For some reason ...friend and I seem to prefer Winston-Salem to Greensboro when it comes to finding fun things to do. They are half an hour apart, and pretty much the same size (actually, Greensboro's a little bigger), but Winston has more restaurants and galleries and fun stuff to do.
I think we've gone into approximately three galleries, ever. I act like we're such connoisseurs of the arts.
It's funner there, okay? Yes, I did just say "funner." Sue me. Take my gallery from me in the lawsuit.
Oh! And there's a good pretentious movie theater there, too. That's a big reason we go there a lot. Here there is a pretentious SECTION of our local movie theater, where they show good movies and they have biscotti and wine, and you're all, yeah whatever with your biscotti. Get me a popcorn. In Winston-Salem, the whole THEATER is pretentious. You don't have to walk past the big tent with the bouncy balls thing to get to pretense. And they serve wasabi peanuts. To which you're all, yeah with your wasbi peanuts. Get me a popcorn.
My POINT is, and I have reached the point so rapidly, as per usual, there is a restaurant/bar there we have been to a few times, and they have a 90-day club.
The first time we were there, we were all, "What's the 90-day club, do you think?" I thought maybe if you got 90 days of sobriety, you'd get a free plate of meat. The first thing ...friend ever ordered there was just this giant plate of meat, I think it was supposed to be some kind of stew, and he's obsessed. "Remember that, just, big plate of meat I got the first time we came here?" As though I could think of anything else. As though he has not ordered an "Ask me about that big plate of meat" t-shirt and bumper sticker.
Finally we asked, and the waitress said if you go there for 90 days IN A ROW, they throw you a party and put your name on the wall in some kind of silver permanent marker.
You drink for NINETY DAYS IN A ROW, and after your liver transplant, hey! Come back! See your name in marker!
I mean, you just have to order SOMETHING for 90 days. You don't have to drink. But what're the chances you won't?
...friend and I discussed driving to Winston for 90 days to be a member of this club. And the eventual drunk driving arrest and the cost and humiliation of that plus rehab, and we were totally in. "Oh, let's do it!"
Then we forgot.
So on Friday, there we were again, in W-S, at the restaurant with the good-for-you 90-day no hyphen club, and at this juncture we were seated near the list of names of people who were on their way to becoming members of the club. Courtney Love. Amy Winehouse. Dorothy Parker. I am hilarious. They each had a number after their name. Becky was on day 32. Otis was on day 80.
Otis. That was a little Andy Griffith humor, there, and what's better than that?
Anyway, there was a person there on the list named Brent. And he had a 539 after his name.
Look. My iPhone doesn't zoom. I know YOURS does, because you have one from at least 1984. Mine does not. Really. It doesn't. What was I gonna do, step behind the BAR to show you Brent's number, up there?
I hear 500 of you going, yes. Yes, you were supposed to. What about our needs?
"Why would Brent have a 539?" I wondered. "He can't have...been here...ohmygod, 539 days in a row, can he?"
"What would that be? Almost two years," said ...friend, who can do math things.
Naturally we asked the waitress, who must be sick and tired of us and the obsession with 90 no hyphen club.
"Oh, Brent," she said, kind of smiling wanly. "He's trying to beat Taylor, our trivia guy, who was here 742 days in a row. Yeah, he's here. Every day."
"Does he...drink every day he's here?" I asked, all up in Brent.
"Oh, yeah. I think he always does."
After she left, ...friend and I discussed Brent. Is his family worried about him? Does he have a job? Finally we placed a bet about how old Brent was. "I say Brent's 28, 30 at the most," said ...friend.
"Thirty is the borderline for this being pathetic," I agreed.
"He's a fun guy, everyone looks forward to when Brent gets in," said ...friend.
"Brent is 58, his wife left him, and this is his only social life," I said. We couldn't WAIT for that beleaguered waitress to return.
"How old is Brent?" We attacked her the moment she was near us.
"Mmmmm, late 30s/early 40s. He's a bartender somewhere else."
Yeah. First of all, that made it so neither of us won the bet, and it also made me worry for Brent. "I'm coming here at my lunch hour and getting the whole staff to help me do an intervention for Brent," I said, because I have to fix everything.
"Why would the staff want him to stop drinking? They'd lose his business. ...But you know who'd help you with that intervention? Taylor the trivia guy," said ...friend.
So that's my story. Worried sick about Brent, who by tomorrow I will have found, sobered up, and gotten gainful employment for. I will also be dangling prepositions just everywhere.
I gotta go. To my temporary job. Because my own life is in need of no fixing whatsoever at.