly, his ass, stopped inches from Casey’s raised hand. This is when time slowed. I looked at Joe, and he at me. The same unspoken thought passed between us. We looked back at that hovering hand, as it reared back, cocked and ready to fly. I saw the extended fingers move forward, centimeter by centimeter. My mouth slowly dropped open in disbelief. With contact came time rushing back, followed by the loud crack of fingers on gluteals.
I had no idea what to do. I looked at the man. He looked at me. I’m not sure if time began yet for him. Puzzlement ran across his face. Then confusion. Then sheer horror. Silence welled. Then I began to laugh. So did Joe. I laughed so hard tears were streaming down my face. I managed to stop laughing. Then I started again. The man just stood there until the gate opened and he disappeared into the night.
We looked at Casey, and all he said, a bit disappointed, was, “I didn’t get to do the reverse on him either.”
I hope this doesn’t come across as a you-had-to-be-there story, and if it does, I wish upon wish that all my readers had been there, because Joe and I had witnessed one of the greatest showings of drunkenness ever. It was marvelous. I am left wondering what is going through the man’s head two days later. Is this one of those things that becomes blocked from memory, or is it precluded by the words, “The weirdest thing happened to me the other night at the bar…” I guess we’ll never know.