A few friends and I often partake in bar trivia at an establishment in Manhattan on Tuesday nights. Trivia begins at 8:30, so we usually try and arrive around 8pm to make sure we get ample seating/table space for our writing materials, beers and sometimes food. On this particular night I arrived at 7:30 because I grossly overestimated how long it would take me to get to the bar from my new office. When I arrived, there was another event going on. I walked in and saw a middle-aged woman standing up at a microphone reading some ridiculous poetry with zero passion in her voice. As a matter of fact, she sounded like a teacher reading a story about ponies to her first graders just before nap time, except her poem was about the birth of her son…it was interesting, but you can only make a cesarian section sound so poetic before it sounds like a scene straight out of a Wes Craven film.
It was clear that I had stumbled into some kind of older, open mic poetry night. Dammit. So, to kill time, I went to 7-11 for a hot chocolate. They didn’t have those mini marshmallows, though, so I left less than satisfied with a still-tasty hot chocolate in hand. I drank that in record time on my way back to the bar. During this time, I had only managed to kill 15 minutes, but that meant 15 minutes less of that poetry I’d have to hear. Well, to everyone’s dismay, including the employees at the bar and the trivia master, the poetry night ran over by 15 minutes to allow for the “Godfather” to say a few words and recite a story and poem and then sing a song…a man next to me mouthed the words along with the “Godfather” and clapped and whistled upon completion. He was super into it, I was super annoyed.
When poetry night was finally over, most of the older folks started to clear out for the turnover to trivia night which consists predominately of guys and gals ages 21-35 from what I can tell. I, along with a friend, waited for tables to clear that fit four people as we were expecting two more in our party. I scouted a table where the women who previously occupied it were preparing to leave. My friend and I hovered, patiently, as other tables opened up and were immediately occupied by trivia-goers. After about 10 minutes of continuous hovering, I decided to place my belongings down on one of the benches at a table where cesarian section woman was sitting. Her and a colleague were chatting but sitting far enough from each other that they managed to take up three tables in the process. I waited patiently, again. Finally, after the woman was now there by herself, nursing a 96% empty glass of water, she put her feet up essentially on my belongings, so I just went and took a seat next to her feet. Then, the dialogue began:
Woman: So are you taking over my table?
Me: Yeah, our trivia is about to begin and you appeared to be leaving.
Woman: Well, I wasn’t.
Me: I’m sorry, I really thought you were leaving. Your friends all got up so I thought you were too.
Woman: I wasn’t leaving. (At this point she FINALLY takes her feet off of the bench she had them resting upon) You could have asked.
Me: As I said, I am sorry, it looked like you were leaving. I can move…
Woman: You could have asked.
Me: I said I’m sorry. There’s no reason to have an attitude…
Woman: It’s not an attitude, I’m just saying you could have asked. Get some manners.
Me: (Appalled at this point) I said I am sorry and I will move.
Woman: Get some manners. (Storms off)
It was too bad she stormed off like that, I didn’t have enough time to tell her how much I resonated with her poem being a cesarian child myself. Darn. So much for that missed opportunity. Never fear, though, because I made sure multiple employees heard about it afterwards. They found it wildly entertaining…I have a feeling they’re not the biggest fans of that poetry night either.
Moral of the story? Just because you wear a purple sweater and read three sub-par poems at a monthly open mic night for middle-aged folk does not entitle you to put your feet up at a bar once your event has gone over and thus prohibited a WEEKLY event from starting on time. Talk about manners.