“So this is the place you write about in your column?” excitedly asked some dude that walked into the bar I manage. “This is a really cool place!”
“You read my column?” I asked.
“All the time,” he replied.
“Remember the one you wrote about perseverance?” he continued. “I cut that out and it’s hanging on the cupboard in my kitchen. I sometimes look at it when I want to feel inspired.”
While my friends that witnessed this were a little creeped out, and convinced that what he really wanted was to cut out my face to wear as a Halloween mask, I thought it was a warranted compliment. My words inspired someone in a positive way. That was f—king awesome to hear.
Needless to say, even though my words may have had a positive impact on that guy, it didn’t mean my next act of being an unorthodox inspiration would be as constructive.
A few nights later two girls walked into the bar as my bartender, Jon Devine, and I were setting up.
“Ew, why is nobody in here?” asked the one girl, with a look of disgust on her face as if she was starting at her bare foot after stepping in warm dog sh-t.
Jon and I instantly looked at each other in a silent understanding that these girls were anything but a good time.
“Why do you work here if nobody comes in?” asked the one girl as she rubbed sanitizing wipe all over her hands.
“We just opened,” I answered. “College students don’t really crowd the bars this early.”
“I’m in college!” replied the girl.
“Well then you should know that they don’t come out this early,” Jon told her.
“They usually start filling the place at10 or a little after,” I said, “but you’re probably in bed by then. You look too innocent to be out partying.”
“Ugh, I am NOT innocent,” she cried.
“You just read her like a book,” laughed her friend.
I proceeded to tell her that she simply looked too innocent to be out at a bar late at night and, judging by her turtleneck, didn’t seem like somebody who could hang.
“I’ll have you know I am in the process of converting to the Catholic religion!” she shouted in defense. “They happen to be very controversial. Who is innocent now?”
“Oh boy,” announced Jon with a big smirk and a dose of sarcasm. “Watch out! We have a badass in the house. She’s going to become a Catholic!”
She spent the next half hour trying to prove that she wasn’t innocent to Jon and me, and even her friend.
“Leaving so early?” I asked as she was was walking out.
“I have church in the morning!” she said. “But I’ll prove to you that I’m not innocent. Just wait!”
Two nights later, as everyone was leaving the bar, I heard screaming from outside.
“I F—KING LOVE YOU JUSTIN BROWN. WOOOOOOOO! COME OUTSIDE JUSTIN!”
I figured it was one of my friends being a drunk idiot, so I walked outside to see who it was.
“WHO IS INNOCENT NOW, JUSTIN?” screamed the girl from two nights earlier.
She was with her roommate at the dorm across the street, both hanging from the window, one was flashing me, while the other was mooning me.
Sorry, Mom and Dad, for making an innocent Catholic girl bring out her inner badass. It’s not my fault I change lives.