Sunday, November 29, 2009

Town Drunk

I grew up in a small town. There is a certain dynamic to small town life where it’s hard to be anonymous or to reinvent oneself. You are who you are and the only way to get away from that is to move to a city.

The sad thing about small town life that sometimes all it takes is one pissed off person to start a rumor and ruin someone’s reputation. Most times it’s obvious, like in the case of the town drunk. When you see a guy walking around drunk all the time or sleeping it off on his lawn and they do this often enough you have an established reliable town drunk. In my town he was known as Gary the Drunk. There were other drunks in town, but none quite as reliable as Gary.

Who was your town drunk?


Blogger Tango said...

Baton Rouge, the late 80's our town drunk owned a box truck and rigged it up where it would drive slowly across the intersection after he got out and stopped the traffic. Then he would come and empty all the trash cans at the gas station I worked at, rolling them across the parking lot without ever hitting any parked cars or customers. He could also dance while balancing a can of Schlitz on his bald head. Once he was featured in a newspaper after he received his 33rd DUI.
Opelousas, LA....In the early 90's while a managed a bar....Batiste who would tell the same story over and over about going to Nebraska to put a stone on his mother's grave. Pecan...whom I had to talk down twice while he was holding a knife to his womans throat. James...who would never fail to put the men's bathroom out of order until he got too drunk to walk so he would piss on himself. Then I would have to keep my eye on him for the rest of the night so that he wouldn't sit on the couch.

4:45 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Going from the burbs to the city and back and forth there were so many memorable drunks it's hard to remember them all. For awhile in the late 70's/early 60's it was me. But I wasn't that much of a character. I was just a hammerhead. Then I got over it.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

we had MANY in Chinook, but one particular person was the "eldest" so I suppose that gave him premier status in our collective opinions. We lived on the back road that paralelled the highway so we got alot of the town drunks who would knock on our door and ask for my dad to help pull their vehicle out of the ditch. Or sometime you would see them just sleeping in their vehicle, in the ditch for the night. But one guy, THE guy, was always in the ditch, you cut him a wide swath (or just got off the road) when you saw his truck driving toward you...drifting from side to side. (luckily he drove very slow) This guy was my friend's great uncle. When we were older, you could always show up at the back door of the Fishtrap Tavern in town and he would always hand us out a cold can of beer to share. Ahh, such memories.

Prior to him I remember a much older man in Chinook that used to wear no shirt, but suspenders and trouser and be drunk and outside on the highway yelling at the world alot.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Growing up in Eagleville, Mo., it was Gooseberry Gillan. I don't know how he got the nickname, and I don't know the proper spelling of his last name. But he was always staggering.

7:54 AM  
Blogger heather kathleen said...

olive branch, mississippi. and although he wasn't the town drunk? he had a reputation as a bad-ass redneck and owned a "tonk" in the swamp lands.

his name?

big george.

at the tender age of 22? i watched him beat a man down the road with a pair of battery cables for bitching about the beer selection.

that's all i have to say about that.

9:20 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Whoa, someone just used a name an where they worked. Not cool. Let's just say Jake somewhere in Astoria in the guest service industry.

10:46 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango, our drunk didn't drive, but he did dance from time to time.

Darev, you needed a career change. Glad it worked out for you.

Auntie, the no shirt guy is the real thing. And it's odd when relatives stop being embarrassed and just accept the behavior as normal.

Donna, great name for a local personality.

Heather, and to this day he still probably sells only Bub and Bud Light.

5:57 AM  
Blogger g said...

Before I stopped drinking?

7:20 PM  

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