Belated St. Paddy’s post

Not much to say, but nothin’ says St. Patricks like a good old-fashioned piss-up. So I took a break last saturday night from reading about Paypal shopping cart integration APIs (you can’t set different shipping rates for Boston and Botswana? Gimme a friggin’ break!) to find out what some buds were doing. “Hey, we’re down at the Banshee, come join us!” So I made my way there.

Anyway, I think I must have a neon “crazy people please come talk to me” aura or something, which was particularly acting up tonight. Not 2 blocks from my house I run into Powderhouse Crazy Guy (or rather, see him bothering some people in front of me and cross over to the other side of the street, because I’m in a somewhat less than friendly mood and don’t want to deal with that right now). But I didn’t cross fast or sly enough, I guess, because next thing I hear is running footsteps and “Uh…Eyy…Eyyyyy!” from behind, followed by some pokes on the back. I was walking quite a bit faster than the pack of people on the sidewalk up ahead of me, which turns around in response to the commotion and immediately parts Red Sea style, giving some looks that I couldn’t reliably interpret–either pissed that I’m luring this guy (however inadvertently) into their vicinity, pissed about me rudely ignoring him, or just throwing a big collective “like, wtf mate?” to the whole business. So I end up going right through the center of this crowd, the guy keeps on poking, and I guess either found someone else to chase or got too far away from Powderhouse for his comfort, because the footsteps and poking died off. I didn’t look back to see which.

So I make it all the way to the T without further incident, get on and sit down. The very next stop, a guy comes in and sits right next to me (rather than leave a space, I mean, this was not a crowded train), smelling of equal parts rum and feces, turns and asks “which one’s my stop?”, or something to that effect. Ummm….okay…? With some questions I eventually I work out from a long and incomprehensible story that this guy’s from “Califorrrrn-i-ya” and trying to get to the airport for his return flight. I tell him he’ll be getting off at South Station, which is now coming up in 5 stops. So he’s like, “what’s the next stop?” And I tell him, pointing to the sign right in front of us which has all the stops listed. “What’s after that?” Repeat for each of the stops, and repeatedly directing the guy to the big sign, pointing at where we were now, all that. So after Downtown Crossing, I tap the guy and tell him his is the next stop, and try to explain how to go down the stairs and get on the right silver line bus, not making much headway. So he kind of just sits there as the train grinds to a halt and the doors open, and I’m prodding, “dude, get up, this is your stop, the doors are going to close!”, but the dude just sits there and stares like no comprende. About 3 seconds after the doors are shut and the train has started moving again, he gets up and goes for the door, and comes back looking all quizzical on finding that it’s not open. So I instruct him as plainly as I can to “walk out this door, walk a few steps forward (to the ‘inbound’ track); when the train comes, get on it and go ONE STOP”, and he actually gets off in a timely manner next time the doors open. What happened after that, I don’t know. After the doors shut I sighed loudly, and a couple passengers smiled knowingly. (This whole exchange was pretty comical in the “you had to be there” sort of way.)

Onward to the Banshee! A couple blocks off the subway, down an alley there’s a pre-fight argument going on…after the my luck so far I figure the best thing I can do is walk quickly past and not make eye contact. This is in Dorchester, which is not necessarily the nicest neighborhood, and on one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, so it’s probably not a huge surprise. And man, the Banshee was assholes-to-assholes packed. It took over 10 minutes to get from the front door to the back where our folks were hanging out. And as for actually buying a round…another 20 minutes to claw one’s way to the front of the bar, get attention and put an order in, so I made each one a bulk order ;-) A couple of our group members had been there since 8:30 in the morning. There was much off-key singing and The Lady dancing in a very lubricated fashion with a big green foam hat.

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