A neighborhood bar is where men make bar friends.
A man will stand at the bar along side of a stranger and make small talk as they wait to order. The next time one of them comes in when the other is there — they nod in recognition and say, “Howyadoin?” If they start dropping in for happy hour on the same evenings, they may become bar friends.
When Sig discovers a place with a prime rib sandwich special and reasonable drinks, he finds a new bar friend. His name is Harry. For a couple of weeks, they run into each other, stand around and talk about the day’s headlines.
One night, Harry’s wife comes in. That’s when Sig finds out that Harry thinks his name is Serge, since that’s how he introduces him. Sig decides on the spot not to correct the mistake because he doesn’t think it matters.
Harry and Serge/Sig both like Kansas road trips and one night get excited talking about going to a rodeo, one of the oldest in the state.
Sig is in a quandary, he thinks he should let Harry know his real name but he can’t quite figure out how to do it after so much time has passed. I suggest that he just come right out with it, “Harry, I’ve got something to tell you. My name is Sig, not Serge.”
Then I imagine Harry’s reply, “Whaaat? Not Serge? What kind of name is Cig? Short for cigarette? ”
Sig does not take my advice. Shortly after, I finally go with Serge/Sig to meet his newly minted friends. We spend a good couple of hours together talking and joking like you do. As we leave, they yell, “Let’s plan that rodeo trip, Serge. Nice meeting you, Phoebe.”
Are you serious? We barely get out of the bar before we collapse against the building laughing too hard to walk. But that’s the true story of how Serge and Phoebe spent an entire weekend in Strong City, Kansas with a couple of bar friends.