Note From Jon

Adieu.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Whatbag

The Mission: Liberate the Dr. Dremo’s poster for proud display in our house, as a remembrance of the countless GoodTimes that Dremo’s has facilitated (and because the totem pole and silo are probably too difficult to transport to our backyard). Yes, I realize there is an auction on Monday, but I’ve got a class and besides isn’t it more fun this way anyway?

James formulated the plan…

Phase 1) Inconspicuously remove staples over the course of the evening

Phase 2) Shortly before departure, take the sign down and stash it (the theory being that if we are caught at this highly visible stage, nothing has been “stolen”—simply removed from the wall)

Phase 3) Profit! … I mean, exit with our booty!

The plan was proceeding flawlessly: Staples removed, unwanted lower sign discarded beneath a pool table (after nearly giving us away by half-falling off the wall), none of the scores of patrons, or any staff, harassed us—despite a constant line of folks waiting to use the restroom directly opposite the sign.

Sarah executed Phase 2, and by midnight there was a Macy’s bag containing our priceless cargo stashed beneath my chair.

Now all we had to do was leave…

We divided into two squads, with James, Kristin and I tasked with closing out our tabs upstairs, while Dave, and our newest friends Danielle and Tim, were instructed to stay downstairs and guard the bag “with their lives”.

The bartender was bringing me my check when Tim appeared beside me saying, “The bag is gone! Did you ask a guy in a green shirt to get it for you!?!” Are you serious? Someone was trying to steal what we had rightfully stolen liberated! No chance. Tim was after him as I closed the tab and took off in pursuit toward the front door.

“That’s him” Tim pointed and I moved to confront the thief, who at this point wasn’t carrying our bag anymore. “Hey, did you take my bag? My friend says he saw you grab a Macy’s bag from under my chair” (admittedly not the strongest opening) “What bag?” But it was clear from the bugged out look on his face that he knew exactly what bag I was talking about. Now as an aside, I have a borderline phobia of confrontation (at least with strangers) and it’s pretty ridiculous that I was risking a fight in a bar over a poster… but apparently it was the principle of the thing!

So here I found myself in an endless conversation loop where I demanded he swear to me that he didn’t take my bag and he repeated the only words he knew: “What bag?” I tried to explain to Whatbag that if he didn’t steal anybody’s bag then the answer was “No” and the question “What bag?” was irrelevant. But other than Whatbag’s eyes bulging impossibly farther and farther out of his head, nothing was happening. While I was curious if his eyes would eventually explode from their sockets, Tim decided to take the new approach of returning downstairs to extract a confession from Whatbag’s friends.

Tim walked off and Whatbag started right after him. I tailed them both and the questioning began all over again with his friends, who even went as far as to smirk at one point, but who wouldn’t give up the game. Even Danielle and Kristin jumped in, with Kristin boldly rifling through their pile of coats to see if the bag was stashed amongst them (I noticed a girl could get away with that. I doubt Tim or I could have without it coming to blows).

Exasperated, I was about to give up when James arrived on the scene and was informed that his brilliant plan was being foiled by a thiever of thieves. Let’s just say that James shared all of my passion for regaining the poster… and none of my qualms about confrontation. James was fired up! I actually have to credit Whatbag for not buckling under this pressure—although from the frozen expression on his face and the fact that he wasn’t even uttering his trademark phrase anymore, he may have just been in a trance… or dead.

With Whatbag now playing opossum, we transitioned to the new phase “search the bar”. Retracing our steps back upstairs and scanning the packed bar we realized a search was futile. Whatbag probably couldn’t have gotten the bag out of the bar because he’d have had to wait in the line out front to reenter (Yes, Dremo’s had a line and a cover for probably the first time in its existence). So that gave us a glimmer of hope… until Tim crushed it by relating the sequence of events: Whatbag grabs the bag. Tim grabs his arm (how bold do you have to be to keep stealing something when someone catches you and grabs your arm!) Whatbag makes a break for his friends a few pool tables away, where he pauses before heading upstairs. Tim pursues but as he now admits... can’t remember if Whatbag had already ditched the bag with his friends. If he had then it could easily be long gone out the back door by now. Hope is fading.

