We were so looking forward to just sitting at the tiny, three stool bar at the restaurant attached to our hotel. We needed to slum it, in the fashion we were most accustomed to. From our balcony, we could see that there was only one person sitting at the bar, and I joked that I was sure I could chase him away in no time. We meandered downstairs and grabbed the two empty stools at the bar, looking forward to some plain old beer and camaraderie with the bar staff.
The guy who was sitting at the other stool was the epitome of every annoying bar patron that we’d ever run across, and then some. He was truly in a league of his own. I’ve been know to tell the crude and the rude to just shut the fuck up and leave us alone in other establishments, but this guy wouldn’t quite cross the line between pathetic to disgusting. He remained lonely and sad, and after five minutes, we certainly could see why.
The moment our butts hit the stools, he turned to us and said, “Did I ever tell you the one about…” No, you couldn’t have, since we’ve never met you before. He then proceeded to tell us some tired, old internet joke that we’d each heard at least thirty times. We politely laughed, which was the wrong thing to do. You can’t encourage this type. He continued to tell us one joke after another, all of which we’d heard countless times before. We both even began to mention that we’d heard that one, and even that one, but he continued to tell them all the way to the end, regardless. This went on through four jokes. Five jokes. Seven jokes. Finally, I did it.
I faked a phone call.
I pulled my cell from my pocket and started carrying on an animated conversation into which I dragged Kevin. He quickly picked up the idea, and repeatedly told me things to tell the person on the other end. In the meantime, NotJoker kept poking him in the back, needing to tell him another one. I passed the phone to Kev so he could be more involved and possibly give this dude the idea to leave us alone. After both of us kept telling the non-existent caller that we would certainly discuss this between ourselves as soon as we hung up, we finally decided we were safe enough to end the pretend call.
The moment the phone was back in my pocket, NotJoker got up and stood between us so he could say, “And then there’s the one about…” Surprise! Another not funny joke from 1947!
I swear that if it wasn’t for the adorable little girl that looked like Gwyneth Paltrow who appeared at the counter to pick up an order for her family, he would have never given up. With a new target to hold hostage, we were finally able to shake him. Otherwise, we still might be sitting there, listening to his stale jokes and not wanting to hurt the feelings of an ugly, lonely little man. We could still be sitting there with him, under the palm trees and blue skies, with dolphins jumping and manatees swimming nearby, and listening to his pathetic form of stand-up comedy,
The snow in Ohio really didn’t seem like such a bad trade-off, after all.