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A Really "Poor" Night
By Dave LeGates
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
That next person you meet could turn the next few hours upside down!
Have you ever looked suspiciously at someone was walking by you and wonder if they are the person who will add that next bit of roller to your coaster? That someone who will add a 2nd dimension to your otherwise one dimensional existance? How can you tell that next stranger that enters your life will provide that next adventure? There isn’t any way to tell is there?
I used to have this problem where I collected strange people. They found me and we bonded long enough to make for a day of pain and suffering.
(Sometime in March, 1983...)
One misty foggy Thursday afternoon a strange albeit very nice looking dark haired chick wandered into my Subway shop in West Haven. She looked equal parts high and depressed, not to mention a little damp. She really blended into this day as if it belonged to her. She was meant to roll in with a fog.
She asked if she could wait inside from the rain and I told her it was ok. A few minutes later she seemed to add disgusted to her repertoire of issues as she glanced out over the now infamous corner of Captain Thomas Boulevard and Campbell Ave. A little awhile later she sat down at a booth and seemed to begin to sob a little. Sooner or later, as always happens, I stop minding my business for a millisecond and ask what the problem is. This always winds up being the end of my innocence. I figured the worst case scenario here is that I would get to comfort a really hot girl and I would solve all of her troubles and we would fly off into the sunset or at very least the misty dusk together.
It didn’t matter I was going to get married soon. I was pissed off at that moment with my now ex-wife and a roll in the sand, with a dark haired stranger would’ve been just what the physician ordered to irritate the snot of the soon to be betrothed.
“Is everything alright?” I asked cautiously.
“I guess.” The girl said drying her eyes. A few minutes later she said to me, “Do you know when the last bus for North Haven is?” North Haven lit my bulb, because my official residence was still there and just by coincidence I happened to be waiting for my brother Mike to pick me up to bring me there as I used to have Friday mornings off to stay home and relax. This had real possibilities.
Me and my big mouth would take over from here.
Now by virtue of having taken a lot of buses, I knew exactly what time the next bus for North Haven left. However I was about to tell a therapeutic lie.
“Oh wow. North Haven, yeah, the bus is over an hour away.” I told the chick. “Listen I’m going to North Haven soon, I live there. Why don’t you just come with us. We’ll give you a ride, where are you heading there?”
The girl looked a little relieved that she was heading to North Haven, with the ultimate ambassador to that town.
‘My boyfriend has been seeing some girl and he’s been meeting her on the side at a bar called “Poor” something pub.” she replied.
“Oh cool!” I tell her. “You must mean ‘Poor Richard’s Pub. Me and my Subway buddies from there used to hang out at that place. Hey maybe we can see who is hanging at Subway and see if they want to go...”
“No” the girl interrupts. “That doesn’t sound like the right place.”
“That’s the only bar called “Poor’ anything in North Haven I know of. I know the whole town.”
“It doesn’t seem right.” she said.
A few seconds later, my brother Mike was with us and we got in the car with him. I told him to drop me and the chick off at Poor Richard’s Pub, so we could go have a few drinks.
I asked him, “Do you know any other bar in North Haven called ‘Poor’ anything?”
“No.” he replied. “And Poor Richard’s sucks.”
The girl asks him if he knew her boyfriend. Mike looks at her in the rear view and says, “No, he sounds like an asshole.”
We get to Poor Richard’s and the chick looked at the place and said, “I don’t think this is it, I don’t see his car.”
"Maybe he’s not here yet.” I answered. “Lets have a few drinks and wait there”, Knowing darn well no one was going to show up and I could somehow be a hero here.
So he dropped us there in the rainy early evening. As I got out of the car, my brother called me over and said, “Dave, did that chick escape from someplace?” I wasn’t sure and at that moment, I didn’t care much. The eternal pharmacist, he says to me, “If she’s taking meds, don’t let her drink.”
We went inside and the girl started looking around while I ordered drinks. The chick took her drink and began to interrogate waitresses as to if they might have seen the guy she was looking for and asking for him by name.
Waitresses began to look at her like she was a bit nuts and one who knew me asked, “Dave, is that girl gonna have a nervous breakdown? Are you her therapist?”
We downed a couple of drinks but while we sat there, the chick began to convulse, turn colors and cry. I asked her what she was crying about? I mean a chick on a date with me, usually started crying, but not this early in the night.
“This isn’t where he’s been meeting that girl.” she sobbed. “I don’t know where I am. I don’t like you. I want to go home.”
