My schoolmarm friend invited me to watch a friend’s band in Green Island last night. Two elementary school teachers, one by the name of Ben and the other Bill play in a band called “Benny and the Frets”. Last night’s gig took place at the local VFW. “VFW…”, I thought…”Well, sure, why not, I’ll try anything once”. Deb was decked to the nines, at she usually is, and I stayed my usual casual self. Pulling up to the joint, the sign out front confused us with the name of somebody else’s band. “Could we be at the wrong VFW?”. Several doors to the building were locked and the place seemed a little too quiet, even for an older crowd. Finally, the fourth door past a glowing neon “Budweiser” sign showed us the way. 2 priceless little gray-haired women, probably widows of soldiers who fought in Korea, greeted us as we entered. Before coughing up the hefty $2 door charge, Deb asked about “Benny and Frets”. “Betty and the who?” “Betty what?” “Was that Betty you say?” replied perplexed widow #1. Deb peered around the corner and caught sight of one of her coworkers. Benny or Ben as I was introduced to him, straighted out the matter, admitting his band goes by several names. Oh no, I thought, confusing the little ladies who collect your pay is not a good thing. Having come this far Deb and I deserved a drink. “I feel funny using a plastic cup for your White Zinfadel Miss” admitted the bartender. “It’s coming from a cardboard box so no complaints here” I grinned. Ben introduced us to a motley of personalities; Bev, a short and stocky butch electrician sporting a tie-dye shirt, being the most vocal. Van Morrison and Billy Joel covers played while a fierce trumpet player drowned out a questionable flute but respectable sax musician. A defunct birthday party in the backroom shared their jello shots and test tube lemoncello with all. Deb and I were feeling no pain by 9pm. The wood paneled bathroom, decked out with kitchy wall hangings and the smell of musty cigarettes, redeamed itself with flawless mirror lighting. Wow, do I look good for being 33 (again) I thought, peering into the mirror mirror on the wall. It was either that or Deb and I really did need to slow down on our consumption. Around 10pm, White Zin Bartender abandoned his post and asked me to dance. The stolen birthday party chips and salsa had me sobering up some but who am I too turn down a lonely VFW member? He too now has something to write about! When the chips and salsa disappeared we too decided our exit stragedy. Saying goodbye to our new friends we vowed to return to Green Island VFW for more drunk’en tomfoolery — maybe later rather than sooner though…

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