August before last I went over to a friend's. I had a reason to be there, and called first. My friend said I could come on over.
So I got there and saw everybody was playing pool or watching it. Almost everybody had been drinking, and I started in, happy to do so. I floated around, and talked to different people. One guy had a daughter in high school there as his designated driver, and gave me shitty eyes when in conversation I happened to mention Plumber's Crack.
"I will thank you to please never speak in this manner in the presence of my daughter!"
"Yeah, don't worry about it," I said, turning away, "I didn't invent it. Everybody knows about Plumber's Crack." In fact, there's even a commercial for a brand of t-shirts with three extra inches of material to help hide Plumber's Butt. So whenever the commercial's on, that must be a terrible tragedy for the poor fellow.
I noted the incident to a dude back inside at the pool table. He was pretty well stinko, as per usual. At one point he raised his arms having said what passed for a jest, I guess. I'm not sure why his arms were up, but it seemed fine at the time for me to place a friendly fist to his exposed midsection. I placed it there, and then gently pushed, with very minimal effort, and no force at all. It was a buddy gesture. Like a clap on the back. That's all. Oh, but he acted like I had struck him. And said so.
It was ridiculous. He looked like he was about to cry. Over nothing. He was shaking and screaming. "You wanna punch me? You wanna punch me?"
"Ease up, dude, simmer down. I didn't punch you. Jesus." No shit. Because if I had, he wouldn't be up and about. Goddam he unmanned himself. Tears were right there. Fuckin' tears...over nothing.
Thing is, he's kind of a dinky guy. He always wears two t-shirts to try to make himself look bigger. Even when it's hot out. And like I said, he was pretty well stinko, as usual. I don't know his personal history, but I suspect some sort of really bad physical abuse because he needed to act something out, that's for sure. After making a pissy fuss he tore off in his truck. A guy with a girlfriend (for now) and a kid, over nothing. That's what being a dink and drinking too much booze for your little body to handle will do.
So then a couple of his stupid bitch buddies didn't like any of that, being stupid bitches, and started trying to stick up for him. Well, the hotter they get, the colder I get. I didn't budge an inch. And when the pissiest one screamed for me to leave, screaming so bitchy, and got up in my face, I just lifted my shades off my shirt, set them on the garbage can lid, and said, "I ain't goin' nowhere."
The one thing that saved these twats was being at my friend's house. He's been good to me. So I was on my extra-best behavior. But at this point it was about respect, and quite calmly and clearly I said so. Seeing how a woman's word kindly said I'm likely to abide, when one said, sincerely, "Everybody would respect you more if you'd just leave," I walked away with all the dignity in the world.
One thing that bothered me for a few days afterwards was that I really did think these guys were my friends. The other thing that bothered me was knowing whatever bullshit story they told my buddy--he was down at the barbecue and probably saw very little if anything--may well have been sufficient in his eyes to override all our years of being brothers.
Consideration of which reminds me, yet again, yet again:
Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.