Preface: This event could impart the impression that one person was somehow at fault here, but in truth it could have happened to any of us.  As one former boss would say “it’s funny because it didn’t happen to you.”

Kevin, Mark and I had been working head-down six days a week, 12 hours per day for about two weeks in so far. We also worked 4 to 6 hours on Sunday mornings, but then we’d try to get out and see the sights. It was wearing on us and we kept our sanity by joking around a lot, or drinking in the hotel bar.

One weeknight after work, we stopped at the hotel bar and had a few beers while watching a game on the tv.

It was a small bar, dark, and fairly crowded, so we stood up the entire time. Don’t bother searching for images now. The bar was completely overhauled several times since 1990. At the time this story occurs, it was separate from the restaurant and more like an afterthought.

Kevin and I were joking about the limousine incident and another where my head almost got clipped by a speeding bread truck on Canal Street. Mark was having a busy conversation with an elderly businessman holding his trench coat and umbrella in one hand and his drink in the other. We paid them no kind.

The businessman looked like Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October, but aged by 20 years and half his weight. Yeah. Something like that. Anyhow, during a brief pause in our conversation (Kevin and I), we sort of listened to Mark’s situation.

Mark was doing all the talking, and the other guy was mostly listening. Mark was heavy into his police tactical training and how intense it was and so forth. Then out of nowhere, the older guy reached up and stroked Mark’s goatee with his right thumb and said, “My. You have a pretty mouth and chin.”

It took another two weeks to get Mark relaxed enough to go outside the hotel again.


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