Paradise Lost

Maybe transplants and tourists can tell us where to go

I was just about to delve into the subject of cultural differences — and, hey, what about Japanese engineering? — when Hardy returned for his sack of sin.

"You ain't seen nothing yet," Hardy boasted. "We're going to Gigi's tonight. Come join us." Then he was gone.

"You know where that's heading," Bill said with a laugh, though he claimed he'd never heard of the middle-aged meat market that Hardy referred to. Bill probably meant that the couple was on the fast train from Boozetown to Drunkville with perhaps a stop at Barf Harbor.

Though Kim had planned our trip, she herself had almost missed her own boarding call, and, frankly, Christine and I were just about ready to disembark. Though we agreed with Kim that the ocean view was lovely, the Patio Bar wasn't really our scene.

The place did have one outstanding distinction, I had to admit.

"I think they put crack in their drinks," I said. "Two and I'm drunk." Just to be a good spirit, I ordered a rum runner as a finale — a little sip of which seemed to spark Christine's sweet tooth. Bill passed her the maraschinos in their plastic container in full view of the bartender.

"You were supposed to be discreet!" Christine said, ducking.

"I didn't want to put my fingers on your cherries."

Ugh. It was all downhill from there.

A guy with long graying hair and the moniker Tequila Bob, a regular at the bar, began explaining how he got the cast on his arm.

"I was skateboarding around the corner with a pizza in my hand, and I jumped the curb...," he said, giving Kim an appreciative look. "It wasn't even a short bus... it was a city bus."

"Why do guys always think that it's the size that matters?" Kim asked.

"Because it does!" Christine and I answered in chorus.

Tequila Bob, who had some ideas of his own about size, placed his hand on his slightly bulging 48-year-old midsection.

"It's Cinderella fat," he claimed. "It turns into cock at midnight."

If only it actually worked like that!

Kim was unmoved.

"It's not the size," she sputtered, searching for the right metaphor. "It's how you drive it!"

You'd think her time in Colorado near the slopes would have taught her something. It does matter what you ride, of course. Tequila Bob, who rides a "double long board," might have explained it to her, and then I could have pointed out that shorter boards are reputedly better for performing tricks. But it was Christine who summed things up for these two middle-aged desperados on a dateless Friday night, bringing it back to Bill's area of expertise: auto engineering.

"She thinks the Corolla with the sports package is OK!"

Hey, the Corolla's not a luxury ride, but at least she'd have a place to put her cup.

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