Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elk's Club? Really?

Either I am getting ALOT older than I feel, or the bar tender I spoke to Friday night was not a very good reader of people.  Bartenders are supposed to, by the nature of their profession, be good people readers, as they serve up libations to paying customers.  It was Friday night after a long, hectic, stressful work week, but I did get to watch both Colbert and Daily Show while working out, and showered before enjoying a dinner of locally raised Asian pork tenderloin, and as I sipped a glass of Hennesy digestive, I inquired to the amiable bartender who looked and sounded like actor Toby Jones from the Dr. Who "Amy's Choice" episode (and Harry Potter movies as well, for those who watch that sort of thing) "What is there that is fun to do on Friday and Saturday nights in State College PA?"

Toby Jones's look-a-like ruminated on this for a moment, and mentioned that a theatrical play's run had just ended, and that the hockey team was not playing this weekend, and then he said to me "The Elk's Club down in Bouillard has comedy nights on Saturday".  Elk's Club? I've got nothing against Elk's Clubs, Lion's Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Knights of Columbus (except the KofC's rabid anti-abortion activism), and other civic minded "clubs", I've just never a) been much of a club joiner and b) was not born before or during the Eisenhower Administration.  I thanked Toby for his advice, paid my bill, and vowed quietly to myself that I'd not eat there ever again on a Friday night, or Saturday for that matter.

It sort of reminded me of the first time I was invited to a KKK meeting in Spartanburg SC, while working with the plant emergency response team.  We did fire fighter and first responder training, and all of the plant security guards were required to join.  I was the only engineer, and only salaried person, to volunteer and join the team, and one evening after work when I was in the guard house at the main plant entrance and talking to the other fire team members, the head guard from that shift said to me "We're havin a meetin this weekend, and there'll be a lighting ceremony. You can come. If you don't have your own hood, we'll give you one at the meetin".  A Klan meeting, really?  Did I look like a ignorant, bigoted, racist hate monger?  I politely declined, being about 30 years younger and at least 30 IQ points higher than the senior guard who was inviting me.

No Elk's Clubs, Klan meetins, or college bars for me.   I found a nice Bistro (Zola's) for dinner, and a Irish Pub (Kildare's) for a Guiness dessert instead.  More on those later.


  1. Maybe you were looking especially Benevolent and Protective? Wonder what he would have said if you'd replied, "Let's recalibrate. Something in between a college bar and the Elks. What have you got?"

  2. Perhaps he would have had better recommendations... but the Toby Jones Dream Lord personae was so strong a resemblance, that I feared it might have produced a series of increasingly complex and malevolent riddles. Also, I am NOT a good poker player, and the disdain on my face would have been unmistakable when I said "let's recalibrate" ... had I not "white washed it" with an innocuous 'ok, thanks, here's my amex' reply.

  3. I have beaten you on this topic JoeP. While at an Elks Lodge, I was approached by a Klan member who attempted to recruit me. I should never have cut my hair this short.


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