Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meat + Controversy = Friday Night at the VFW

Summer brings a lot of joys…lemonade, beaches, sun staying out until well past 8 p.m. But know where it goes horribly wrong? Meat raffles! Apparently, people would rather be, you know, OUTSIDE or AT THEIR CABINS or outside at their cabins than at the bar trying to win some meat.

At least this was what I was told when I called multiple bars that all informed me after July 4th, they were “taking a hiatus” from meat raffles.

What is the world coming to??

But fear not, because we can always depend on our men and women who served their country proudly to provide protection from tyranny at home and abroad, and a room full of chicken and pork on a Friday night. Thank you so very much for your service, VFW!

We arranged for Scott to drop us off at the VFW while he took Wee ‘Burb to grandma’s house. And just as I am about to close the car door after blowing kisses to the Wee ‘Burb, what does he say?

“Hey, you should probably check and see if you need a sponsor to get in.” If this were a sitcom, this is when you’d hear the record scratch and the sound of crickets.

I believe my extremely stupid response was “well, like, could YOU be our sponsor?” I have NO IDEA why this crossed my mind. Because he’s a dude? Is that the same as serving in a war?

I mean, Scott has the same war experience as Cous Cous …I don’t know where my head was at. I was just so taken aback that my perfect evening plan could go awry…and that he didn’t think to mention this earlier. Preferably before I was standing in the parking lot looking like a total moron.

But I was resolved. I was going to attend this meat raffle if I had to go door to door and ask for Veteran support. I walked in and immediately I see a sign-in book. Crap.

So I looked around to find someone in charge. There was nobody behind the bar and everyone looked up and stared as we walked in…again, cue the crickets.

I saw someone tallying receipts so I walked in what I thought to be a confident manner up to this guy and said: ”do we need someone to sponsor us to come in, or can anyone join for the meat raffle?”

He laughed and pointed to the open tables and bellowed like the Ghost of ChristmasPast: “Come in and know us better, man.”

Okay, he didn’t. What he did say was: “You’re MY guest tonight, have a drink!”

Now, I’d had partaken of some cheap beer and just found out the meat raffle was only 50 cents a ticket versus the $1 tickets at most bars, so I was a tad charged up when I screeched to my friend: “I feel REALLY good about this!!”

She had the #10 and when the dude spun the roulette wheel, I almost passed out when I saw it land on 10!! I start squealing like a 13-year-old Bieber fan and the table next to us starts congratulating her on winning her first one, and we’re all excited.

Until we see someone else walking up and waving the #9 in the meat auctioneer’s face. He says rather menacingly “that’s MY meat.”

So my friend starts to sit down, but I’m not having this! This man will NOT take her victory. I say very loudly “the wheel CLEARLY says 10” and my friend is shrugging her shoulders and seconds away from shooshing me.

There’s a conference with the Ghost of Christmas past and some of his fellow judges, and they say something that sets Number 9 off. To the point that this GROWN MAN actually tries to tear up his ticket and throw it on the ground.

He shouts “I walked all the way up here for THIS!?”

First of all, dude, you’re out 50 cents. I’ve seen people lose their rent money with less of a hissy fit than this guy was throwing.

Also? Throwing your dollies down and going home is for 5-year-old girls with braids, not men who’ve been through war. Is losing a 50-cent meat raffle REALLY something that keeps you up at night?

And also again? “All the way up here” was approximately 20 steps. He looked rather agile as he was throwing his tantrum, so the extra hissiness based on the distance he had to travel to claim his now-denied meat was just unnecessary.

The people at the table next to us who were cheering for us are now jeering the meat auctioneer and Number 9 and telling him it was for sure #10 and she deserves her meat!

My friend leans over to them and says “look, I don’t want to break any rules here” and as the auctioneer comes over to tell her to claim her meat, the woman says something to my friend that means I will be spending a lot of Friday nights at the VFW:

“Honey, there ARE no rules at the VFW.”

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