To borrow an old joke… A man walks into a bar with slab of asphalt under his arm and says, “A beer please, and one for the road.”
Although this post might appear to be comical… Drinking and driving is not funny and should never be tolerated by anyone.
Long gone are the days the old Ranger could party and drink, thank the Lord! Yeah, I enjoyed those wild and crazy days of partying almost every weekend or at a local watering-hole on a Thursday or Friday night after work.
Now old age and medical malady’s make it impossible to drink or to enjoy it. A cold glass of beer or a fermented juice of grape tonight would leave me with a three day hangover for sure!
Thursday (payday) was a favorite time to head out to the British Hotel with my friend Jim and close the place up at midnight and stagger to work the next day for six am. The British was well known for live entertainment and strippers on Thursday nights. The Plaza Hotel across the street had great live entertainment as well, mostly the Country music kind. The Baltimore Hotel was a bit of a dive, but you could always find an empty bar stool there for a quick brew or two.
The most comical memory ever of the British and Jim was the night a stripper, as part of her act came over and gave Jim a ‘lap-dance’. Poor lady had no idea he was as ‘blind as a bat’ but one would never guess it from the silly grin on his face! Wonder if she was peeved at not being tipped?
Yeah, there were other great memories to look back on now. Remember the archaic days of the Liquor Stores when you had to fill out that silly paper order form and wait until the clerk went into a secret, dark back room to fill your order?
My first memories of drinking were before I turned legal age (21 at that time). We would get a ‘mickey’ of whiskey, usually Black Velvet from a ‘boot-legger’. More often an older brother, I won’t mention your name Ron, would accommodate the need and off partying we would go.
One New Year’s Eve party, yeah, I’m legal by now, my brother-in-law (now) and I decided to go visiting. We got the old Comet stuck on Bruton Lane in Port Hope. What was funnier than heck then would be a ‘royal pain in-the-neck’ now!
After visiting a friend near Knoxville we returned to the party. For some unknown reason, I stayed in the Comet. I still remember having the heater on full blast but for the life of me I could not seem to get warm. Yeah, it finally dawned on me…the windows were all down!
Another time my cousin Lyle and two friends picked me up and we proceeded to have a few and cruise the backroads north of Cobourg. Things were going well until about 3am when we returned to town and were attempting a cruise around the Dairy Queen drive-in parking lot. Well, Lyle mutters “hey that looks like the town patrol car” and naturally he flicks his high beams into the cops face to see if it was!
By the time we got to the other end of town where my car was parked, yeah…there was that dreaded red flashing light behind us! The comical thing here was that ‘stone-sober’ voice (the Ranger) from the back seat of that ’62 Pontiac that said to the cop, “Officer, I have not been drinking. What’s say I drive these fellows safely home, perhaps you could let us off with a warning?” That cop never questioned me, looked around for the by now long gone evidence, shook his head, said okay and he left. Lyle and friends ‘high-tailed’ it for home in their car as I did in mine!
Again, another time I got myself in a bit of a pickle. Heading home late on a Saturday night I came across a couple of guys who had their car stuck on the soft shoulder of Burnham Street. Being the ‘nice guy’ I am, I stopped to help these hapless gentlemen. Heading home, I picked up a tow chain and returned to pull them out of the ditch. Gosh, they had a great idea to thank me. We took my car home and we all went touring in their car. After several hours and a few drinks, we ended up at their residence in Port Hope.
Again, after a few hours (and drinks) they both proceeded to pass out! At four in the morning with no phone (remember those days?) it turned out to be a long 15 mile hike home I will never forget!