You Ain’t From Around Here

Conferences come and go at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney, ranging from tech conferences to medieval get-togethers. Whether classes are in session or not, these conferences end their days then hit the dark streets of Farmville to seek out the bar. This week I’m in luck; wrestlers and fire fighters in the same week.

The fire fighters are good guys. Pitchers of Yuengling and Jack & Cokes are common, with 40-50% tips if you smile at them. They’re older and typically don’t get too “hammered”. The older guys have a few drinks with the younger ones then pay their tab with a “thanks sweetheart, you’re an angel”. The young guns hang around an hour or two later, but don’t cause much trouble either.

“There’s a group coming over from B Dubs,” my manager told me around 11:30 p.m. last night after a slow evening, last call already boiling in our brains. Our other manager had given us a warning call that 10-20 wrestlers from a camp at Sydney were coming to the bar to drink. “Great,” I said, and I could already feel my night getting longer before my eyes.

They were downhome boys; Natty Light and Grizzly. Spit cups and spilled beer, talking about bromances and placing bets on who would pass out first. They got there around a quarter to midnight, and prior to their ordering of 4 Natty pitchers, my manager and I had already decided that last call would be at 12:30. Drink up, boys.

They made it through two of the pitchers before last call. A half hour past last call, when we kick everyone out, they were still drinking the pitchers they had ordered now an hour and 15 minutes ago. “I love you like the fire loves rain,” is the drunken mumble I got from one of these charmers when I told them to finish their pitchers or they were going down the drain. “Yeah, I love you too bud, now get out.”

A spilled pitcher, broken lightbulb, and three five-minute warnings later, they made their way out. One of them tried to take an unfinished pitcher with them. “What’re you talking about? I don’t have anything behind my back.”

“1 a.m. is not a time for peek-a-boo. Give me that pitcher.”

After professing their final love to me and the other employee working, I exhaled as I saw them walk up the street and started cleaning their trail of destruction that stretched across two booths and toward the door. Just as I thought my night was done and the bar was empty, a friend of mine who was out front stuck his head in the door and said, “Schmader, you might want to come see this.”

Expecting a fight, I told my co-worker to come outside with me. You never know what you’re going to see. I would have almost preferred a fight.

There in the humid early morning air, one of the drunken wrestlers had taken our 5-foot pole (the one that held the “we’re open” sign) and was using it as phallic symbol aimed at the Longwood University “O” 0n the sign diagonal from the Colonnades. Really clever stuff.

I had put up with these meatheads for hours. I had cleaned up spilled beer. I had made $40 total that evening after being there for 7 hours. Patience was nowhere to be found on High Street last night.

“Put. it. DOWN,” I yelled. Bro chuckles was the only result.

“You think you’re tough? Stealing a pole and using it as a penis? This is the best thing you could think of?”

No response, more chuckling.

I crossed the street and look the pole from him. “Get away from my bar before I use this pole in a way that will give you nightmares for weeks.”

Still laughing, just not as loud, they dropped the pole and left.

My co-worker laughed from the patio. “Let’s go home.”

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