I was thrown out of a tavern today.
It was early afternoon and I was seated at the otherwise empty bar, reading a book. The bartender was filling my second draft and said to me “You can’t read at the bar.” “Pardon me?” I replied, even though I had heard him perfectly well. I expected a joking comment about the poor lighting. (Which it was.) Instead he simply repeated himself, then turned and walked away.
I put down my book, took a sip of beer, and made a quizzical sound of acknowledgement. The type of sound you make when the grocery store cashier tells you that it was much busier at the store yesterday.
After a few more sips, and having thoroughly examined the bar top, each of my fingernails, and everything else within my limited visual range, I returned to my book.
As my glass reached empty, the bartender returned. I expected him to ask if I wanted a third drink. (Which I did.) Instead he said “Get out.” This time I wasn’t sure I heard him, but he was in no mood to repeat himself. “Leave now and don’t come back. I told you, no reading.”
I blinked in the bright light of day, and a block later realized I left my book behind. Perhaps it will serve as a warning to others.