Paulie is one of my friends from the Legion Post. He served four years in the Navy as a Tin Can Sailor and then spent the next fifteen years or so in the Army National Guard, retiring as a Sergeant First Class (three stripes up and two down, for the non-Army folks).
He’s one of our volunteer bartenders, but he has difficulty making drinks any more complicated than popping the top on a longneck “Bud” (his favorite libation). Hell, we have to walk him through the steps of making a “scotch and soda.” That’s OK though, because his antics, his rapid fire wisecracks and his boundless sense of humor more than makes up for any difficulty he has making drinks that have more than one ingredient.
Paulie tells great stories, and he becomes very animated in the process. Just last Sunday, he was telling me a story, at his customary machine gun speed, when he said, “So, the guy worked for the government. You know. He worked for that agency that does the mortgages – Fanny Farmer.”
When I said, “Paulie, you horse’s ass. It’s not Fanny Farmer. They make f***ing candy. It’s Fannie Mae,” we all laughed hysterically, Paulie laughing the loudest.
That brought to mind a similar incident that took place a year or so ago. Paulie was criticizing one of the guys who claimed to know what someone (possibly a politician) had planned with regard to a particular issue. Paulie, again at lightening speed, said of the guy, “This guy thinks he’s some kind of mind reader.” Turning to the guy, he said, “How the hell do you know what’s gonna happen? You got ESPN or some shit?” As I recall, that laugh lasted a full five minutes and sent at least one guy to the bathroom.
He’s a great guy. I feel fortunate to be his friend.