Is this the Fayetteville we know and love; or WHAT?
The other night, we went out for a while to a benefit for one of our local artists. Hosted by a popular restaurant, silent auction of donated art, cash bar on a hot Sunday afternoon, and a good band playing in the corner, the event was packed to overflowing. After a few minutes visiting inside, we stepped outside to escape the din of conversation and the press of warm bodies.
As Alice and I step out the door, the restaurateur pushes past us, in hot pursuit of a patron who had apparently walked out with a beer bottle in his hand. “Sir! Come back here!” …in an insistent, imperious tone, “Sir!” as he stops on the sidewalk ten steps past his door; conversation ceases, “Yeah, I’m talking to you!”
A solidly built man of fifty or so, accompanied by two women, stands in the middle of the parking lot, squinting back into the setting sun. To be fair, these people do not look like typical patrons, and the young, athletically trim restaurant owner is obviously aware, not only of his social status, but of his elevated moral ground. He cooks the organic vegetables here, not this unwashed hillbilly standing in his parking lot. Never mind the legal implications, that bottle is recyclable!
Separated by about twenty feet, now with an audience of fifty or so, patron squints at restaurateur, looks at the bottle, turns it upside down, then hands it to his wife, and says, “Aw, hell, it’s empty anyway, let him have it back.”
This burly, sunburned redneck has claimed center stage. That might not have been his first beer of the afternoon, and our restaurateur does not appear to be stepping up to shake hands and wish him well. So, with the instinct of a natural actor, the (probably former) patron offers a bit of avuncular advice, “ Don’t be hard on yourself for bein’ a asshole.”
A soft answer turneth away wrath… Proverbs 15:1