Scene: A family bar crawl, two weeks ago during a vacation in Ocean City, MD.
- Myself. Age 26; tall and gangly, with my trademark goatee. Drink of choice: Beer — cheap, but not bottom-of-the-barrel.
- Mark, my future brother-in-law. Age 28; tall and stocky with several tattoos and earrings. Drink of choice: Beer and a shot of rail tequila, no lime, no salt.
- Dina, my youngest aunt. Age 39; short and petite. Drink of choice: Smirnoff Raw Green Tea.
- Barry, Aunt Dina’s husband. Mid-50s; tall and balding. Bears a striking resemblance to Robert Duvall. Drink of choice: Sprite, although he still insisted on showing his ID every time he ordered.
We had rented a two-story, three-bedroom apartment on Eighth Street for the week, so we were able to sample several of the late night hot spots along the Boardwalk that night. At the third destination of four, Pepper’s Tavern, it was my turn to buy a round. I ordered Dina’s Smirnoff, a Negra Modelo for myself, and then rattled off the bottled beer selection to Mark, since I had a better view of the area behind the bar. Eventually, he asked for a Yuengling and his customary shot. Barry, ever a cautious drinker, ordered nothing — not even Sprite this time.
As we gathered our drinks and clambered into a booth, we took stock of our surroundings. The bar was situated below ground, and was reasonably dark and loud. Based on the mostly college-age clientele, the posters promoting upcoming live music, and the fact that they had Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap, the place was obviously geared to a crowd years younger than us.
Mark looked around, took a drink, and chuckled. “I wonder what people think of us as a group,” he said.
We all laughed, knowing what he meant but not much caring.