Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Lush Puppy

The night was dark with a light fog that masked the streets in a horror movie haze. With no sign of the moon and the streets lights covered by the fog, these streets usually packed with pedestrians are empty except for the cool crisp night air.

Inside the Lush Puppy, it was a different story. The bar was loud and full of energy. Unlike the outside, the Lush Puppy was warm and inviting to share a good time with some good company.

The Lush Puppy is the local bar around the corner. There’s nothing fancy at the Lush Puppy, just plenty of booze, a couple of dart boards, pool tables, and a well stocked jukebox. This is the kind of place friends get together to celebrate, to drown their sorrows, or just as part of the routine. Basically, a pub in every sense of the word.

“Oh, so SORRY bitches…” said loudly in Sarah’s face as Sam took another sip of his beer and did the drunk man booty shake. “I’m the best SORRY player EVER”. Sam took another piece of Sarah’s piece back to the starting circle.

“First of all, no one needs to see that. And. Don’t make me beat your ass! Take one of Pete’s pieces or Brandon’s! Hell, Brandon’s winning!” Sarah said jokingly as she pushes Pete.

“I’m just sitting here amazed at your lack of coordination even with a celebration dance. Truly amazing really. Here, have another one. Maybe this will be the magic shot that will give you rhythm” Dan says in a witty monotone voice.

Tonight was board game night for the group. The Lush Puppy was the group’s regular hangout. Every other week, the group convenes for a night of board games. Being regulars at the LP, the group had stakes in the big wooden table towards the back of the room by the fireplace. Even though the table could seat 8, the bar didn’t mind the 6 person group being there as they generally would drink like 8 people.

This very close knit group consisted of Sam, Sarah, Seth, Brandon, Pete and Anna who all had been friends for years now.

“3…4…5…SUCK IT!!” Brandon yelled as his last piece cross the finish line. “Good move on choosing Sarah to move the pieces back Sam” Brandon gloated. “Time to pay up!”

As required by the rules, everyone took a shot as penalty for losing.

“Just like I remembered it when I played this as a kid” Sam said softly as the whiskey burns slowly down his throat. “Your parents made you do shots when you lost at board games? That explains things.” Dan snickered as he downed his shot.

“Anyone heard from Pete and Anna? It’s not like them to miss board game night” said Sarah. As she finished the 2nd gulp of her shot, she grimaces “What the hell are we drinking?” Waving the empty shot glass at the bartender, Sarah yells across the room “Hey Stonie, what the hell are you pouring us over here?”

Stonie just smiled “I just made it up. I’m thinking of calling it the Dizzy Puppy. First it’ll make you a little dizzy, then it’ll make you nice and warm like a puppy”.

“Excellent” cheered the group. As the aftertaste kicked in, there was indeed a warmth flowing through the group and general cheeriness. Even though Brandon won, he still took his shot to celebrate his win.

The group laughed and talked the night away. Everything from what’s on their guilty pleasure list to politics and reminiscing about good times in the past.

Sarah started getting up to go to the rest room. “While you’re up ms. no bladder, another pitcher?” said Brandon. “Oh, can you get more nuts and get some napkins too?” added Pete.

“Anything else?” Sarah said sarcastically.

“Yea, if you could get me the phone number of that girl by the bar, that would be great. Thanks!” Sam said excitedly. “Dude, that’s a guy!” laughed Sarah.

“Wha? Seriously?” Sam said nervously as he thought he might have been checking out a guy for the last 30 minutes.

The group just laughed as Sarah walked away.

When Sarah came back, she walked towards the bar to order another pitcher from Stonie. As Sarah waited for the pitcher, she noticed she was standing by the girl Sam had pointed out. Giving her a quick look, she didn’t seem all too bad. Just a bit odd that she was there by herself though.

Having had quite a few drinks, Sarah is quite the social butterfly. She quickly strikes up a conversation with the girl. Her name was Kim and the two seem to hit it off quite well. Sarah quickly looked back at the table to see that the guys were all watching them. She gave them a quick wink and returned to the conversation.

“Don’t look, but I’m with that group of guys over there. One of them has a thing for you.” Sarah whispered to Kim. Kim smiled and before she could answer, the music started pumping through the speakers.

Once upon a time.... Not so long ago
Tommy used to work on the docks
Unions been on strike
Hes down on his luck...its tough,
so toughGina works the diner all day
Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love - for love

A big smile went across the face of both girls. The energy was felt by the entire bar as everyone started to sing along.

Sarah grabbed the pitcher and Kim and hurried back to the table. The guys were already up and singing loudly to the song. The girls got back just in time for the chorus.

Whooah, were half way there
Livin on a prayer
Take my hand and well make it - I swear
Livin on a prayer

The group cheered as the song came to an end. Sounds of glass clinging and toasts were everywhere.

The outside world was cold and dark, but here at the Lush Puppy, all was merry for now.

To be Continued…

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