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Boating: Embarrassing moments at watering holes

August 1, 2012
by boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

'Dead End Canal Yacht Club' activity has been severely limited because of the rain and the summertime absence of members. During the season we are relegated to large tables for our informal happy hour meetings because there are so many attendees. This summer we have been able to sit at the bar most of the times in some of our hangouts.

Up close and personal with the people who serve us face to face, there is still a revolving door for employees in some places but many of our favorites have settled on personnel. Just the other day we were at one of our favorite waterfront places, 'The Pukin' Pelican,' and we met a new employee who was relieving another new employee and she was very nice. As we were paying our bill I noticed that there were several miss-charges.

Luckily, the 'old' new bartender was sitting at the other end of the bar so I figured it was an easy fix. As I was trying to point out the minor discrepancy, the new 'new' bartender shouted down the bar, "How much are french fries?" The 'old' new bartender tried to wave her over but she wasn't having any. "Well, how much?" When she got the right answer she hurried off without asking if that was all.

When she came back with what she thought was the corrected bill I should have bit my lip but I was a bit angry so I said, "If you would have waited I would have continued with the rest of the faux pax."

"Maxine, did you charge blah, blah, blah & blah?" They shouted back and forth until the bill was correct but it was extremely embarrassing. They didn't know us, but everyone else in the bar did. I could just hear them thinking, 'Boy those 'DECYC' guys are really cheap.'

It reminded us of the movie 'Mr. Mom' when Michael Keaton was checking out at the supermarket and cashier kept calling for a price check over the loud speaker, "Can someone get me a price check for the super size feminine hygiene packs." I always thought it was a very funny moment because Keaton squirmed so well. In our circumstance, we were the ones squirming and the humor was absent.

"I was never so glad to get out of a place in my life," Boston Bob said as we rounded the corner of the marina, "I wish you'd just paid the bill."

"Principal, simply principal," I said but I really meant pigheadedness. I never expected them to respond in such a manner. To them it was the efficient way to resolve the problem but I was vowing to have a heart to heart with the owner of the place.

We are regulars and infamous beach residents, one would at least expect some courtesy when addressing a minor problem with the bill but it didn't happen at the 'Pukin' Pelican that day. I mean how hard was it to walk 15 feet to inquire about the bill. Some one was having a bad day and we were on the receiving end of it.

Neither one of these 'new' employees had been on the receiving end of our lavish tips so they didn't know we were special people. And they probably never will. Most of the 'Dead End Canal Yacht Club' members try to stay above the 25-percent tip range at least, because we are usually at happy hour and the stuff is so inexpensive, especially at the Bayside Bar and Grill. The 'Pukin' Pelican' is a regular beach place and I really liked it until they took the PBR off tap.

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon but I'd liked to be treated with a small bit of respect but sometimes we don't have time to treat each other with respect. "That was nothing," said 'Big Chicago', "the same thing happened to me and my wife recently. When I lost my job I got six months benefits. My wife and I were rushin' to get as many tests and procedures finished before we were running out."

"Smart move but how does that correspond with visit to the Pelican," asked 'Way Out Wally' as we sat down at another watering hole.

"So here me and my wife are standing at the Doctor's office counter discussing our predicament wit' these nice ladies who we've known for many years because both of us go to the same group. They're trying to help us but they are yelling back and forth like Maxine was. This wasn't about any stinkin' seven dollars," said Chicago. "This was my life. They were banterin' back and forth about our situation. How many days we had left on our coverage and how they could get us on what doctor's schedule. I was so embarrassed that I had to leave several times to get fresh air."

""Damn," said Boston Bob. "Why did they have to do it that way?"

"What did the Doctor say," I asked 'BC' but he didn't have an answer. He had a head shaking embarrassed way about him. Women handle this better than men. I don't know why, but they have a more realistic view of the world. 'Big Chicago's' wife may have never noticed the insult that he felt but it was real for him and for us and many others. It's not just your job, okay!

Boatguy Ed is an American manufacture of marine products, namely Super Shipbottom Antifouling Bottom Paint which is a made in Fort Myers product. He is also an avid boater, television producer and past Commodore of the 'Dead End Canal Yacht Club.'



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