Saturday, May 19, 2007

Let's hear it for the Saturdays of our youth.

The days when I would wake up early to the birds singing the praises of glorious no school days. The sugary cereal. Johnny Quest, The Flintstones, Bugs Bunny, and Hot Wheels commercials. No cable, no remote, no internet.

Just friends down the street and around the corner and maybe a $1.25 submarine sandwich down at the mall made by the big sister of another friend who worked there. Or maybe out cruising the bars with dad.

Dad had the day off and old people didn't ride bikes to each other's houses. They met at bars called Third Base, or JoJo's, or The Cactus Room, or The Bambi. Three Jewish men owned Third Base and I liked all of them. They were nice guys. One made book and got into a little bit of trouble one time. But I'll tell you, one time we had some money trouble and those guys stood up and just asked, how much do you need Bob? They're all gone now but the memories are golden.

My sister and I sat in a booth while dad talked to friends at the bar. We got hot dogs and cokes and I used to stare at the pool table and couldn't wait until I turned 18 so I could play.

Pappi hung out at the Cactus Room. He was always there and amazed me by pulling quarter after quarter out of my ear. Sometimes I even got one for the juke box. The Cactus Room had the best pizza on the planet and at 6 years-old I was an expert on pizza.

As a young man I delivered hot dogs to The Bambi and the owner asked, "are you Bob's boy?" then announced to the patrons at the bar that she remembered when my dad had to hold me up to the urinal to pee because I was so small. I didn't even remember that but we all laughed as she offered me a coke.

Weekends used to be so much fun.

Now if parents take their kids to bars people think they're just awful. I just thought of it as adventure, or lunch, while listening to Roger Miller. Of course times have changed so much. Now I sit here at work on Saturday. I will get home at about 1:30. Just about the same time that my two youngest are getting out of bed. And the only bar they're interested in, and for that matter, the only bar my wife will let me go to....................serves sushi.

When I was little, I used to get to sit on my dad's lap and "drive" (steer) the car home. Now if kids aren't properly restrained in their car seats installed by teh fire department, people totally freak out. It wasn't that long ago, was it?
it was longer ago for me than you my dear :)
I used to hate my Dad taking us to the Pub. He used to tell my Mum we were going out for a nice walk and he'd stop by the pub to watch the football and have a pint and my sister and I would have to sit with an Irn Bru and a packet of Salt n Vinegar. At least one pack of crisps and one Irn Bru for every pint. You're bars sounded so much more interesting. Pizza! I might have enjoyed it should there have been pizza.
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