There’s an ongoing joke amongst a few coworkers that today will be the day that we have a beer with lunch. It’s actually pretty lame when you really break it down. It’s a beer. Not a joint, not a key bump, not a Woodford on the rocks – it’s one beer. Who actually cares? I don’t operate heavy machinery. I sit at desk in a well-lit office. I pound three numbers into my phone to call someone two offices down when I’m bored or actually need to know how to do something.
As we walked to the parking lot with no plan in place, I spoke up.
“I’m not driving today. Fuck y’all. Where are we going?”
We stood there in the middle of the parking lot, completely oblivious to a Volvo sedan looking to vacate a spot, before finally settling on a local bar known for their burgers. Yeah, another local bar known for their hamburgers, I know. I called shotgun as we walked toward Michael’s car. Michael’s fairly new to the company, so he’s taken my spot as the default driver. As we pulled into the lot, I was very surprised to see very few cars there. The place is normally packed, especially on Friday.
My first mistake was taking a seat at the bar. The television situation isn’t the best in the seating area, but there is a perfectly placed Samsung mounted above the bars. ESPN was on. Three guys in their twenties and early-thirties celebrating casual Friday, taking their lunch break at a bar and watching ESPN. You can’t make this stuff up.
“What’s your afternoon looking like?”
We all worked in different departments of the company, so we are generally oblivious of each other’s responsibilities. I didn’t actually care. I asked that question because there was a lull in the conversation.
“I’ve got nothing. A conference call at 3, but I’m just muting it and watching golf.”
Oh, shit. Tiger. Eldrick. Woods. I spent most of my lunch break yesterday streaming his comeback round, but I had completely neglected him today. Chalk it up to busy work. I waved at the bartender, an older redhead with a Star Wars tattoo on her forearm. I think that’s what it was.
“Would you mind putting on the Golf Channel?”
“Sure. Can I take your drink order, too?”
I love customer service. My natural inclination is to order a water, no lemon, but something about seeing that man rip a driver and pick up the tee before his Bridgestone (weird to type that) even hits the apex of its flight shook me.
“I’ll do a Shiner.”
I shot a look down the bar at my partners, whose faces basically said, “You mother fucker.”
Nobody actually ever orders one. Not so much because we’re scared about what our bosses would say – they wouldn’t give two shits – but more because of the stigma of a lunch beer. All of that went out of the window, though.
Michael ordered a Sierra Nevada because he’s a smug asshole. The other guy, whose fake name I will not put into this column because he abandoned us, ordered a water. Pussy. So there we sat, drinking cold beer with bacon grease dripping off our lips from the “best cheeseburgers in town” while the greatest of all time tore it up. With each drive that split the fairway, I became more and more enabled. I ordered a second one with little hesitation. Within a period of 40 minutes, I was roughly 1200 calories worth of Texas brew and ass ripping food deep. I loved it. I ordered a third. Fuck it all.
And now, here I sit. I believe I’m a little buzzed, but I think it’s from the gut bomb that will detonate at any moment. I’m done with all of my real work, and I’m riding into the weekend on a goddamn surfboard. Would I do it again? Under similar circumstances? You’re damn right.
How ’bout Tiger?.