|Top Ten Thoughts Upon Entering a Coal Region Bar (After You Haven't Been Home for a While)
10. The male-to-female ratio of this joint is the same as that of a thriving gay bar.
9. Was that an E.F. Hutton moment I just felt as I came through the door, or am I just paranoid?
8. I have a $20 bill in my pocket. How odd it will feel to get over $18 in change for my first drink. Maybe I'll buy a round and get $15 in change -- the locals will surely not understand why I am laughing out loud on this joyous occasion.
7. I'm wearing a clean t-shirt and khakis -- and I am outrageously over-dressed.
6. Do I sufficiently remember the dangerous surnames of warring local clans and know enough not to use them in polite conversation?
5. Isn't that my old Social Studies teacher at one end of the bar, and a kid I used to see in a baby stroller at the other?
4. How in the world did John O'Hara come from this place, and where in the hell did he hang out?
3. When I see someone I knew in high school but wasn't friends with, should I:
a. ignore him,
b. walk over and act like we're long-lost brothers,
c. walk over and yell, "I should have got an A on that napkin holder in wood shop, and it's your fault, you bastard!" before attempting to puck his teet out, or
d. all of the above?
2. 1898 and 1998. Besides the jukebox and hairstyles, has anything changed in this picture?
1. Note to myself: in case of any potential accidents occurring tonight, am I wearing clean underwear?