Union Pool. Need I say more? If you live in Brooklyn, anywhere close to Williamsburg you probably already know, but for those of you who don’t, let me explain. Union pool is the bar where guys go when they want to get laid. Or if they have friends and town and they want to get their friends laid, Union Pool is always the answer. It’s the notorious “pick-up” bar. The irony in this is that on a general Friday or Saturday night, I would say that the guys outnumber the girls 5 to 1. Now that may be a slight overstatement but really, not that far off the mark. Everyone and their mother is drinking Budweiser out of a can, cause it’s the special and it’s $3, which I admit, is hard to beat (and really I have to applaud anyone who can stomach such piss beer). So, now that I’ve set the scene a little bit, let’s get on to the actual stories.
I was leaning on the bar, chatting with my girlfriend who was out with me when this guy comes up behind me trying to order a drink and asks me “Are you wearing cat ears?” Mind you, I was wearing a black bow barrette in my hair, however I would like to say that it looked like a bow, not cat ears and I tried to explain to the guy that it was a bow but he seemed to be stuck on the whole cat ears thing and then proceeded to ask “If you have cat ears, then where is your tail?” Really just not a good pick up line (if that’s what it was supposed to be, honestly not sure about that one). To avoid cat-man, I went to hang up my friends jacket as well as my own. There was a row of hooks and I went to hang our coats, accidentally stepping on someone’s coat which had fallen on the floor that I didn’t notice. No sooner than I had stepped on the coat on the floor this guy swoops in on me, “Don’t step on the coats. You wouldn’t want someone to step on your coat would you? That’s not my coat, but my coat is hanging up here too, that’s all I’m saying.” and then, without skipping a beat, “So what’s you name, sweetheart?” So you go from berating me about stepping on peoples coats (which is a whole other thing, this is Union Pool, not some fancy place with a coat check and shit. So by hanging up your coat you should half expect never to see it again, just saying), to trying to learn my name and calling me pet names. Sir, if I may, fuck off. Which is basically what I said to him as I walked back to rejoin my friend at the bar (also sir, you are wearing a scarf indoors, at a bar, I cannot take you seriously).
Next we had Mr. TriBeCa. He approached me complimenting my hair bow (props to not asking me if it was cat ears, however those are the ONLY props he received) and asked me where I lived. I told him I lived in Bushwick and he didn’t know where that was. Now that wouldn’t have been too bad except we were in Williamsburg which is literally right next to Bushwick. Like so close. Then of course he tried to bullshit his way through, being all, “Oh, that’s like north of here right?” No, Queens is north of here, Bushwick is east. “But it’s like NORTH-east, right?” No, still just east. So then I asked him where he lived and he replied saying TriBeCa and then condescendingly asked, “Do you know where that is?” Fuck off sir, of course I know where TriBeCa is. “So if you’re so smart, where does it start then?” Sir, go jump off a bridge and kill yourself. I may have been a bit ruder to him than necessary, but really?
Then to break up the assholes, we met a new lovely gay friend who complimented my bow (but I actually believed him, I mean what straight man is [without motive] all, I really like your bow barrette?) and then had a whole conversation about how you could make cool hair bows with actuals bowties. Lovely, just lovely.
However next there was a man who felt that shoving me into the bar to try and order his drinks was totally appropriate. I asked nicely (I could have been a total asshole, but took the high road) If I could order him whatever drinks he needed. He told me what he wanted, waited about .5 seconds until I apparently took too long and then said “Do you mind if I squeeze in here myself and get that drink?” and without waiting for an answer, proceeded to shove me into my friend so that he could have a space at the bar (where he easily waited at least 10 minutes to get the attention of a bartender, way to go buddy, you really sped up that whole process). Just after that, another man introduced himself and started pulling all of these beaded turtle bracelets out of his jacket pocket and gave us both a handful explaining to us that his brother and him had started this company where they made turtle bracelets. He said they gave them out to nice people and after watching us get accosted and pushed around at the bar by everyone and their mother, he felt we deserved some turtle bracelets. He also told us that we should give one or two away to the next person we saw doing something nice. Sweet thought, right? (once again nice to have a break from the generic asshole). One of the bracelets broke almost immediately and my friend and I were so sad, whereupon the guy stated “They cost us like 5 cents to make, what do you expect?” Well put, sir. At least you are honest.
Now there is one person that I just cannot leave out. Flannel shirt. When my friends and I arrived at the bar it was probably about midnight, so late but not crazy late. We found a spot at the bar and stayed there. Sitting about two seats down the bar from us was a guy wearing a flannel shirt and drinking a Budweiser. He had a book with him although it was closed just sitting on the bar the entire time we were there. Let me just say that I fully believe that there is a time and a place for reading a good book at a bar and enjoying a nice beverage. However, Saturday night in general is really just not that time, particularly not at a bar like Union Pool. Possibly if he got there early enough, but that would mean he sat at the same place at the same bar for at least eight hours, presumably also by himself. Even to me, that’s a bit much. Like I said before, the book remained closed the entire time that we entered the picture and he just kept ordering Budweiser after Budweiser. Even stranger, I did not see him exchange a word with anybody, but he was very interested in the goings on of my friend and I and he just kept on looking in our direction. Creepy or what? He also stayed at the bar as long as we did (practically until closing), never said a word to us, just watched. I mean how weird is that?
That ends the stream of interesting persons at Union Pool for the night. My friend and I decided it was time to get the hell home and go to bed. But hey, I woke up with turtle bracelets the next day from trrtlz.com and thought to myself, at least there are a few people who still go around doing heart warming things.
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