Friday, August 1, 2008

Royal Enfield, up in arms

The Three Down bar seems like a friendly place, if you're a stranger, a woman or a stray dog. It's only the regulars who ever really get bit. Strange, isn't it? It's exactly the reverse of what you might expect, a clique.

Still, it surprised me when "Speed" and his friends let it get so far, and then ended up walking out. They blame who they blame (Sam, mostly), but it was everyone's fault.

Speed doesn't realize it, but he was still a relative newcomer. He was supposed to ease in a little bit, at the beginning, when it would have been easy. Then everything would have been fine.

Another funny thing: the way it happened, it'll be OK and dandy for Speed and the other fellows who walked out to come back to the Three Down anytime they want. A couple have been by; no problem at all, just like old times.

It's the fellows who crossed them, here at the Three Down, who won't feel welcome over at the new meeting place. In fact I think Sam has even been staying away from the Three Down because he feels responsible for The Incident and doesn't want to make it worse.

So "the rebels" got themselves a new place, and they have the run of the old place, too!

I'm not defending Sam, not entirely. First, he doesn't need me or anyone else to stand up for him. He lost his temper and he said some things, pretty harsh things, too. I wish those things hadn't been said, but I'll tell you the truth: he wasn't the only one thinking them.

The Incident really happened for three reasons. First, you have an outspoken young guy who knows a lot and doesn't mind saying what he thinks. Speed figured he'd been to the Three Down often enough that he was as good as anybody. He had taken some guff before and been willing to laugh it off, but this time he stood on his rights.

Then you have Sam and the fellows who've been around since the beginning. They've seen young guys come and go and wind up with broken motors. They don't mind putting in a word of warning, and then another word of warning and, after awhile, it sounds less like a warning and more like a threat. They don't enjoy being told they're wrong. Call them stubborn, if you want.

Finally, there's always the story-behind-the-story. Just because you sit at the bar at the Three Down doesn't mean you know everything that's eating the man beside you. Well, for one, Speed told everyone he had health problems that worried him. You know that has to bother a young family man.

And Sam has let on that he has health troubles, too. At our age, who doesn't feel the cold draft of time? But worse than that, maybe.

I hope not.

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