Gone On Shots, Hung Over On Beauty

(In Three Acts)

by Bill Tuomala



Introduction? Transition sentences? Nah, brah. Let's commence with the romance ...


I. Typical Shot (in Fave Bar)


I grab a seat at the bar, a couple of youngsters are next to me. I order a Premium and a shot of Jag. One youngster shoots an excited Spicoli-like "whoah!" my way. I look over, he says that I had ordered the exact same thing that they had - a Premium and a Jag. We get our drinks and clink the shot glasses, suddenly brothers in booze. For the toast, the young bucks go with a traditional "cheers"; I throw out a Kramer line from Seinfeld: "Here's to feeling good all the time." I'm sure the conversation turned to sports and women, but the social transaction was effectively over.



II. Typical Shot (While Deejaying)


On its face, deejaying is playing music for people while they enjoy a night out. But once you get into that little corner in the club, it is just another variation of boys playing music for each other. And when drinks and hence shots are on the house, the imbibing tends towards Stoli and Patron. Someone proposes the time for the shots. Spin a set. Kinks, Yardbirds, Hendrix, Bo Diddley, New York Dolls. Time is lost. Some talk about that certain slice of vinyl, where you found it, when it happened. Agree on the time for the shots. Yuk it up over the same inside jokes that have been running for the past few weeks. Another set. Go-Go's, Raspberries, Beatles, Who, Thin Lizzy. Get the shots, wait for a moment when the deejay in the booth can join in, then toast and do 'em up. There is no tomorrow.



III. Typical Shot (While Daydreaming)


My approach to talking to unknown girls is like my preferring to play black in chess: I do better when the other has the first move and I can counter. While most would argue the importance of moving first and keeping the attack, I'm more comfortable in the role of reaction and counter-attack. Maybe it's my background steeped in playing Jarts, where going second gives you the hammer.


I had a rare flight out of town and was at the Humphrey Terminal. My gate was located next to a bar that was attempting some sort of Minnesota Northwoods theme, which seemed strange when you could look out the window and see tarmacs and parking ramps and suburban Bloomington. The bar was packed and no tables were open. Fortunately, two guys appeared to be leaving their places near the end of the bar. I asked if they were leaving, they said I could go ahead and sit down. "But," one said, "you might have to buy her a drink." He motioned towards a twenty-something gal sitting at the very end of the bar. The girl didn't appear to take any notice of what was said. I sat down, ordered a tall boy Summit. The bartender asked the girl if she wanted another White Russian. No, she said, but stated that she wanted to do a shot. Then, to me: "Are you in?"


"Are you in?" One of the most beautiful three-word sentences in the English language. Sounds better than "I love you" and is almost up there with "Sioux defeat Gophers." And this was an "Are you in?" coming from a young woman all by her lonesome. "Yeah," I said, "I'm in." I looked her in the eye to start the shot talks and to see the cuteness that I had sensed ever since I sat down next to her. She had bangs, freckles, and seventies-type funky cabbie cap pulled low. Sweater, faded jeans. We began the negotiations on what to shoot up. Chilled vodka, tequila, and Jag were ruled out. We finally settled on her suggestion of a concoction called a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (vanilla vodka and pineapple juice topped with a drop of grenadine.)


We clinked glasses, shot 'em up, and I told her that the shots were on me. We chatted briefly about books and writing and our homes in south Minneapolis. She was on her way to Las Vegas for a friend's wedding and too soon had to catch her flight. I immediately realized I had a worthwhile goal: Do more shots with hot girls. It beats dating, easily. No fumbling for thinking of something to say or things to do. No messy broken hearts. No missing the big (or medium or small) game on TV because you have "plans." Just the quick rush of clinking and drinking, then the afterglow of sweet victory. Are you in?






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