James is still determined and tells us to leave for the next bar while he returns for a final showdown with Whatbag. I’m trying to talk him out of it while Danielle and Tim drift over to a random table on the platform by the front door to see if anyone saw anything. No they didn’t see anything and a search around their pile of coats predictably doesn’t turn up the bag (after all this was just one random table in the bar that had nothing to do with Whatbag’s group downstairs). Alright, let’s go. Danielle and Tim walk away… “Wait, what’s that down there?” a voice from the table calls out…

Now, if I am a Hero, then apparently my superpower is allowing those around me to find hidden objects, because only finding lost keys in a bush at a football stadium, is more unlikely and fortuitous than Danielle’s instinct to question the one table in the whole bar with a vantage point of the hidden stash! It turns out that from the corner seat of the table next to the front door that Danielle had questioned it was just possible to make out the edge of a white bag tucked in a nook between the platform and the sheet metal wall. Tim twisted his arm around the corner of the wall and regained our long lost treasure!

The bag was ours! All was right in the world… except where was James? Oh yeah, he was down confronting Whatbag and his posse alone! I tried to reach him in time. Thankfully things hadn’t gotten out of hand and I pulled him away to let him know the good news. We began our triumphant exit. And then James turned around. “I’ve got to let them know we stole it back!” This seemed like a bad idea right? But there was no talking him out of it. My mission was to get the ladies and Tim outside and make our getaway while James informed the thieving thieves that we’d had the final theft, before making his own getaway and rendezvousing at a bar up the street. Who knows how they’d react, so I pushed my way back to Kristin, Tim and Danielle who were waiting by the door. “We’ve got to go, now!” I urged them, but Tim and Danielle held up unfinished glasses of beer! Shit! They chugged them down when I explained the situation and we were finally out the door with the bag…

While driving off, my Prius rang (it hooks to my phone and turns into one of the most expensive Bluetooth headsets in the world). It was Dave! Holy sh!t, Dave! We’d forgotten all about Dave! And he’d given up on us and just gone to his car… which had been stolen (by Arlington County—a.k.a. towed)! We agreed to pick him up a couple of doors down at the Wachovia. We pulled into the Wachovia lot between Wilson and Clarendon Blvds and suddenly we saw an afroed black man running along the sidewalk. James! That was James running! I pulled up and yelled after him. Then it occurred to me… James is running away to my right. My car is straddling the sidewalk he is running along. Dr. Dremo’s is off to my left. Now what exactly could James be running from? In my mind, I could picture Whatbag’s bulging eyes glaring in my window. I slowly turned my head… And while I can neither confirm nor deny that there was an angry posse barreling down the sidewalk towards my car, I can confirm that Dave and James jumped into the car and the six of us—along with one liberated poster—bottomed out the Prius as we tore off down the street… Good Times indeed!


















9 comments:

joel said...

seems I missed quite an adventure! me thinks wb(whatbag) was looking for an elephant gift exchange party invite to donate the bag, and contents back to its RIGHTFUL owner.

Alexandra said...

Righteous! I'm proud of you guys!

Jan Louis said...

Yes Yes... An excellent showpiece for above the fireplace!

Darren said...

Well I leave and the madness ensues, how typical. Oh Dremo's you will be remembered. Where do we go now.....

Mare! said...

Yao-zers! GoodTimes, indeed! So where will you be hanging that newly liberated art piece?

Candice said...

wowzuhs! quite a story! that poster has even more value now!

ChristoG said...

This story sounded quite dangerous and gripping, although the word Prius took the edge off a little bit...

First destruction of property (the couch), now pilfering!

Jimmy Carter said...

Hey christog, the couch broke without intention for destruction, seriously.

...as for the Dremo's poster, it seemed to be an even exchange for the bar back prematurely tossing Jon's drink and Sarah's fries well before full consumption... :-)

And remember Jimmy Carter is a pacifist so fisticuffs would never have ensued with Whatbag, seriously...although one must admit that intimidating a douchebag to create a sense of potential confrontation is nonetheless a way to have goodtimes!

mandy said...

I miss all the fun stuff! :-(