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20160213_164205The man was clearly annoyed with the exchange because, well, it wasn’t a true exchange.

Refueling what appeared to be his work truck, He shifted his stance, kept looking away, and even sighed a few times. Unfortunately, the gentleman consuming his time didn’t seem to get the hint. He just kept talking, rambling on and on about everything and nothing, almost every sentence ending with something like, “You know what I mean?” or “I know, right.”

Just on the other side of the pump station, I couldn’t help but listen intently and give a few guarded glances. The listening man did not speak once.

The other was still speaking when I finished refueling my car and then crossed the lot to retrieve the change from what was a pre-paid purchase. There was a line at the counter.

The first in line was there only to purchase cigarettes, and while the clerk made the exchange, a brief conversation started between them about e-cigarettes. The next patron stepped forward to pre-pay for fuel. The third in line, like me, was retrieving her change, but also asked for various scratch-and-win lottery tickets by name. I’d already been inside the building for a few minutes before receiving my change and making my way back outside.

The prattling continued even as the man was finishing and putting the cap back on his tank. I got into my car and pulled away from the pump, but rolled over near the air compressor used for tire refills and watched.

The listening man crossed his arms and looked at the ground. The other kept speaking. A minute or two went by and the listener started to get into his truck. The other kept speaking as the door closed and the vehicle slowly began to pull away.

I saw the speaker wave. There was no return from the man in the truck.


Do you think that folks who do this kind of stuff realize what they’re doing? This man obviously didn’t. It’s almost as if I was watching a predatory event. A full grown male bore was on the hunt, had captured a hapless victim, and was feasting gluttonously. Reminds me of something John Updike wrote.

“One in every three hundred and twelve Americans is a bore,” Updike penned in his volume Assorted Prose, “and a healthy adult male bore consumes each year one and a half times his weight in other people’s patience.”

I’d just witnessed such an event.

Later in the evening, I was considering the event while reviewing the Hand Selected Barrel edition from Crown Royal.

Like the speaker to the listener, as the predator to the prey, this particular Crown Royal was challenging to endure.

The nose is that of homemade ketchup, except the culinarian kept putting in more and more white sugar and vinegar even as he was urged to stop.

The palate is overly candied like most other Crown Royals I tried, except this time it is precisely a bubble gum syrup used in the mix. The first sip is like taking a mouthful of Big League chewing gum.

The finish is long and warm. I like its heat, but everything else is patience-draining. Its boozey alcohol bite keeps jabbering at you long after you’d hoped it would cease.

Perhaps I should keep a flask of this stuff in my hip pocket in case I’m ever trapped by such a wily beast as the lecturing man at the gas station. When he starts to speak, I would casually interrupt with an offering of this Crown Royal.

“I know, right? Hey, want to try some of the Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel I’ve got here? Oh, c’mon, how can you refuse? You know what I’m saying?”

I figure that if he does accept the offer I’d have a good fifteen to twenty seconds to duck out while he jerks back and scowls to shake it off.