So we go to this bar…

My GF and I go to Carmel to visit friends who recently moved here from Colorado. We get into town, grab some lunch and hit a couple of shops. We saw this little hole in the wall bar, almost out of place for Carmel. It was similar to an English pub with lots of woodgrain, but they didn’t make any fuzzy drinks there, and there were several ashtrays on the bar. The place had about 15 seats around a small square bar.

This bartender was in his 70s, a thin smoker who wore a yellow Polo sweater. Turns out he owned the place, and has lived in Carmel for about 30 years. This guy took no shit off anyone, and he was proactive in dishing it out. Not an asshole, just matter of fact. Cheers this was not…

When we got arrived, there was a small group of friends sitting on the corner of the bar bantering back and forth with the bartender. I wanted an Irish coffee with Bushmills, but this was a Jameson place. “Bushmills is shit” said the bartender. I will say the guy poured an honest drink. Our friend got a run and coke that was all rum with a shot of cola…

While we were engaged in the conversation the phone rang a few times. Both times the person was asking where the bar was located. The bartender was about half in the bag, hard to understand, and a bit hard of hearing. He was visibly frustrated with this line of questioning and quickly dismissed the caller, and proceeded to rant about the issue with all of us.

At one point our friend (affectionately known as “BFF”) thought it would be funny to call the bar and ask for directions. I wish I had my iPhone camera going… He was brazen, sitting at the bar as the phone rang. Everyone at the bar went silent as the bartender had scolded us for being loud during the previous phone calls. “Hello?” “Where is your bar located?” I forget what the guy said, but there was a lot of swearing as he dismissed the caller and hung up the phone. The guy was deaf enough that he didn’t hear our friend 5 feet away placing the call. We all started crying. It was that funny…

We engage in conversation for a while and my GF storms out of the bar, slamming the door on the way out. The bar tender asks me “Did you do something to piss her off?”. I said “Not yet, but the day is young…”. A little while later she comes back and explains that some woman walked by the bar, looked in the window at her and violently displays her middle finger. In response my GF followed her down the street and returned the favor. Apparently this woman was fairly hammered and was caught off guard at the response.

After one round we were contemplating our next move. Do we stay for one more, or head back to the house? The old guy was done with his shift and was on his way out. A new crowd of folks came in to celebrate a couple who had recently gotten married. We decided to get one more round and continued our conversation with the original group who was there when we arrived.

We got about halfway through our drinks when a new guy showed up. He asked how long we had been there, and we replied jokingly “we’ve been here all day”… He asks if we saw a woman walk by and flip off the bartender. I jumped in quickly to avert disaster and said “No we must have missed it.”. So he elaborates that this woman had called the bar asking for directions and the bartender had been rude to her, so she had walked by and gave him the bird. Apparently some woman had chased her down the street and furiously presented her with dualing middle fingers. I replied “Does that really happen here in Carmel?”

At this point it’s clear, we need to leave. Now. My GF and BFF are anxiously wanting to leave, but my fresh Irish Coffee is too hot to drink. I’m not going to waste a perfectly good drink, and given that I’m not directly involved in any of this, I tell them to go to the car and I’l catch up. A few minutes later I realize I have the key to the car and can sense their nervousness in anticipation of this couple returning and seeing them down the street. I quaff down this drink and head out, only to find them lingering in a closed storefront trying not to attract attention. I unlocked the car and we left the scene unscathed, and with an unforgettable tale to tell.

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