The Take-a-Break Bar was a dive, but it had some charm to it.
When you ordered a draft beer from the pretty barmaid, she’d
always ask you if you wanted a “big one” and you always had
to say yes. Regulars regularly sat around TAB’s U-shaped bar
and sometimes they got into verbal arguments with each other.
There was this regular, a house-painter, I think, that Bob and I
called The Bucket Guy. The Bucket Guy was one of the folks
who seemed to get into verbal arguments with the other regs.
One night at the Take-a-Break, it was our bud Mark’s birthday
and all of his friends were filling him with shots and tall beers.
At some point, we hoisted Mark up on our shoulders and sang
“Happy Birthday” to him. And somebody grabbed one of the
old Take-a-Break softball trophies off a corner shelf, passed it
to Mark, and he hoisted it over his head as if he had just won it
fair and square. And the pretty barmaid came running over to
us and she said, “You can’t do that. You gotta put that back.”
And she was right, of course, so we put the trophy back on its
shelf and got Mark back down on the ground and we laughed
at how stupid we all were, surprised she hadn’t kicked us out.
By Scott Silsbe