Saturday, February 14, 2009

It wasn't Valentine's Day, but that was OK ....

A tale of beer, bar stools & beauty
at the establishment known as Maynard's

"All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day"

"I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day"

There we go, or here we are, depending on the depth of one's perception. "California Dreaming" once was a popular song and remains a popular pastime, especially during a long, cold, snowy, northern winter.

It is time for another true story. For this epic tale, we will return to a bar I spoke of once before, Maynard's in La Jolla, California. At least, I think it was in La Jolla. Allow me to explain.

As you possibly surmised, my excursions in and around California were associated with the military. For a time, I spent most of my days at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, across the bay from San Diego. (Sometimes, the days were spent not so much on the base as in water -- in the bay or in the ocean.)

My initial off-base excursion began with myself and the three musketeers going into "Dago," boarding a bus and proceeding up the coast until we reached "friendly" territory. On the way, we had passed a sign that read, La Jolla. There, we "disembarked" the bus and "launched a reconnaissance patrol" along the beach, looking for a suitable location to establish our "base camp." All right, enough of that.

We found such a spot at a hotel, whose name I have forgotten, mostly because I promptly christened it the "Hotel California." Somewhere in the neighborhood was a bar which went by the name of Maynard's. I think these things were in La Jolla, but I have a tendency to lose track of precisely where I am when wandering in a metro area so, in matter of fact, I have no clue exactly how far up the beach we actually trekked before establishing our "perimeter." We spent more than a few weekends on the beach there, contemplating the nature of life, and in the hotel, searching the mostly abandoned floors for ghosts of days long past.

One Sunday evening, three of us were seated in Maynard's for a final beer or two before returning "home" to Coronado. For whatever reason (moody, I would guess now), I had left our booth and was seated at the bar while my two comrades remained in the booth. We three, along with the bartender and a man and a young lady in another booth, were the only occupants that evening.

I was sort of leaning forward with my elbows on the bar, looking sort of downward, clutching my bottle of beer with both hands, absolutely lost in thought about who knows what, when suddenly, without warning, an unknown object lashed me across my face, stinging sharply, and encircled itself round my head. It covered my eyes and blocked my vision.

My reaction was like lightning. I came off my bar stool swinging, my fists striking out wildly, here, there, everywhere. Then, I heard my compatriots' laughter coming from behind me. I reached up with one hand and pulled the mysterious object down from around my eyes. There, before me, on the bar stool immediately next to the one upon which I had been seated, was the young lady from the neighboring booth. She was stripping to the beat of the music coming from the juke box. The mystery object which had wrapped itself round my head and covered my eyes was her bra.

I stood there, in admiration and appreciation, watching her for a few moments. Then, the young lady's companion left his booth, came over, picked her blouse up from the floor, placed an arm around her bare legs (her jeans were by now down to her ankles), pulled her from the bar stool and slung her over his shoulder.

"Sorry," the companion said to me calmly. "Two drinks and she's off and running."

I untwisted the young lady's bra from my face and handed it to the companion.

"Thanks," he said, and marched from Maynard's with the young lady over his shoulder, her upper body still twisting and turning to the sound of the music, her bare breasts swaying, and the biggest, prettiest smile in the world on her face.

Music Note: Listening to Styx ....
Specifically, "Return to Paradise" ....
("Lady" .... when you're with me I'm smiling)

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