Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Ottawa Bar Scene: Stay away from THAT guy

Every once and a while, I get out of my comfort zone and navigate the shark-infested waters of the bar scene in downtown Ottawa.
This happens roughly every two years when I meet up with one of my former drinking teams. Usually, I default to the team that frequents the Air Force Mess and do some day drinking, after which Scott comes and collects me to ensure I don't pee myself on the bus.
Last week, I got together with the second less dangerous team, the one from my former workplace. I like these women because, unlike the geriatric team at the Mess, they are young, hip and lively. Instead of walking on canes, they still manage the high heels. Instead of cardigans, they rock sun dresses.
There is one downside to participating in no good antics with the Hell Cats, as I like to call them. Going out with them makes me feel like I'm 90 years old.
That's because they choose bars frequented by hipsters and posers, the kind of places that by three in the afternoon become human car washes with bare human flesh interacting with Egyptian cotton and better than average polyester blends.
I get panic attacks. I like my space. So I'm usually totally unprepared for the meat-packing district known as the Sens Mile on Elgin Street.
I feel like a dolphin amidst sharks.
But Friday, for the first time in a long while, I had some money in my Addition Elle cargo shorts, and I thought: what the hey?
Our stop was Sir John A's just down from Mags and Fags, the only place I still can recognize on Elgin Street other than the Court House and Police Station. The ladies, Katie and Janie, were already there sharing a small pint and getting ready to get into the serious hooch.
I sat down amidst the controlled chaos and ordered a pint of Stella, the only beer I can drink that doesn't leave me hugging the toilet with my bum for more than six hours the next day.
I gave up beer a decade ago for that very reason, however, I have rediscovered it, knowing that I can down six pints at a go without falling off my chair. (If I eat, I can only drink a pint and a half and where is the fun in that when you're stuck in a hipster high chair for more than four hours?)
We chatted and giggled for about forty minutes and then it all started to happen, a phenomenon I had never once witnessed due to my advanced age and Botox.
The texting began in earnest.
Apparently we were about to be joined by a couple of wild and crazy guys whom the ladies had met in their travels. Let's say their names were Bob and Scooter. (I'm not afraid of calling them by their real names, I simply don't believe I can spare the air.)
Bob and Scooter work in finance. I could tell because Bob was wearing his RBC golf shirt, the kind everybody in Ottawa wears in the summer to show their commitment and boosterism for their jobs. My own Scott is about to get his golf shirts for the car dealership which he will immediately hand off to me because no man who is over 200 pounds should ever wear a neon yellow shirt, collared or no.
Anyway, Scooter was still dressed for the office, albeit a bit rumpily and he plopped his large frame beside Janie. Bob was scootched in the corner beside Katie.
The pair eyed me warily.
"Why did you bring your mom?" they chimed in together, not verbally, but with their eyes.
Bob immediately began to diss Katie's ex, then looked around, checked his phone, and indicated that he had merely dropped by on his way to a more important event.
Katie seemed absolutely charmed by this asshole who was about 45, a lifelong bachelor, as we used to call him, a self-aggrandized stickman with snake eyes. Scooter, on the other hand, was nicer and very married.
Bob and Scooter are a type.
I know this type. I once dated a Bob, a fellow my friend the late Danny Malenchuk used to refer to as the Switcher. Switch was a feckless idiot who looked like a movie star. He taught and pinched bums at Algonquin College and renovated houses for a hobby. Picture Andy Garcia before gravity set in.
Like Bob, the Switcher had never married and barely committed to one girl since high school. He lived in fear that one day a vagina would clamp down on his manhood so hard, he would require a prosthetic.
I later warned Katie against dating THAT guy because he is a narcissist, the kind of fellow Sarah McLachlan wrote songs about. Jann Arden, too. Carly Simon for that matter.
He always has someplace to go. He's building a mystery, and regarding women with his lying eyes. Eventually, he ends up at the Perley with a dripping prostate alone and unhappy because nobody wants to date Arthur Fonzarelli after he turns 50.
Eventually, unless he finally gives up, gets married and has three kids before his pension kicks in, women catch on to the fact he is not going anyplace special. He's going home to his lonely mansion to watch Netflix.
That is a certainty.
Scooter is another type. He's the wing man -- Bobs always have them. He doesn't fool around on his family, but he likes to live vicariously through his buddy. That way he is assured of never taking home Chlamydia to his wife.
Half hour in, and the pair are off and the girls are all a-twitter about them. Where are they going? What are they doing?
I just shook my head.
Bob's going home for a night in front of the tube.
Scooter will be barbecuing weinies in the backyard and changing diapers.
We left shortly afterwards. We'd been there successfully for an entire afternoon. The table behind us changed patrons four times.
Except for having to put up with Bob and Scooter, I had a great time as the fish out of water.
Scott came and collected me and we played dominoes in the backyard.
As it should be for somebody within striking distance of the Canada Pension.

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