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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Does it pay to stay positive?

 From what happened to me last week( a glimpse of my life was included in this post), I should not have wanted to go out this weekend. Being without a job and definite place to stay put me in a situation that most would use a hefty amount of caution before treading upon the waters that I dove right into.

 I went to the bar. After seeing what kind of sleeping arrangements I could make, I walked to my favorite hole-in-the-wall. It's less of a hole and more of a portal to a safety zone full of suds and buds.

 Although I usually bring my laptop to get some writing and commenting done,( a bar with wi-fi! yes!), this time I was sans technology. I just wanted to sing at the karaoke and play some pool with some dear friends. Since I like the narrative and I enjoy writing of myself in the third person, the rest of this story is going to be written with a different point of view.

 Shock sat down on the bar stool, and it echoed his intentions of release in an audible escape of air under his bony backside.


'I love that sound', Shock thought to himself before deciding what brew he will taste first. But before he could go through all the options in his head, he was interrupted by none other than Malevolent Mick.

 "Hey! I know you hear me talking to you!". Mick splattered bits of fried mushroom out of his malevolent maw while addressing Shock in one of the rudest manners possible.  Shock did not even look his way. If he did so, it might turn this night from fun to fighting in a flash. Shockgrubz wished to be positive about everything, even losing his job due to Malevolent Mick's incompetence and ultra-competitive nature. Shock gave his ex-co-worker a passing wave with the backside of his hand to show acknowledgement as well as his annoyance. "You know you left your jacket at the jobsite. You want it back, don't you?".

 It seems that Mick did not get the annoyance part of the back-handed wave. Shock knew he did, and that his continued speech and query was just to get Shock's goat. Little did Mick know that Shock had not only sold the goat to a peddler for a golden bean, but gave up even eating feta cheese, as to not be even remotely affiliated with such a goat.

 "Yeah, I'll come up and get it." Eye contact was made. Shock was leaving the stool and giving a sidelong glance to his adversary, making sure he was not poised with a blade. Mick did not have a knife at the ready, but had a gleaming smile. The dastardly villain was showing pearly whites that had somehow looked to form chunks of crumbly cheese.

 Shock wanted to leave. His positive outlook was in grave danger at this point. He had no backup here in case something went terribly wrong. He looked to the barmaid. After looking her in the eye, he knew that Mick had already been here for hours working his charms on her. Thoughts raced through his head on how to stay positive and not let this beast ruin his perfectly good imperfect weekend.

 His first thoughts turned to Ms. Small and Mr. Big. They were a pair of friends that he had made at this very spot over a year ago. They knew what was currently going on in Shock's life, and be there to make sure he had a good time and a couch to sleep on after it was all said and done. Within seconds of scanning the billiard tables, Shock found them playing nine-ball on one of the ten-foot tables.

 "My pals!", our hero exclaimed as he ran up to the couple to give them a double hug. They seemed surprised at such a reception, but this was Shock that they were dealing with, and he's always doing something unexpected and fun.

 Forgetting about Malevolent Mick even being there, Shock had started having such a great time that he decided to enter some songs to sing for karaoke. He picked some manageable tunes at first. First the crowd-pleaser," Because I got High", a cautionary tale of how cannabis had ruined several facets of a young man's life. Shock could relate. His last job was so strenuous and dangerous that he swore off smoking in favor of the safety of all others around him. Still, he lost his job, but wanted to extol the dangers of such that he gave everything he had to the song.

 Pool games came and went. They were blurry in the mixture of the music, the beer,  and the laughter of Mr. Big and Ms. Small. They enjoyed the songs that Shock sang that night. "The Man Who Sold The World" was one of their favorites, and the crowd seemed to applaud a little louder once Shock exited the stage.

 Mr. Big, Ms. Small, and Shock wanted to get some fresh air and get a game plan going about what to do afterwards. Shock, although without a job, was offering dinner to the bunch. They would have none of it because they have a sense of thrift and frugality that Shock does not. He lives for the moment, while they live for the rest of their lives.

 Having been turned down on a bit of benevolence, Shockgrubz was still in great spirits when they entered the painted glass doors again. This time the barmaid was carrying around a bucket with tickets to a raffle. Shock knew of this raffle because he won the same contest a couple of months ago. He purchased two tickets for the midnight drawing.

 Singing continued to happen. There were a few drunks who could  not hold a tune, but they were well received, anyway. Shock had some Johnny Cash and Pearl Jam up his sleeve. He was giving it all he had on those songs. He really hates the way his voice sounds, but for some strange reason he likes the whistles and claps of the crowd even more.

 Before midnight hit, Shock had asked Ms. Small if he could user her super-slick pool cue if he won the raffle. She said yes. The ticket was about to be drawn, but Shock knew that the power of his positive thinking would allow this to be his win.

 The numbers were called. To keep up with appearances, Shock looked at his tickets when the numbers were called.

 "seven-nine-six-four-two-three", the bar owner called out from the mic. Shock was not surprised when the numbers matched, but everyone else was when he hooted.

 "Whooooo!", Shock exclaimed louder than he was planning.

