Usually my buddy Stan calls me. This time, I called him.
“Hey Stan, guess what?”
“The governor lifted the covid restrictions on bars, so The Pit can re-open.”
The Pit is our local watering hole. It is not much, just a rundown roadhouse. In fact, the last time the owner put a cent into the place was when he dropped a handful of change and scooped up a penny short.
That was in 1976.
“Yeah,” Stan said, “but I’d steer clear if I were you.”
“What about my truck?”
“It’s a Chevy.”
I didn’t know how to respond.
“You were right,” he began, “the governor allowed bars to re-open, but only at 50% capacity.”
“So which 50%?”
“How about first come, first serve?”
“That would make too much sense,” he confessed, “instead, we went with brand loyalty.”
“When the parking filled up,” he said, “everyone noticed there was more Ford trucks than anything else. So the Ford guys formed a mob to drive off anyone who wasn’t one of them. Bob Meyer got the rear tires on his Silverado slashed and someone torched Lenny McCarthy’s Tundra.”
“Sounds like Minneapolis.”
“Yeah, it was and for the same reasons.” Here he hesitated. “I drive an F450 because I believe it is a better truck – but that doesn’t make me a better person for believing it.”
“Not sure where you are going with this,” I said, “but trucks can almost be a religion for some.”
“Exactly,” Stan said, “grabbing on to a better thing doesn’t make you better, it just makes you feel superior, which is the exact opposite of being a better person.”
Every once in a while Stan will talk in riddles – but he often makes sense – if not Stan-sense.
“It’s like those idiots burning down Minneapolis,” he said, “fighting for a good cause is a good thing – but if you are not a good person, nothing good will ever comes of it and that is what happened at The Pit.”
“Once they got the mob rolling, there was no stopping it. After the Ford guys chased off the Chevy, Dodge and Toyota crowd, they still didn’t fit into The Pit’s 50% capacity. So what do you think happened?”
“I don’t know.”
“The heavy duty truck guys turned on the F150 owners and went on a headlight busting rampage.”
“Like they say, all revolutions eat their own, so naturally the F350’s went after the F250’s and finally the F450 contingent pushed them all out – leaving just me.”
“Wait a minute, doesn’t Karl drive a F450?”
“He does but I sent him packing.”
“Why? What was wrong with his truck?”
“Nothing,” Stan said, “but Karl is a jerk and everyone knows it.”
After that, it was hard to think of anything to say…until the thought struck me.
“If you are the only one left at The Pit and we have been buddies since the third grade, why can’t I join you for a beer?”
He thought about it for a minute.
“Don’t see any reason why not.”
“How about I invite a couple of the regulars to come along too.”
“Sure, that would be great, but on one condition.”