“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”
— Henny Youngman
One of my first nights after moving to LA at the age of 30, some friends and I went out on the Hermosa Beach Pier. The last bar on the left (which sounds like a horror sequel) featured a bouncer who gave me a particularly hard time. I called him an asshole, slipped past him, and scampered into the joint.
Yes, I scampered. Scurried… scuttled… skipped… scooted… anything that makes me sound like a kid, because it was a pretty childish thing to do.
Well, if you’ve ever tried that, you just know you have an extremely limited amount of time before said bouncer tracks you down and throws you out. A new bar looks like a large place to you, but trust that it’s a much smaller place to the staff, familiar with every nook and cranny in the joint.
As such, I decided to have my entire night out in the span of a few minutes… So, somewhere in the middle of doing a couple of shots, getting two ladies’ phone numbers, and dancing to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” —
— I felt a single hand on my shoulder.
At this point, you know who it was.
The drummer from Def Leppard. No, although I love how that joke wrote itself as I’m typing this 15 years later.
It was the bouncer. I was expecting to be dragged out by the ears but the man… actually… apologized. WHAT. “Hey, man, I’m sorry about that. That line was just really long. Have a good night.”
I stammered (it’s quite a night when you can both scamper and stammer), “Um… wow… I didn’t expect that. And dude, that’s really nice of you. I apologize, too. I was out of line. Get it?” I offered to buy him a drink but he had to get back to the door.
Sometimes in life, you do your best work when you figure you have a compressed schedule.
(And yes, two shots, 20 digits, and 16 bars of lyrics in 10 minutes is my best work. Give this man the Dion Waiters Award.)
And so it is with Joe Biden and the Democrats. Next year is an election year: nothing will get done. Right now, you have the White House, the House, and the Senate. You’ve done enough outreach across the aisle. The Republicans aren’t having it, and when they had a razor-thin majority, they rammed as much through as they possibly could. You’re almost surely gonna lose your Congressional majorities in 2022. Go for everything right now: minimum wage and and tax hikes. Green New Deal. Medicare for All. Call ’em assholes… you may even get ’em to apologize. You never know till you try it.
So, that’s my advice: You’re in the bar. Get those numbers. Take your shots. And pour some stimulus on me.