[author's note: the following story is true. the names have been changed to protect the guilty]
parrish at parrish's
parrish is the proprieter of parrish's bar and grill, located in the historic square in downtown oxford. he's a charismatic guy, and his bar is one of the few places in oxford where one can avoid the stench of old money and radical southern pride. gross.
meet the protagonists.
kelso and cheese, after a hard day's work
on the left, we have kelso, world-reknowned for his cameo in a freshman blog post and his love for mahatma red beans and rice. on the right, there's matthew "cheese" mcchesney, most famous for his luck with the ladies and a pension for passing out in his computer chair at 2:30 in the afternoon. and then there's me (not pictured), armed with bourbon breath, an arsenal of passive-agressive insults and a canon powershot A85.
once a year, the entire town of oxford shuts down for a saturday and everyone enjoys the double decker festival, a music fest in the square. for the college student, double decker is an excuse to get publicly drunk and stumble around seeing everyone you know. minds of tomorrow, indeed.
so the three of us are out and about, amongst the masses, enjoying the gale force winds and overcast weather the day provided for us, and we decide that a refill is necessary. en route, cheese makes a pit stop at the local tobacco store to purchase a ten dollar cigar, and then its onward ...
now meet the antagonists.
the antagonists, playing it cool
on the left, there's dude 1, decked out in cool-guy sunglasses and cowboy boots. on the right, there's dude 2, who, judging by the long sleeve shirt, apparently got the memo that it was going to be cold outside, but nonetheless decided that his legs must be exposed to the public.
on our way to the refill station, we take the alley that runs next to parrish's and notice a truck with a few kegs in it, undoubtedly being delivered to parrish's to help quell its patron's thirst for life. as we walk closer, dudes 1 and 2 come out of nowhere, each grab a side of the last keg waiting to be delivered, and they dart off, running as quickly as two dudes can whilst bearing a full keg.
initially, there was silence among the three of us, but it ultimately sets in: those bastards just stole a keg from parrish's. not the levee; not the burgundy room; but they just took a keg from parrish's. not on our watch.
as they scurry off to their car and deposit the keg, we casually walk after them, and as soon as they shut the tailgate to the dudemobile, cheese strolls over, stogie in mouth, and initiates a nice friendly conversation with them. freaked out, they simultaneously light up cigarettes and commence "play it cool" mode (pictured above). cheese talks to them for a minute, mere banter, saying nothing of what everyone there knows just happened. the whole time he's talking to these guys, i unsheathed my trusty canon powershot and took picture after incriminating picture of dude 1, dude 2, and the dudemobile, fully loaded with power windows, power seats, and a stolen keg in the trunk.
when you're a dude, you park where you want to
after a full roll of evidence, kelso and i walk over:
cheese: "these are my friends, john and charles"
kelso: [without missing a beat] "call me chuck"
dude 2: "sup fellas. um, so listen ... we know you guys saw what went down and like ... is there a problem?"
me: "actually guys ... yeah, there is a problem"
cheese: [sternly] "parrish is a friend of ours. so we're gonna need that keg back"
defeated, dude 1 opens the back of the dudemobile, and silently hands over the keg, destroying all his oh-so-recent hopes of cute girls doing multiple keg stands and passing out in his bedroom. we grab the keg, exchange condolences with dudes 1 and 2, and start the victory walk back to parrish's. slowly. with a swagger.
as we approach, parrish and the keg delivery guy come running out of the alley with rage in their eyes, ready to bust heads, but quickly calm down when they see familiar faces beaming with confidence and sweat from carrying a keg. parrish, being the cool guy he is, offers us a few free rounds, and we spend the rest of the afternoon celebrating in the newly opened back half of our new favorite bar and grill. the free beers were nice, but the true spoils came from the glazed but joyful faces of the other intoxicated patrons; everything in its right place.
as for dudes 1 and 2, i deleted most of the pictures, or at least the really incriminating ones (closeups of their faces, license plate, etc.). for now, they roam free, and will hopefully heed this as a warning shot, fired over their bow of greed and petty theft.
and to all others, just know this: wherever there is wrong, wherever there is injustice, wherever a man's buzz is being threatened by the selfish acts of others, wherever there is crime ...
we'll be there.