Drinking with my pals. Or not.

A Mr. Lewis Bryson, who gets mentioned around here now and again, visited the Craft Ale House in Limerick today for lunch and to get a feel for the operation.

He posted about his visit here, directly from the bar, noting the swell time he was having with a Mr. Dan Bengel, clearly having no inclination to rush off somewhere.

Deeply hurt, I chastised him here for not calling me to join him for a beer. You can scroll down for his blow-off answer.

Ah,  but the universe works in strange ways to balance things out.

Two and half hours later, Ms. Suzy Woods, a much more pleasant potential companion, did call, inviting me to join her for a beer or two and a bite to eat at, you guessed, the Craft Ale House in Limerick.

I, of course, accepted immediately.

Even though I was “too busy.”

After a bit of dithering over the next hour or so, and another exchange of phone calls (neither Ms. Woods nor I tend to do things simply and directly because we lead full and complicated lives), I drove out through the blackest night, suppressing my paranoia about such matters, and pulled into the parking lot of CAF, only to discover to my dismay as I walked toward the entrance that, in all the (granted, self-made confusion), I had left home without my wallet.

I found Suzy at the bar, surrounded by male admirers as is her wont (both the bar and the admirers), and had hardly begun to explain to her that I wouldn’t be staying when a tap on my shoulder revealed the presence of Mr. Matthew Guyer, who thrust $100 into my hand. Now that’s an employer for you, folks.

There were many familiar faces gathered about the bar and much revelry ensued and several beers were downed* over the following hours as people came and went. A Seared Tuna Salad I enjoyed was, well, most enjoyable, and the Rosemary and Garlic Popcorn that came out from the kitchen as the night wore on was delightful. Lori Limper, one of those familiars, announced that she would order it next time she was there in lieu of french fries.

I met some new folks, chatted up some old friends, and it was all a bit of blur frankly, because that paranoia thing was kicking in big time as I convinced myself that there was no way in hell I would manage to drive home (eight minutes, less miles) without somehow bumbling enough to be stopped by the police and hit with a no-license charge. Silly, I know, but I have one speeding ticket in recent months already and advancing age has, if nothing else, turned me into a worrywart on the driving at night issue. The cataract surgery last spring cured my eyes but not my psyche.

In the end, I asked a favor of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Rubeo, one which would allow Joy, the more attractive half, the pleasure of reliving one of the great moments of her life from several years back when, after I had incapacitated myself entirely during a long afternoon of consuming all too much beer on the terrace at Sly Fox Phoenixville, she got to drive me home the four miles to my then digs in Oaks while Steve followed in their car. Might they do the same this evening?

They kindly agreed, although once I had them roped in I worked it so Steve drove my car and Joy followed us because that first time, even in my inebriated state, the trip home scared me half to death.

To them I owe sincere thanks. To Ms. Woods much the same, for getting me off my duff and out to socialize on a dreary and rainy night. Mr. Bryson, on the other hand, I believe owes me at least a beer.

Maybe two.

*I had two pints of the excellent Climax Hoffman Helles and a pint of O’Reilly’s Stout. My tab, food included, was again strikingly reasonable.

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