Oregon Tavern Age: Game Show

It was a productive and rewarding summer morning. I’d finished writing a short story. I’d distributed over a dozen of my books in a dozen new street libraries in a nearby neighborhood. I’d scored some killer 70s rock CDs at Goodwill. Why not celebrate with a beer in an OTA joint?

The Hidden East, a solid dive joint, beckoned. I pulled in and noticed every vehicle in the parking lot had expired tags or no license plates at all. I walked in just past noon. A game show was playing. With the sound on! I didn’t want to hear that drivel.

Several OTAs played video slots in silence. At a table in the middle of the room, a man with Down’s Syndrome ate a burrito.

I ordered a Vortex IPA from the female OTA bartender. She was utterly listless. I couldn’t stand the noise of the game show so I headed out to the patio. The show was playing on a screen out there! And louder!

A sign below the screen warned dog owners to pick up their dogs’ dumps. It was getting out of hand. You know and OTA joint has gone to (dog) shit if the OTAs won’t clean up their dogs’ shits.

Two OTA men joined me on the patio. They lit cigarettes and launched into a conversation about some friend’s degenerate behavior.

I sipped my beer and thought I wouldn’t mind seeing a dog take under the screen as a sort of review of the game show.

Nothing much happened out on the patio. The two men finished their cigarettes and left me alone. I drank my beer and scribbled in a notebook. I kept up hope a dog would find its way onto the patio, preferably without its owner. I’d strike up a conversation with the dog and we would hang out together. Perhaps I need my own tavern dog.