In my own defense, I was drinking a lot that night.
While trawling through the cavernous storage locker that is my memory, I stumbled upon a rather odd recollection of one night in Stroudsburg, PA, back in the early Nineties while I was working at the Pocono Record.
I worked a 2pm-10pm shift, which was out of synch with most other people, but it did allow me to hit the mall and other locations when they were practically empty.
It also meant I stayed up later than most other people and I got into the habit of stopping at the bar near the paper most nights of the week and downing far too many beers before heading to my apartment on Scott Street.
I confess that for a while there, I has getting plastered most nights of the week and I just figured I’d be fine the next morning because I could sleep in late.
Technically this was correct, but I was also putting on weight, and more seriously, I was looking forward to getting wasted rather dealing with my various problems.
Looking back, I’m just so relieved I never got pulled over by a cop. Stroudsburg was a small town and I was just minutes from home, but I’m sure that on many nights I would’ve been royally screwed if I had been forced to honk into a breathalyzer.
There was this one Saturday night where I met up with some coworkers for a good time. I was on a Sunday-Thursday shift, but with my late starting time I had no concerns about having a few beers…and then a few more…and then a few more after that.
And somewhere in that haze of alcohol and foolishness, one of my buddies and I got into a twisted game of darts with a total stranger who looked like a walking cartoon character.
He had an honest-to-God mullet, a long, dark trench coat and these atrocious white shoes.
I don’t know who he was or why the hell we got into this game but in no time at all we were tossing darts and talking trash like the building was on fire.
Every time Mullet Man’s turn came up, I’d give him the horns—two middle fingers pulled in, index finger and pinky extended--to send all sorts of ancient Italian bad wishes in his direction and hopefully making him miss the dartboard.
He’d do it back to me and we’d all laugh like idiots.
The evening wore on, Mullet Man faded away, and at some very unhealthy part of the evening I vaguely recall getting just a little too friendly with some dude’s wife.
Luckily that didn’t go anywhere and I’m alive to tell the tale.
I never found out Mullet Man’s name, where he was from, or what he did for a living, and there are some days I’m half-convinced he was actually a hallucination sent down by the Good Lord to scare me off the demon rum.
Now the moral story is…who the Hell knows?
Mullets and darts don’t mix? Stay away from married women? Or maybe just something more direct, like lay off the booze.
All I know is that I’m glad I lost my taste for beer. I stick to wine now, keep better hours, and I reserve my drinking for weekends.
And if I ever run into a guy with a mullet and atrocious white shoes, I’ll steer clear of the dartboard.