I lost my job today and ducked into Sammy’s Bar and Tavern. I saw a news report this morning that said it’s the highest unemployment rate since 1980-something, and then another that said the 70s. In Sammy’s though, people ate burgers on Texas Toast and watched the Cubs game. Summers in the midwest give people an excuse to show far more skin than you would ever care to see. But there is a ballgame on and the man at the bar peppers his fries, offers the bar tender one and says, “You look like you could use something to eat.” She smiles gracefully under the brim of her Cubs hat. She has strong legs and a deep tan and heads follow her during commercial breaks. The bar is mottled dark wood and has a shine as a woman at the end spins her cocktail. There are plaques behind the bar that say things like, “Golf is like sex: When it’s good, it’s terrific, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good,” or “DANGER: Beware of occasional foul words and flying debris in this seating area.” There are pictures floor to ceiling of celebrities from ten-years-back with their arms around the manager and owner, our beloved Sammy, smiling over a pint as he holds it in front of him.
There is a ballgame and beer, cut off shorts, an open dart board, and the door is wedged open with yesterday’s newspaper. I order a pint or two and for that afternoon, all that matters is who’s on third and that the squeezable red ketchup needs a refill.