How Thornton Met Sadie
By ice rivers
I found out tonight that my second wife was born in Pleasantville, Pennsylvania. How ironic ! It's as if Richard Nixon was born in Honestville, California or Trump born in Modestville, New York.
She was born in a Naval Hospital. Her father explained to her that she had a navel only because she was born in a Naval Hospital. He also told her that his acne scars were shrapnel wounds from his combat days in Korea. She believed him on both counts.
I don't know whether or not my ex-father in law served in Korea but one night ten years later, I was in a bar when one man ( a guy wearing yellow plastic jacket with the name "Don" over the pocket) claimed that he had fought in Korea and wanted to bet "ten bucks" on it.. Since nobody could suggest a sober or even sane way of settling this bet, my attention began to wander.
I commenced to look at the huge fishtank behind the bar in front of which two veteran malcoholics were arguing about whether or not one of the men had fought in Korea.
I wondered what would happen if I dropped an electric eel into that fishtank although I was pretty sure that it wasn't an eel in my pocket.
That's when the fist fight started.
A few minutes later, seventeen stunned goldfish were flopping around on the bar room floor, silently screaming as if they had been born in Berserkville, Georgia.
Dino, the bartender was in the backroom changing his shoes when the tank crashed to the floor.
Dino didn't speak much English, not that a common language mattered much at a time like this. The only words that Dino ever spoke that I could understand were "two fer you" I would nod and Dino would draw me two draft beers.
We had an understanding and it worked for both of us.
I walked over to the splatter scene. I picked up two of the goldfish. At that moment Dino emerged from the backroom. He took one look at me holding the goldfish and asked "Two for you?"
I handed Dino both fish and said "No, two for you."
I stepped over the two morons pounding each other on the bar room floor. "Don" was getting the worse of it.
I turned back to Dino who was holding the two fish. I pointed to the lummoxes on the floor on the floor and said "two for you" and walked out of the bar.
I didn't return to that bar for 12 years. By the time I returned, the bar had a new owner, a new fishtank and a new bartender, a morbidly overweight neighborhood guy named Charley. Charley had been a regular in the old days and we remembered each other from the old "two for you days". There were only three people in the bar that night, me, Charley and a woman apparently drawing something in a sketchbook.
Charley came at me with a wink and asked "two for you".
I said of course.
Charley gave me my two and chamge.
He gave me 10 bucks more than he should have.
With that I ordered two more for me.
I glanced at the woman with the sketchbook. Our eyes met. I asked her what she was drawing in the sketchbook.
She showed me.
It was a sketch of me holding two beers, one in each hand.
Her rendering looked just like me only smarter and not as drunk.
I asked her if she wanted one of my beers. She said "sure".
Ten minutes later Charley came over and asked "two for you."
I said "two for me and two more for her".
Once again he winked and gave me double the change.
Later I found out that Charley was in the process of quitting the job and giving out handouts to all of the neighborhood guys.because he hated the owner's guts.
She accepted both beers and kept sketching. She showed me what she was sketching. It was a sketch of me kissing her.
She told me her name was Sadie
I kissed her.
It might have looked like two goldfish going for the same piece of corn.
Three years later, we got married by a fake Abe Lincoln in a little chapel outside Blissville, Vermont.