Continued from previous post;
There was, however, one exception. A dark haired young man had entered the bar just as Bonnie started to make an exhibition of herself. The new arrival could hardly miss her for she now dominated the empty area which she had managed to clear on the dance floor. The dark haired guy headed straight for Bonnie who was still standing with inelegant splayed feet waiting for some response from Hangin’ Dan, or indeed, from anybody.
I suddenly recognised the newcomer as Poke Mahoney, a young Irishman I had recently met briefly. Poke’s rumpled city type suit and black shiny leather shoes rather stood out among the blue denim jeans and cowboy boots favoured by most of the other male customers. Even as he started to move towards Bonnie, I could see, having had experience of such happenings, that Poke had already been partaking of alcoholic beverages elsewhere before hitting The Frontier Daze Pub. He strutted confidently but unsteadily across the dance floor towards Bonnie. He was straying slightly sideways owing to his earlier intake of alcohol and was now also waggling his elbows in a parody of Chicken Likin and yelling, “Cock a doodle doo”, to nobody in particular.
Not for the first time in my life, I wondered at my ability to attract weirdos to my person rather like horse shit attracts flies. Poke was no exception. He was a young and rather wild looking Irishman who apparently earned a living as an electrician. This was enough to support his liking for alcohol which he managed to consume in prodigious quantities. We had met a couple of times in this Irish Pub but he always seemed to have already been drinking elsewhere before heading to hang out at The Frontier Daze Bar where he was a popular visitor, always successfully playing the part of the daft and wild, hard drinking Irishman.
The band had just finished their brief introductory number as Poke was marching across the floor. Luckily, Dick Frost the band leader had clocked Poke from his higher elevation on the band stand and quickly assessed the situation. Sometimes a difficult situation could be covered up when the band caused a diversion by playing another tune. With the benefit of years of entertaining experience, Dick could read an audience expertly. He counted the band in again with a quick, ‘Two – three – four’ and they immediately kicked off with a swinging Western version of, ‘If You’ve Got The Money Honey, I’ve Got The Time’.
However, I was now grateful for the band playing as a diversion; I could see a really difficult situation possibly developing. Poke Mahoney and Bonnie were about to meet and Poke, unpredictable at the best of times, was already three sheets to the wind. Nature intervened when Poke remembered, in mid stride, why he had approached the bar in the first place; a wee alcoholic beverage came to mind. This happy thought deflected Poke from a headlong collision with the unbonny Bonnie when his natural bent for ordering ‘a wee refreshment’ took control of his slightly fuzzy brain and he veered off to the right, heading for a space at the bar where he could arrange his priorities in the correct sequence to order a beer from the Tim the bartender.
Bonnie was also used to making quick decisions to take control of any situation, honed from her years of experience as a truck driver. Before Poke had a chance to order a drink, she called over Poke’s bobbing head to Timothy O’Malley the bartender, requesting him to pour her another pitcher of beer and give her a fresh glass for the new guest; the unsteady Irishman was welcome to join her set. Bonnie’s shouted invite reminded Poke of his intent to confront the lady who had been shouting the loudest. Ever mindful of priorities, Poke grabbed the fresh glass from the bar and gratefully turned to introduce himself to this new benefactor and dispenser of free beers, the rather strangely named Bonnie.
ENTER EDEN THE TERRIBLE! (To be continued).
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