He’s A Keeper

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Budweiser Long Neck

The Swiss Army Knife of beverage containers.

While we were fishing when we were both much younger, Daddy advised me whenever I go to a bar, ALWAYS order a Budweiser Long Neck; when I pointed out to him that I despise the taste of beer of any kind he just said, “Then have them bring it unopened, but always have one.” It’s little gems of wisdom like this one that have convinced me over the years I was sired by a genius.

Anyway, a good friend of Budge and me is getting married Saturday. Budge is arranging her flowers and I did the rehearsal dinner slide show as our wedding presents. Sometimes talent is better than money and a lot more useful. Both of us treasure this little lady a great deal. Budge tells me her beau is just as good a person as “Sylvia” is though I’ve never met him. I think I’m going to like him though. For my purposes, let’s call him “Mickey.”

Tuesday night, Mickey had Sylvia get dressed up and took her to their favorite little sushi spot for a romantic final date before marriage. Now, just as an aside from this 20 year man, NEVER stop dating even once you’re married, but I digress. So the two of them ventured out to a cute little sushi place in downtown Greenville for the $2.00 Tuesday Sushi Special. As another aside, I don’t know that I would eat any raw fish, much less DISCOUNT raw fish, but again, I digress.

The two of them had settled into their comfy corner booth and begun the process of peering lovingly into each others’ eyes as only two people destined for each other can do when the quiet romantic magic of the evening shattered with the arrival at a nearby table of another couple. For my purposes, let’s call them “Thug-boy” and “Debbie” (as in “Debbie Does .  .  .  ., well, you know). Debbie wore a stunningly short skirt complemented by a scoop-neck blouse which amply advertised some local plastic surgeon’s skill with a scalpel. Thug-boy chose a tastefully put together ensemble of wifebeater, sateen basketball shorts worn fashionably low slung to show off his Underoos, and ridiculously expensive athletic shoes in a dazzling color scheme. He also chose to accessorize his outfit with the ubiquitous bane of our civilization — a large cell phone, into which he was talking . . . non-stop . . . and obnoxiously loudly.

Rude table neighbors are de rigueur these days so just the talking probably wouldn’t have triggered any response from anyone just because it’s so expected. Unfortunately, Thug-boy did not possess the gift of a large and varied vocabulary and the bulk of his stentorian conversation with persons unknown primarily consisted of repeated violations of the Third Commandment and crass colloquial commentary on coital habits of someone and a female parent. Now this is still the South and even though some things have changed a great deal, loudly cussing — especially using those two particularly vulgar epithets — in public and in front of ladies is still generally frowned upon and poor Debbie noticed most of her fellow patrons were frowning.

Once Debbie realized her beloved’s behavior wasn’t just embarrassing her to the point of wanting to slide under the table, but was also causing tremendous discomfort throughout the establishment, she made the chivalrous but ultimately doomed decision to attempt to curb her “boo’thang’s” conversation. In the meek way common to women who accompany boys like Thug-boy, she asked him if he could please tone down the outbursts. Apparently, the young man took umbrage with his hollaback girl and proceeded to announce to her and everyone else in a ten-mile radius his intention to talk and cuss as loudly as he wished because, “I got twice as much money as these **f-bomb deleted** people do.”

At that point, Mickey, who has a sharp wit replied in a normal tone, “But apparently not nearly enough to buy class.” Debbie apparently overheard Mickey’s remark because she turned to Sylvia and tearfully apologized for Thug-boy’s unconscionable behavior. Sylvia graciously replied, as only a real Southern girl can, “Honey, don’t feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for you. You have to put up with him.” It seems this remark managed to penetrate Thug-boy’s egocentric haze because he took his phone down from his ear, stood up abruptly, turned to Mickey and in a tone and diction straight out of some misogynistic gangsta rap song said, “Dude, you best check dat fat, moufy’, ugly, **expletive comparison to female dog deleted ** ‘fore somepin’ bad happen!”

Folks, Sylvia is precious, that’s the only word I can use to describe her that does her justice and every Southern soul out there knows just what I mean. In all honesty she has fought the Battle of the Bulge most of her life and while, to quote Meghan Trainor, “it’s pretty clear [she] ain’t no size two” she has been victorious, is quite shapely, very fit and healthy, and, to further draw from Miss Meghan Sylvia can “still shake it, shake it like [she’s] supposed to do.” Well, Thug-boy’s words obviously hurt and that’s where the night turned from awkward to surreal.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mickey is not a violent man. He’s not a particularly large man either. He watches football; he plays a little golf on the weekends. What he IS, however, is a MAN and more specifically, a SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN and folks, ain’t NO self-respecting son of the south gonna let so heinous an insult towards his soon-to-be bride pass unchallenged. Faster than thought, faster than he later admitted he thought possible, Mickey levitated from his seat and shoved Thug-boy’s table into the jerk’s stomach. At that point, Debbie tearfully vanished out the door and from our story.

Say it again! I DARE you! I double DARE you!!

Say it again! I DARE you! I double DARE you!!

Now let’s pause just a moment. You remember Daddy’s advice to me about the long neck Bud bottle? Well, apparently, Mickey’s daddy gave him the SAME advice, and here’s why — the neck of a long neck beer bottle fits very comfortably into one’s hand and gives a really good grip on the bottle which enables one to swing said bottle with a great deal of velocity and force into the face of or, alternately, upside the head of various jerks, boors, and, in this case, assholes. Also, REAL beer bottles — as opposed to the ones in movies — don’t shatter easily and when they do it’s simply time to switch from blunt force trauma to slicing and dicing.

Getting back to the action, Mickey stood up shoving the table with his left hand while his right hand brought up the bottle level with Thug-boy’s nose (which Mickey later recalled made his arm slant upward more than he’d liked) and announced in a voice and tirade worthy of Jules Winnefield, “Say another word! Say one more thing to my girl, **noun version of f-bomb deleted**, and I WILL COMPLETELY **verb form of f-bomb once again deleted** YOU UP!!!” As I said, Mickey is a gentle, caring man, but Thug-boy ignored Rule of the Jungle #2: “NEVER come between a male and his mate!” (FYI, Rule of the Jungle #1, for those who don’t know, is, of course, NEVER get between a momma and her babies.”

In the end, Thug-boy backed down and slunk away, apparently noting the fire in Mickey’s eyes and Mickey’s absolute commitment to use that bottle for the second purpose for which God Almighty intended (the first being to hold Budweiser, of course), proving that, just like ALL bullies, Thug-boy couldn’t take being stood up to! “Sylvia” obviously has her a keeper and I’m looking forward to shaking his hand at the dinner!

Love y’all, and keep those feet clean!

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