After writing that last bit I stayed in Cheap Beer Place perhaps a bit longer than I should have. I was nursing the beers and nursing the batteries, giving me plenty of staying power, but the ol’ laptop had been in my backpack quite a while when the three guys asked if they could share my table. Things were getting crowded in my section of the bar, after I had spent the afternoon as king and sole patron. Time had passed, shifts had changed, and my favorite waitress had given way to some new guy, who was obviously a rookie.
The three guys were all right. They were younger, Slovak, and there for the dancers. I’ve never been able to figure it out. Cheap Beer Place has, on seemingly random nights, girls who dance without very much on. They do this as the rest of the bar continues its normal vibe, ignoring them completely. They’re just part of the background. I think, if I was hired to be sexy (no worries there), it would suck to be completely ignored. But that’s how it goes, there.
The lads I was with actually approached the evening with much more gusto than the average customer. When the first dancer started they all moved their chairs around for a better view. They made little effort to include me in their conversation, but that was all right with me. Striped-shirt-guy even went over and talked to the dancer for a while, joking and chatting and getting nowhere with her. The dancer did her job, however; I decided to stay for one more beer. As my refreshment arrived so did three more guys, older men, also Slovak.
The mood at the table instantly soured. Striped-shirt-guy in particular was not happy to see the newcomers. One of the new three sidled up next to him and put his arm around the young guy. They left for a while. One of the other youngsters explained to me that we were the only two heterosexuals at the table. The elder batch gave off a predatory air. It gave me the creeps.
I don’t get hit on in bars. It’s just a simple fact. Well, while I was trying to flag down rookie waiter to pay and get the hell out of there (Prosim! Prosim! Zaplatim! dammit!) and the mood at the table was swirling down the crapper, I was hit on. Hard. With no subtlety whatsoever. He wasn’t vulgar (that I could tell), but he was persistent. I tried to absorb myself watching the dancers to, you know, give a hint. I’m not sure why I thought a hint would work, since “I like girls” and “NO, NEVER, EVER” (with gestures) hadn’t seemed to get the point across.
Finally rookie came by with my bill (prices have gone up at Cheap Beer Place). I stopped on the way out and told the dancer I thought she was very pretty – not a lie at all. She smiled and thanked me, also sincerely, as she slipped out of her top. What a crazy place.