Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Discovering Tammany Hall (My Surprise 40th Birthday Party – One)

I don’t frequent bars, and I never have. I’m not saying that Saturday night changed that, but I caught a glimpse of why so many guys like them.

I had just dropped a friend at his house after watching Skyline. The movie lacked originality and interesting characters, but it was good to hang out with him and one of his co-workers for just a couple hours. I don’t golf, and there’s no hobby I have that takes me away from the house for four or five hours every Saturday like so many other men. Maybe I should make a trip to the movies my new hobby. It sounds expensive at first glance, but it still is a lot cheaper than golf.

(click any pic to enlarge it)

I called Shannon because we were supposed to have a date night and the movie theater was close to our planned activities. These included her dropping our son off at her mother’s place and meeting me for dinner at Thai Pan. Although I suspected that she might have something up her sleeve for my 40th birthday that night, I didn’t find it unusual for her to make sure I wasn’t coming home first.


I was confident that, between my new internet-enabled phone and my new camera, I could occupy my time (sometimes having my birthday so close to Christmas does pay off). A tree filled with blazing red leaves caught my eye, and I worked at using its branches to frame the half moon in the darkening sky. The dark finally making my exposures too long even for Nikon’s vibration reduction to handle, I started up my car.

Before heading to Thai Pan I used my phone to confirm the start time for the Razorbacks football game, and found that Auburn and Georgia were playing each other close — 31-34, I think.

Just a few doors down from Thai Pan was a bar called Tammany Hall Irish Pub. I figured surely it featured several TV’s, with at least one showing the Auburn game. I wanted to witness their first loss of the season.

Inside, the pub was clean and lacked any smoke smell or other stench to drive me right back out the door. I sat at the bar and ordered my standard when I don’t want to make a decision. “I’ll have a Seven and Seven,” I said.

“Tall or short?” the bartender asked.

So much for no decisions. “Better make it a tall,” I said. It probably just meant that he would add more Seven to the, umm… Seven.

The man to my right rambled about Auburn’s star quarterback, Cam Newton, while dropping several “F” bombs. I always wondered what would make a person comfortable saying that word in front of a complete stranger. Were I to miraculously develop a stand-up act and then land a gig, I might have to struggle with whether or not to include the “F” word, but I never wonder when talking to some guy at a bar.


As I sat working to take a good macro photo of the tip jar without drawing too much undue attention, I felt someone lean on my back and say over my left shoulder, “Hey there. Whatcha doin’?”

It was Shannon, and she looked as stunning as the day I met her in Shoney’s back in January 1992. I admit I was shamelessly proud that this beautiful lady had walked up to me where everyone else could see.

And that was before I knew exactly what she had in store.

(to be continued)

5 Responses to Discovering Tammany Hall (My Surprise 40th Birthday Party – One)

  1. *S* Happy Belated Birthday Mark!!!!

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story..!

  2. Happy Birthday. The card is in the mail.

  3. OMG! 40! Yep. Just checked it. 1970.

  4. Honey, are you kissing up for something? You know I’m not getting you a touch for your bday right? Well, either way, you are very sweet – you always know how to make me feel like I am the only girl you see! I was proud to walk up to you in that bar and claim you as my own. Happy Birthday, my love.

  5. I mean an ipod touch, people, not something dirty (he actually might get that kind of touch – ha! TMI, huh??? well, at least that’s a free gift!!!)! ;o)


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