Last week I went to Milwaukee. It's one of the few cities I'd never been to before.
I stayed at a really nice hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental. The place had several nice bars and restaurants so I was looking forward to an interesting evening.
I moseyed down to the main bar during happy hour. It was fairly crowded, so I thought I'd probably get into one of my typical conversations. Normally I manage to strike up conversations with people while on my travels, but nothing was happening. Nada. Zilch. I had just brushed my teeth, so I knew it wasn't my breath. I discreetly whiffed each armpit and ruled out GAPO (Gorilla Armpit Odor for the uninitiated.) I didn't pick my nose...I'm pretty sure I didn't. Maybe after the prior week's trip to Cleveland my expectations were running a bit high. Maybe I was just giving off bad vibes. Oh, and here's a thought…maybe it was just the crowd. So, I went and had dinner then returned to another one of the bars in the hotel where a DJ was spinning tunes. The sound was a little loud for my taste but the music was good and the surroundings were attractive. I felt like I was sitting in a club.
The place was almost empty. I was the only cotton head there. An attractive blonde woman, mid-30's, was a few seats to my left, talking on her cell phone. Off to my right, at the other end of the bar, a young couple were billing and cooing and drinking martinis. Strains of "I'm just a lonely boy, lonely and blue..." played inside my head. About the best I could do for entertainment was to try my hand at teasing the pretty young bartender…I asked her to recite the wine list in reverse. She was a good sport and actually tried, but couldn't do it. Geez, it was almost 9:30 and that was the highlight of my evening so far. I seriously considered going back to my room and watching American Idol…well, almost seriously. I'd have to be incredibly dire straits to do something like that...I'm not a tv-watcher, unless it's something like the Sopranos.
I had another drink and listened to the music. I had a clever thought, something I might be able to work into a story someday, so I opened my journal to write it down.
"So, you're a lefty, huh?" It was the pretty blonde.
"I don't know many lefties," she continued.
I told her she was about to add one more to her list and introduced myself. She said something about lefties supposedly being very intelligent.
"Do I look intelligent?"
Of course she said "yes" (smart girl) so I figured I'd just go with whatever came to mind. I told her I was semi-ambidextrous...I play golf right-handed and bat right-handed in baseball. This is actually the truth, though I must admit I haven't played baseball in 20 years. I figured I'd lay it on thicker.
"I'm also ambimoustrous."
It only took her half a beat to catch on, so I knew this was someone I was going to enjoy talking with.
Okay, okay. You know I like to make up words sometimes. Yes, I made up 'ambimoustrous.' It means I can use a mouse equally well with either hand. A computer mouse. Now, I didn't make that word up on the spot. I've actually been using it for years. Of course ambimoustrous is a form of ambidexterity, but there is a distinction...it only applies to working with a computer mouse. Applied to the rodent variety of mouse the proper descriptive term would be ambidextrous...as in having the ability to hold a dead (rodent) mouse by the tail and to be able to throw it into the woods behind my house (or at someone) equally well with either my right hand or my left hand. Yeah, in case you're wondering, I just made that up. But, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense, right? What the hell, it's almost happy hour and my creative juices are starting to flow.
Anyway, our conversation ultimately drifted into what we did for a living. When it came to sharing my profession I was very tempted to respond with "pornographer," "astronaut," or "brain surgeon." Since I couldn't decide between the three I just told the truth.
It turns out she was an artsy type and proved it by doing a pen-and-ink drawing of me in my journal. Actually, it was a drawing of my face, not me in my entirety. No one had ever done a drawing of my face before. It was a sort of caricature, and when I looked at it I saw my son's face instead of mine. It kind of blew me away, because if you put photos of my son and myself side by side those similarities would never be apparent. (Actually, my kids are lucky to have inherited their mother's looks instead of my looks...she is quite beautiful.)
We talked for almost an hour. Then her boyfriend came in. We had more good conversation. We bought each other drinks. They were really nice people and we all hit it off extremely well. I must admit to being a bit envious of him. He was a year younger than me...with a thirty-something goomah. See my N'Italian lessons here if you need the definition of goomah.
They invited me to go to one of their local hangouts. It was great. There was a piano player doing Frank Sinatra songs, several people got up and sang. We had more drinks and more good conversation. I stayed up way later than I should have, but all that good energy easily carried me through the next day.
To me, encounters like this put a lot of fun into life.
Just another episode in Badabing's travels.