Thursday, January 8, 2015

One of the rules

 of being an Anchor Bar patron is that it was not considered good form to try and cheat the bartender. That was considered fair as he was an hourly employee and had no vested interest in the joint.

The owner rarely tended bar but when he did he was considered fair game. 

Of course you couldn't out and out steal from him or rob the joint but con games were considered within the rules.

Of course he had run the joint for years and knew all the tricks and people seldom tried to con the old guy. He was a WW2 era vet and had a dry sense of humor regarding his military service. He used to tell us that he had to work hard at getting out of the Air Force the same rank he had when he entered. He was actually quite proud of this.

"Do you know hard that is?" he would ask another vet. "Everybody's aleays trying to promote you and you have to work overtime to find things to do to keep them from promoting you without getting jail time or fines. It was close! I almost made PFC four times!"

Anyway, one day my running partner started an argument with me and I bet him a round for the house that I was right and he was wrong. The owner came by and heard a part of the argument. I asked him if we could pay for a round for the house after the argument was settled.

The joint didn't have much of a crowd, maybe a dozen fishermen. A round was only about $35 and therefore reasonably affordable.

He must have been asleep because he agreed. I rang the bell and theowner poured the drinks. Doc and I didn't pay much attention to the drinks as they were delivered as we were to engrossed in our argument. When the drinks came we quickly acknowledged them and continued bickering.

Suddenly Doc shouted that he was willing to go double or nothing and looked at the owner who nodded. He rang the bell and the owner poured the drinks. When they arrived we picked up both drinks and went out onto the porch and started looking up at Pillar Mountain and discussing it. It was a mountain, it was there and had been for quite some time yet we were paying attention to it and actually looking at it in detail.

The owner came out and asked us when we aere going to pay and we told him as soon as the disagreement was settled and not to worry about it.

"Yeah, Okay," he said. "What was the argument about anyway?"

Doc looked at the owner. "You see Pillar Mountain up there?"

"Yeah, what about it?" asked the owner.

"Pic says there's gonna be an earthquake that puts it into the sea before 2050 and I say it's not gonna happen," said Doc.

The look of outrage appeared on his face as the blood rushed into it. He looked ready to pop. Then he looked into the bar and I saw him do some mental arithmetic. The redness in his face dissapated.

"You a$$holes!" he said and walked back in. we followed him as he went back behind the plank.

He turned to the fishermen. "Boys, it looks like you guys are drinking on me because I've just been had by those two con artists." He pointed at Doc and I.

"If I'm going to the poorhouse, I might as well have a party on the way!" he said and then rang the bell and poured another round.

With a few free beers in them the fishermen started pounding them down. As people trickled in one of them would tell the newcomer what he had just missed. The crowd grew a bit and at the end of the night he had a fairly lively group.

The next three or four night the place was a total zoo as word had gone around town that the owner had been taken for a ride. People came in to hear about it and stayed and drank. The place did rather well and the coffers saw quite a take over the next few days.   

The owner played the fool a bit but the only fools there were the ones emptying their pockets into the bar owner's till.

He had been handed a lemon in the form of a $100 loss  and made lemonade out of it and sold it at a tidy profit. He made a fortune over the next several days.

He never held it against Doc and I. On the contrary. We were always welcome there. 

Of course, he never played into our hands again. But then again, we knew when to quit.

A few months later the story came up on board a fish boat while we were at sea and the entire crew agreed that if we had pulled our shenanigans in the States we would have likely been thrown in jail and permanently kicked out of the bar by the outraged owner.

Kodiak, being Kodiak, was full of people that knew how to cast their bread on the water and generally got back poached eggs on toast. 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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