I think I tend to attract oddballs. If there is a strange guy in the room, he’s going to seek me out for a conversation. Sometimes I really hate this (if I don’t feel like speaking….or I’m legitimately scared). But most of the time I feel as though these encounters are like little nuggets of comedy. Or knowledge (in the rare case). And definitely entertainment.
Several weeks ago I met a real gem on my and Matt’s now typical Friday trip to the Taco Mac for a few weekend brews. I had just started the blog and I think that really encouraged me to engage him a bit more than I normally would. Matt just went along with it, one, because he’s used to me talking to strangers by now, and two, this guy wasn’t giving off a creeper vibe. He was just a character. At least until later….
He sat next to me for the first 30 or so minutes we were there in silence. He kept moving his gaze between the basketball game we were all watching and his phone. He was drinking a water and eating dinner. So far, he seemed like he wasn’t going to offer anything interesting to the evening; just a typical 50 something, vanilla, white guy.
Then he order a PBR. Taco Mac had a dandy little koozie they were handing out with PBRs that night. It looked like a brown paper bag. I leaned over and said, “Ah, feeling a bit old school tonight huh?” This opened the floodgate. First, he proceeded to attempt to put his beer in the koozie. He failed to realize that the bar tender had already opened it for him and ended up pouring it all over his iPhone. He quickly moved into a story about the time he broke his iPhone and AT&T and Apple tried to screw him on a replacement. He raved about the phone fix-it place in the nearby mall that had fixed it for $50. Then he went on to tell me how they can also jailbreak phones and that we (me, Matt, and the guy now sitting to his right) should all switch to TMobile and get this place to jailbreak our iPhones.
Now we had a nice little dialogue going. The guy to his right joined in and somehow we got on the subject of customer service and how abysmal it is these days at most companies. We discussed DirecTV and how to get ahead when you call into their phone tree. The conversation stayed very light and pretty boring until the Mr. PBR ordered another beer. That sent him back to my previous comment about being “old school”. And he launched into a story about this bar that supposedly used to sell nothing but PBR. A quick Google tells me this is Moe’s & Joe’s in Virginia Highlands. http://www.moesandjoes.com/Welcome.html It seems they actually do serve more than PBR, but they are known for their PBR, wings, and their “dive bar” status.
This is when the conversation starts getting interesting. Mr. PBR goes off on a tangent about how he can’t stand when people refer to Virginia Highlands as The Highlands. “That’s not what it’s called. They’re not effin from there; so what gives them to the right to change the name.” Guy to the right says, “I lived there. We call it The Highlands.” Mr. PBR is not thrilled with this and demands to know if the guys rented or owned a house. He is now standing and yelling that “it’s just not called The Highlands.”
Then they get into an argument about the true story behind Taco Mac. If you’re interested in reading it: http://tacomac.com/about/our-story/ Mr. PBR just refuses to agree with guy….and for that matter the Taco Mac website.
And what follows are the highlights of the next 30 minutes I continued to speak with/egg on Mr. PBR:
- He used to work for Acura as a salesman. He saved the dealership a ton of money by preventing a fraudulent purchase. A girl was using someone else’s identity and he deduced it when she mentioned she could scoot up the seat while driving because she was only 5 feet tall, but her license said she was 5’2″! This man is a detective! And not only did Acura not thank him, he ended up being fired. He didn’t share the reason they gave.
- He worked for the college radio station at GA State back in the 80’s.
- He was actually the first person to play Video Killed the Radio star on air. “There are no records of this, but I know I was the very first.”
- He was at the IRS Records release party for REM and the B52s on a press pass. “I was a big deal.”
- He interviewed The Gogo’s in his clothes from the night before while still drunk.
- He went to the first U2 concert in Atlanta and there were 100 people there. “No one effin knew who the hell Bono was.”
- The Romantics hit “What I Like About You” became a hit 8 years after it was in a Ford commercial. I’m not able to confirm this ( or find mention of) with a very cursory internet search.
- He hooked up with Candice Acola from The Vampire Diaries. “For real. She was so into me. We tweeted constantly. And she sent me texts.” He didn’t show me the texts and couldn’t find the tweets. But he did show me a picture of the two of them at what looked like a fan event or opening of some sort.
- “Nina Debrov is a bitch. She controls all the girls on Vampire Diaries and she made Candice stop talking to me.” Nini plays Elena, the show’s main character.
I’m sure Candice (blonde) can’t do better than an ex Acura salesman.
10. “If you use the internet too much on your phone, they’ll (the phone companies) slow you way down. I mean, who’s business is it if I stream porn. Hey, have you heard of the band Echo & the Bunnymen?” Yes I have and have a good night.
It’s always time to exit when the conversation turns to porn at the bar.
Yeah, Mr. PBR, I’m all about a near bar fight over the names of Atlanta neighborhoods, but I’m not feeling this whole discuss your data usage conversation.
Until next Friday at Taco Mac….
Stay positive & love your life.
Listening to: Foo Fighters – All My Life
Eating: This gross veggie quiche-like thing I got at Costco and refuse to throw out because I “paid good money for it”.
Random fact: Not only do I know who Echo & the Bunnymen is, I’m a wiz at 80s pop trivia in general. Ask Matt. I used to crush him at name that 80s tune everyday at lunch in college.