A guy walks into a bar …

August 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

HOUSTON — I’m sitting at yet another airport bar with yet another 25-ounce mug of Shiner Bock before I board yet another plane. A very, very big man walks in, carrying a blue duffel bag. He rests the duffel on the stool next to me and slowly sits down in the chair to the left of the bag.

He’s a big, big man, maybe 55, blonde hair, about 6-foot-7. He has an eye patch. He looks like something out of central casting for an apocalypse movie, the guy who brandishes the big flamethrower Uzi and grimly protects us all from doom.

Bartender asks him what he wants. “Gimme a Shahner Bock,” he says, in a big, booming, slow drawl, like thunder rolling across the post-apocalyptic plain. Bartender asks if he wants a small or a large mug. “Gimme the biggun. I ain’t had one o’ those in years.”

The bartender brings him his beer. He takes a large pull and puts the mug down. He looks over in my general direction. “How you doin’, buddy?” he says.

I start to answer. Then I realize he’s not talking to me.

He’s talking to the duffel bag – in which resides the froofiest, fluffiest little Maltese you’ve ever seen. I probably would have been less surprised if he had been talking to an empty bag.

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