In the movie ‘Adam’s Family Values’ there is a scene where the actress, Joan Cusack is applying for the position of governess. And in meeting Gomez she eyes him up and down appreciatively before commenting something to the effect of ‘You must have been a real lady killer’. Gomez smiled and quickly threw up his hands and said, ‘Acquitted’!

I too have never been prosecuted to the extent deserving for my many crimes which have been too numerous to even be able to remember anymore. But a few of the funnier ones still come to mind; like when I was thinking of The No-Eyes yesterday and how his behavior set off a chain of events that almost got my ass kicked.

The NorthEnd Bar, 1975/76. We’re sitting in a booth and the place is less than a third full with maybe thirty or forty people in it when it’s usually standing room only when the football team was holding court. My group of stoners didn’t go to any of the games although Kuchinato and a few of the other jocks lived with us in Gant Hall that year. Our rooms were typically too full of bong smoke for us to really bother with the whole sports worship scene so typically the jocks and stoners ignored one another.

But Kuchinato and I knew each other. I saw him in the cafeteria most mornings frequently surrounded by groupies. 1975 was the year that Steve Mariucci led NMU to the NCAA Division II championship and all those guys on the team were famous. I went out with Mariucci’s little sister once but she wouldn’t sleep with me so that ended that.

Kuchinato smiled and nodded to me everytime he saw me, whether out of amusement or some perverse respect for that time that he and most of Gant and Spaulding Halls witnessed me and a couple of other naked drunks came streaking across the quad at 2 am one Sunday morning in the spring of ’75. He nicknamed me Moses that night probably because I was tall with long hair and a beard and skinny to the point of looking malnournished. Fortunately the nickname never stuck.

So it was Sunday evening and we were winding down from a pretty serious party weekend and were on our forth or fifth pitcher of beer when The No-Eyes started grab-assing Garwood. A minor tussle ensued and one of the bartenders came over to the table and screamed at me to ‘quit f***king around’.

I am sitting with my girlfriend, Carol on the other side of the booth and so I in turn told The No-Eyes to ‘cool it’. The NorthEnd was no place to act up. Even the football players knew that. Dick the owner had a serious penchant for order. Drunkenness was tolerated, even encouraged but fighting or acting up generally resulted in someone taking a serious beating in the parking lot. Dick hired goons as bartenders for that reason only; to maintain order in a bar that was usually asshole to elbow filled with people.

It wasn’t but a pitcher of beer later and The No-Eyes was back to grab-assing Garwood and the bartender once again came over to our booth and screamed at me to ‘quit f***king around’ and this time added ‘or you’re out of here’.

Well I was seriously pissed because I had absolutely nothing to do with it but I was the one being screamed at which enraged me. I drunkenly took measure of the situation, stood up, grabbed the table with both hands and turned the whole damn thing upside down; glasses, pitchers, and all.

Time stopped. The bartenders began making screaming looking faces but the sounds that came out of their mouths were just gargling noises. Dick came racing around the bar like his pants were on fire and was in front of me in less than 2 seconds flat. His anger was so palatable that more spittle came out of his mouth than words. Never in the history of the NorthEnd, as I was to learn later, had Dick witnessed such an unprecedented and extreme reprisal against one of his bartenders. This was lucky for me because there was no yardstick by which to measure out the punishment. So I wasn’t beaten only banished for life. I was told to ‘get the f***k out and never come back’.

A few months later I was back in with my buddy Jeff on a weekday afternoon. Dick pretended he didn’t know who I was. We had a couple of beers and that was the end of that.

Advertisements