 " Alright, you get a $25 gift certificate and a chance at $250 at a ten-ball rack on the ten foot table.", was the announcement, although he had done this before. He would get one shot at breaking the balls. If he made the one through nine, he would get twenty-five bucks per ball. But if he made the ten on the break, he'd get a nice hundred dollar bill. His previous win netted him just the certificate, having not pocketed any balls on the break. He blamed it on using an in-house pool cue. This time, though, he was going to use Ms. Small's super slick Cue-Tech.

 She handed it right over with offers of luck. Shocked thanked her and set the ball in his normal 'sweet-spot', which lies at the end of the second dot and parallel with the first dot on the opposite rail. A really drunk man came to stop him, saying "Dude, use the center of the table and give it some top english". Shock did not want to follow a drunkard's orders, but to placate the soused individual, he moved the ball to just right of center and aimed to give it right english.

 A smooth but powerful stroke saw the one and the ten ball both in corner pockets. He had made it! Hollers and congrats were coming in from every corner of the place. The drunkard who gave his 'tip' to Shock came up to him expecting payment. Shock laughed and stated that he had asked for top english when he had actually put right, therefore making his own shot. Drunkard got mad and sat over by Malevolent Mike.

 Shock couldn't see any trouble brewing, for he was on a cloud of his own numbering. He paid no mind to the belt-less thugs that made their way to the corner. He heeded no warning from the Drunkard, that he would get two 'jagerbombs' out of him. Shock just did what he was there to do. Stay positive and spend time with Mr. Big and Ms. Small. He was oblivious to what was about to happen.

 What seemed to him like a serene reflection in a still lake cracking into tiny pieces like a shattered mirror, a fracas made some sense jump back into Shock. Masses of people were crowding the areas near the bar and at the corner. The outspoken barmaid was kicking one of the belt-less thugs out. He was having none of that. He got his cronies together around him and started pushing on the barmaid. Well, barmaid's male counterpart threw a punch to the instigators' face. It all blew up from there.

 The first thought on Shock's mind was "Where are my friends?". He scanned the moving crowds for Mr. Big, being as he was the tallest one there that night. He found him in the middle of one of the cells of violence. Shock's heart plummeted when he saw that his friend was using the worst move possible in a fight. The 'push two guys apart with a hand on each while staying in the middle' move. That one usually always ends in the person in the middle getting knocked out cold because there's no guard up. Shock wanted to go help him, but this meant leaving all of the weaker and pacifistic individuals on the outside rings of the tempest. So, without a word, he grabbed up the best poolcue to use in such a situation, the bridge, and stood next to Ms. Small with a wild look in his eye.

 Nobody came their way. Mr. Big ended up being pretty effective at breaking things up, but he really wanted to break someone's head. I saw Malevolent Mick try and look like he wanted trouble. He would get close to the wrestling/fighting and posture up, but that look in his eye was worth more than winning the contest. Mick had fear in his eyes. Shock had to laugh.

 The thugs were kicked to the parking lot where they ended up fighting Drunkard and his tee-totalling wife. We got out of there once we saw that the thugs had made text messages for backup, and that backup was arriving.

 Shock got word that no one was injured once he had been ferried to the safety of Mr. Big and Ms. Small's abode. He knew of a non-physical injury that surpassed all punches thrown. His was a feeling of pride, having known to injure the ego of Malevolent Mick.

 Sometimes it pays to be positive!


  1. Sounds like you had a pretty good night out. Really well written too.

    1. Thanks, man. Getting back to these threaded replies. I'm a little behind the times, hehe.

  2. I reckon it does pay to stay positive, but I'm the kinda guy where I not only am negative all the time but I also have a tendency to make a situation worse at the drop of a hat simply by being in the vicinity.

    Seriously, the only reason why I haven't gotten into MORE fights back in the day was because I'm a living thresher: I separate the punks who talk smack from the guys who actually start shit.

    In a situation like that though, you did exactly proper m'man. You protected yer ladyfriend, even worried as you were about ya dawg - honestly, I'm surprised he didn't get tagged, putting himself in the middle like that.

    Even more so, the Drunkard got what was comin' to him. Now if only Malevolent Mick did more than snarl the whole night through, he coulda gotten a number done on HIM as well.

    1. Those like him that talk a big game hardly ever try and back it up.

  3. Live your life positive and everything else should fall into place right?

    1. If it doesn't, I'll gather the pieces myself.

  4. I'm never positive. :/

  5. Poor Mick proved his true colors, fun talking in the third person too huh?..haha I'm usually positive and when I'm negative I'm positive that I'm negative. So always positive,

    1. I can see where the dual-polarity method might work. Good going on keeping an even keel.

  6. It's always better to turn that frown upside down :)

  7. i try to stay possitive but all the stuuf around keeps putting me down

    1. Keep trying, it'll come naturally. Even in times of toughness, being positive can help.

  8. I'm always positive. Until you mention some sort of illness, then I'm freaking out that I'm on the verge of death. hahaha

    P.S. Everyone likes a guy who steps up! Job well done :)

  9. Staying negative saves me from suffering.

    1. I can understand that point of view. If you expect the worst, and it happens, then you don't really get surprised or caught off guard. I like surprises, though, hehe.

  10. Do you think it's possible to stay like just... neutral?