Don’t keep in touch

BY BEAU ELLIOT | APRIL 06, 2010 7:30 AM

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So here’s the scene: crowded (shoulder-to-shoulder crowded) Friday night in a local bar known for being strictly 21-only and for its lack of any fancy, chichi cocktails. So, as you probably can imagine, it’s not exactly a hot spot for binge-drinking undergraduates.

I am most definitely not drunk. In fact, I haven’t had a drink yet. The bartender poured me a beer when I managed to wedge my way through the mass of humanity at the door (it’s that kind of a neighborhoody place), and that beer is sitting on the bar, but I can’t physically get to the bar. So it just sits there. I figure maybe I can reach it in an hour or so, by which time it’ll be about French temperature, and the beer and I can reminisce about living in Paris. Not that the beer ever did.

In any case, I’ve run into my old friend Audrey (not that she’s old or anything; it’s just an expression), and we’re standing there, chitchatting and catching up, because we haven’t seen each other in several months.

Then, a woman roughly Audrey’s age pushes her way through the scrum at the door (Why do scrums always form at the door, instead of on the rugby field, where they belong? It’s one of the great mysteries of human life as we know it.), sees Audrey, and breaks into a big smile. She pushes past me to get to Audrey, and then it gets interesting. (Not to imply that talking with Audrey and watching that beer get warm wasn’t interesting.)

Just as she gets to Audrey, the woman whips around like a whippet (or at least as I imagine a whippet would whip around), shoots me a glare that could melt a glacier (not that they need any help with that these days), and snarls (yes, snarls; it was like watching a beautiful woman turn into a pit bull in well under a second), “You grabbed my boob.”

I am dumbstruck. (Many of my friends, including Audrey, would probably say being struck dumb is a pretty normal state for me. Not that it’s pretty.) I mean, I can’t think of a thing to say, because I am most definitely not the type of guy who would ever do such a thing. In fact, more than three women have told me I could afford to be a little bit more aggressive with women (accent on the “little bit”).

So there is the tableau: an utterly furious woman and me thinking, Wait a minute; she brushed past me; I was just standing here, not getting any closer to that beer.

Then Audrey guffaws (yes, guffaw; that’s the only word for it), grabs the woman in a bear hug, and says she had grabbed the woman’s breast. I don’t know; some ancient female way of saying, How you doing, girl?

And then they are laughing and hugging and catching up and all that. And the moment passed. Life went on, which life is pretty good at. (Although that, too, is not always pretty.)

And a professor I know at that point graciously offers me his bar stool because he is tired of sitting, so I am finally in touch with my beer. It’s rapidly heading toward French temperature.
I sip on it anyway. Finally pay for it, even.

And wonder. Why did a woman I had never seen before get inappropriately touched and immediately assume the closest male had committed the inappropriate touch?

Because it must occur often enough in this town: guys fondling women they don’t know in crowded bars. This should just go without saying: That is so wrong.

So guys, stop it. You know who you are. You’re making all men seem like moronic oafs, and we’re not.

Besides, making men seem like moronic oafs is Rep. Steve King’s job.

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