I guess that summed it up. Anyway, I told her we could walk over to the Subway Shop where my friend Gary was working. I figured he might have some ideas, at worst case scenario, eventually give her a ride some place. Gary also was on another planet, so I figured maybe they could relate to each other somehow. As for me, I knew I was just going to go home. Anyway, I bring her in to meet Gary and strangely enough, he was less than thrilled to meet a beautiful girl.
She begins to ask him if she’s seen her boyfriend.
Gary, who could handle just about any weird situation was baffled and said, “Isn’t LeGates your boyfriend?”
I looked at him and said, “No, she is searching all the bars of North Haven for a guy who is cheating on her.” The girl begins to melt down again.
The girl looks desperately at him and says, “Do you know any bar around here called 'Poor’ something?”
“Just that whore house behind here.” Gary replied.
I told the girl I was going to leave and head home. Then the crying really starts.
“YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE ME HERE?” she hollered and cried.
“Well, you just said you don’t like me. You’re only worried about finding that clown at some bar no one has ever heard of. You’re on your own from here. Nice knowing you. Good luck.”
“I LIKE YOU! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE.” I however had wasted enough time that night. I gave Gary a 10 dollar bill and told him that of the chick got on his nerves to call a cab for her and bring her wherever the 10 spot might bring her.
I walked home and when I got there my mother said, “Call Paul Landino, he’s pissed about something.”
Paul was the owner of the owner of that Subway shop, I used to work for him.
I call him up and right away he gets to the point.
“Dave, get that broad out of the store.”
“Paul, how do you propose I do that?”
“Go back down to the store, and get her out.”
“Paul, she is a grown up, she can do whatever she wants. Just tell Gary to tell her to get out.”
“Dave, I don’t bring chicks and drop them off down at your store do I?”
“No, your wife will kick your ass.”
“Dave, ok listen, call down the store and talk to her and tell her she has to leave.”
I agreed to do that. I called the shop and Gary says to her, “LeGates is on the phone, talk to him.”
The chick got on the phone and I told her, “Listen, the owner wants you to leave, so you gotta go now.” The chick gives the phone to Gary and asks if she could use the bathroom before she left. Gary seemed satisfied she was leaving and we hung up.
A few minutes later, there is a call from Gary.
‘Dave, the chick locked herself in the bathroom and won’t come out. She’s in there crying and says she is gonna kill herself. You know I’m in no mood for this right?”
“Tell her I want to talk to her.” I told him.
“Hey” he yells into the toilet, “LeGates wants to talk to you again.” The girl begins to scream and cry even harder.
”That cheered her up Dave.” He giggled.
“Call the cops.” I told him.
“Yeah, I guess I have to.” He said tersely. “Dave?”
“I’ll get you for this night.”
A few minutes later the cops and an ambulance arrive at the Subway shop. They go to the bathroom door and they start the process of trying to get the girl out of bathroom in one piece.
‘I’M NOT LEAVING HERE. I’M GONNA KILL MYSELF.”
"Do you have any sharp objects with you?” They asked her.
“No.” She replied.
“Do you have any drugs with you?"
“Do you have anything to hang yourself with?”
“Then how do you plan to kill yourself in there?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well come out because you’re wasting our time.”
A few minutes later the girl comes out, drying her eyes. She looks at the ambulance driver and asks him if he knows her boyfriend. The guy tells her no as he starts to walk her to the back of the wagon to trioge the girl. The guy asked her, “Why were going to kill yourself?”
“Because I was looking for my boyfriend in a bar, but I don’t know where it is. Have you ever heard of a place called ‘Poor Something Pub’?”
“Not this place over here?” He replies pointing in the direction of Poor Richard’s.
“No, somewhere else in North Haven.” she says.
“You don’t mean ‘Poor John’s Pub’ just over the New Haven line?” He asks.
The girls eyes brighten up and said, “Yeah that’s it! 'Poor John’s Pub’! That’s where he is, can we go there?”
“Sure sweetheart, we’re on our way there now.” He tells her as he helps her into the back of the ambulance and closes the door.
The guy looks over at Gary and says, “I’m out here on a rainy night, trying to talk some chick out of killing herself because she couldn’t remember the name ‘Poor John’s Pub’?”
“That’s about the size of it.” Gary replied in his calm fashion.
“Yeah, well we have to go by there on the way to Yale Psychiatric.” The driver said. “Think she’ll notice the difference?”
P.S. Poor Richard’s Pub closed 2 years later, however Poor John’s remains open to this day. Every time I go by there I think of this night.
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