Nicole and I sit at a table in a far corner of the brewery. We like to talk and have a couple of pints while surveying our domain. With our backs to the wall, we watch everyone coming and going, have a highly amusing view of the dance floor and are usually left alone except for the waitress who kindly keeps bringing us our free beer.
But last night we were joined by Nate.
We had seen him a few tables away, dancing and singing along with the music. His friends seemed to tolerate his unfunny class clown antics in the same way you'd be patient with someone less fortunate than you in the I.Q. department. And oh, poor Nate...when he looked up and noticed us in the corner, we were laughing at him. Not with him. He came over and sat at our table anyway, intent on chatting us up because he said we were "cute."
In hardly any time at all, Nate discovered that I was married and, gasp! 34! ( he did initially think I was 28, though. He gets points for that.) "Well, where is your husband? Why isn't he here, protecting you?"
I smiled benignly. "Because he knows I can take care of myself."
Nate scoffed. (Oh, Nate, you silly boy.)
A little while later, I was showing Nicole the Buckeye Firearms CCW reminder card I had in my purse. "What is that?" Nate asked. "Your AARP card?" (Nate apparently still thought that my advanced age was a great source of amusement.)
I leveled my best stare at him, smirking slightly as I handed him the card. He leaned over, close to a candle to read it. "Huh," he said, clearly not understanding. To help him make sense of it, I took my CCW license out of my wallet and let him see it. That's when Nate's lightbulb went on.
"HOLY $%&@! Do you have it on you NOW?!?!" Nate's eyes were huge.
I was kind of afraid that if I made any sudden moves or loud noises, there would be a puddle under Nate's chair. "No. It's not legal to carry in bars in Ohio," I said gently.
At this point, Nicole decided to get in on the fun. In her most cheerful, enthusiastic tone she said,"That's why she always carries a knife!" She was grinning from ear to ear. (Nicole has a very twisted sense of humor, one of the reasons I love her so.)
Nate was stammering, "Wait, what? And a gun? Really? You? A gun? For real? And a knife? But...? I'm afraid now!"
I smiled and touched his arm. "What? Afraid of little ol' me?" I explained a little about what it takes to get a CCW - the laws, the test, the fingerprinting...
Welcome to a brand new world, Nate. The one where the smallest person in the room just might be the most dangerous. Stay safe.