Wormy’s dad has this saying about finding men in bars: when you look in garbage cans, you get garbage. I couldn’t agree more, and I was a proud garbage picker for years. So was Wormy. We spent at least one good year at Slapshots, picking up the best trash we could find.
Sure, it wasn’t always premium garbage, but, much like trash night in Mt. Lebanon; sometimes you got the male equivalent of an Ethan Allen couch with a small tear in the cushion.
Usually though, you got garbage. Worse than garbage. Compost. Or, art students. Usually we were content to just sit there, drinking our doubles, smoking our cigarettes, holding court with our friends. Usually, we never bothered with the various men who made their way through our bar.
The same cannot be said for the men. We were, usually, the hottest chicks in Slapshots. This is roughly the same as being the best dancer at an amputee dance-off. We were, usually, the ONLY chicks in Slapshots. Under 50. With all of our teeth. Wearing bras.
Because of this, if a man came in and thought he had a snowball’s chance in hell of meeting someone, he wanted to talk to us. We got a lot of free drinks this way, and met a lot of great people (there are also some stories that involve dumpsters, restraining orders, and, in one memorable instance, pantsing a man that dared to wear sweatpants to a bar, but that’s for another post). Rarely, VERY VERY rarely, one of these men were cute.
Because of this, you tend to remember the cute ones. One night, one such man approached me. He was cute enough. Young, dark hair, pretty eyes, nice smile. Seemed okay. I let him buy me a drink, and we started chatting. Being a South Hills bar, most of the people there are from the South Hills, so, it didn’t take long to get to the whole “where did you go to school?” so we could play the fabulous Pittsburgh game, “Hey! Do you know….”
(This is a total Pittsburgh thing. People from Pittsburgh do it ALL THE TIME. And, they do it to people not FROM Pittsburgh. Like, Oh, you’re from Toronto? I got a buddy in Calgary. That’s Canada, right? You know Bob Smith?”)
Turns out, I knew the school he went to very well. It wasn’t what you would call a mainstream school. It wasn’t a BAD school, but it was for people with a unique set of problems. Problems I had no intention of involving myself with. I made up some lame excuse about being a militant lesbian with herpes, and made my way back to Wormy.
Wormy gave me the hairy eyeball. “Why did you stop talking to him? He was sort of cute.”
“Wormy, he went to the same school as my nephew. You know, the special school.”
Wormy ponders this for a minute, and I can see her trying to make her drunken brain produce the actual name of the actual school. She thinks she has it!
“Oh! You mean he went to The School for Upset Children?”
Yes. Yes, Wormy. That’s what I meant. Upset children. It’s like a big time-out, till they can calm down and stop trying to stab other students. Because they’re upset.
We had a good laugh, and managed to successfully avoid him for the rest of the night. We would see him in there from time to time, say hello, wave, what have you.
I just saw him again today. On the news. Because he was running around Mt. Lebanon with an ax. Drunk. And I bet you a million bucks he was at Slapshots before this went down.
It appears he is still upset. Wormy’s dad was right. You look in garbage cans, you do find garbage. And when you look for dudes at Slapshots, you get … crazy people. God. I miss that place