Freudian Slips: Hoosier Daddy?

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

October 18, 2005

Hoosier Daddy?

In 1980, my mother and I drove out to see my brother and his family in Indiana. The Hoosier state was the farthest away from home that I had traveled. Maybe I should have stayed home. This vacation proved to be a hallmark of sorts for it represents the last time in my life I considered myself naïve.
My brother is a hard working man whose main priority in life has always been to provide for his family. Consequently, he could not take off of work the whole time we visited. So when I was looking for a little nightlife on a lonesome Saturday night, my dear brother thought it would be a hoot to send me to a gay bar. What are brothers for? My poker-faced brother gave me directions to a neighborhood bar in walking distance, a contact person, everything really but the greenbacks for my first drink.
“Ask for Sy the bartender?” my brother instructed.
“I’ll do that and thanks.”
When I walked into the joint, a long wood grain bar awaited me. There were a handful of patrons sitting at behind-the-scene tables and milling bar side. People tended to their drinks and the movements of those around them.
The bartender was a thin older gentlemen who had a Cheshire smile and spoke from the side of his mouth. When he introduced himself as Sy, I knew I was in the right place after all. I hopped up on a bar stool and chilled to the tune of a beer. Sy seemed glib to make my acquaintance. I got to say that the service and individual attention that Sy gave me was par excellence. Bar none. He was a heck of bartender who even guessed the cologne I was wearing. I got to talking to Sy, who became even friendlier once I told him I was only in town for the weekend. He introduced me to a couple of fellas which was might nice of him. First impressions are important for a stranger in a strange land. Indiana seemed a very friendly state and I had my brother to thank.
“Hey Sy, where are all the women?” I asked innocently.
“Slow night but there is a woman’s softball team that comes in here after games. A bus brings them in. Pretty soon this place will be crawling with snatch. You wait and see.”
So I waited to talk me some baseball to some fine Indiana women.
Two downed beers later, my question returned as if it were from the mouth of a babe. “Do you still think the women are coming, Sy? Maybe you were mistaken and they didn’t have a game tonight?”
Sy glanced at his watch as if he had the women’s softball schedule in his back pocket and the infiltration of women in the bar down to an exact science.
“Yeah, gals will be along any time now." Sy reassured. "You just wait and see.”
I believed Sy for why would he not be honest with me? Trouble is, I waited all night for that women’s softball team to arrive. I guess the game went into extra innings. Not!
Rule #1 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. It helps not to be naïve in the first place. Strike one.
Rule #2 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. Never sashay over to a pinball machine in tight Jordache jeans and proceed to play the body table. TTTommy can you hear me?
Rule #3 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. When a grinning guy wearing a muscle shirt buys you a beer before knowing your name, chances are he is romantically interested at least for the night.
Rule #4 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. Never walk up to a silent jukebox and drop coin to play the anthem It’s Raining Men without expecting mixed messages.
Rule #5 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. When every single guy in a gay bar follows you into the men’s room, chances are that not everyone needs to urinate.
Rule #6 for any heterosexual guy in a gay bar without knowing it. When two gentlemen nearly erupt into fisticuffs over a chance to drive another man home, their charity may not be a random act of kindness.
Despite generous offers for rides by strangers, I ran all the way home shedding every parcel of naivety at breakneck speed. Later when I told my brother about my awkward moments in the gay bar, he laughed his ass off. I didn’t find it so funny. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I love a good practical joke…just not on me.

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9 Comments:

Blogger PaxRomano said...

Not to have a laugh at your expense, but I have seen this happen before...straight guy walks into a gay bar, has no idea it's a gay bar; hilarity ensues. Then again, many of us gay folk have suffered endless hours in straight bars, so there's that...

7:34 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

pax,
it all evens out in the end...

7:50 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh I'm laughing. At your expense, I suppose. But that's the point isn't it?

Great post!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

Hey, you got to see a different side of Indiana than I did, and I was there for 2 1/2 years!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Erin,
Men! You can't drink with them and you can't drink without them.

Merci,
Hoosier travel agent? I'm switching.

5:50 PM  
Blogger honkeie2 said...

I am sorry to say I spit coffee on myself laugh at this one. Sorry it was you that made my monday but thanks for sharing. My close in counter with the other kind happened in a bar bathroom, he asked if I was i said no why and then pulled a huodini...poof gone. I have yet to accidently go into any of the gay bars around here. Maybe it is the fear that keeps me away lol.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

honkeie2,
your story lends itself to urine retention. lol.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Catherine Mary said...

Joe, One of the best times in my life have been in a gay bar with Marty. I danced all night with his friends, even got a pinch on butt . And then I went into the ladies room. I ran!
Not that I'm homophobic but I was quite nervous. Now you know how a gay guy/girl feels in a straight bar. Catherine Mary

3:40 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catheirne Mary,
Sounds like I missed a gala event.

9:31 AM  

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