Tonight was Tonk at Sadlack’s. Tonk, plus half of Chatham County Line. It was pretty great. This weekend, I think the universe is trying to make up for my last couple of wretched weeks, by sending me rope swings and sunsets on mountaintops and fireworks and honky tonk. Honky tonk, plus fiddles.
The universe still has a sense of humor, though. As is always the case (ask anyone who knows me) if there is Crazy within forty yards, it is standing next to me. I’ll be in a sea of Handsome Cowboys on a patio playing honky tonk, and at the end of the day, I am always serenaded by the guy in the trucker hat, who wants to perform for me a song, one painfully slow line at a time, while I wait to settle my tab.
The first line comes at me from behind. I look over one shoulder, half smile, and turn back around. He taps me on the shoulder, waits for me to look, and then goes at it again.
Oh. Well. Buckle up. It appears we are doing this. We are really doing this. “I don’t know that one,” I offer. Doesn’t matter. We’re in it. More singing, each line followed by a dramatic pause for comments. “Did you write that?” I venture. No response, other than more earnest singing, and more dramatic pauses. I scooch forward, hoping it is my turn at the bar. It is not my turn. It is nowhere near my turn. It will never, ever be my turn. He taps me on the shoulder again. Ah, good. There is a second verse. I was hoping it was the longest song ever written.
When he at long last finishes, he shoots me a big smile, and informs me that it was his favorite Elton John song, which he used to perform all the time. “Are you in a band, or do you perform solo?” I ask. That gets him really excited. “Ask this guy! We used to play together!” he says, throwing his arm around another regular. “This is Eddie Van Halen.”
It was not Eddie Van Halen, any more than the two Crazies that tried to pick me up the last time I got stuck at the end of a bar waiting for my tab were former Yankees. I have an autographed picture of Joe Torre hanging with my family photos. Dude. I know my baseball players. Anyway. These two inform me that the lady standing next to them used to flash them while they were playing, just to throw them off their game. I don’t even want to look. But Elton John calls to her, “Betty! Betty! Tell her! Tell this nice girl you used to flash me all the time!”
Betty is delighted to tell me about it. She turns around and shakes my hand and laughs and says, “I promise you, I have never seen his tiny little…”
“Nice to meet you!” I say kind of loudly, as Elton John jumps in and expounds a great deal more on the specifics of the subject, about which I want to know absolutely nothing. I am trying to un-hear it. But I can’t. It’s still there, ringing in my ears. I know too much.
When I finally extract myself and sign a hasty “X” for my signature and leave Crazy to take over my spot in line, Willow is patiently waiting in the car wondering what chaos has overtaken me for the last ten minutes.
I can’t stop laughing. “I love Sadlack’s,” I tell her.
And the music was worth it.