Page 38 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneToo Young To Buy BeerSome of the guys that I grew up with started drinking at a young age; at least too young to buy their own beer. They got around this by having someone buy it for them. A Straw Buyer, if you will. In most cases, these people were complete strangers. What they would do is stand outside a tavern and ask someone who was going in to buy the beer for them. They would give them enough money to buy the beer plus a couple of dollars extra for the buyer.One night as I exited the recreation center, I saw Pat running across a vacant lot and coming right at me. He had fear in his face and he was running kind of unsteady. To know Pat was to know the life of the party. He was full of antics and provoked many laughs. A comedian on late night TV would be an example. As he looked up the street, he suddenly changed direction and started running down the sidewalk. With that, a police car entered the scene. It was going backwards at a high rate of speed and all four doors were open. One of the policemen jumped out and ran after Pat yelling, “Halt,halt, halt.” When Pat would not stop, the policeman started shooting in the air – Bam, Bam, Bam. With that, Pat threw up his arms and stopped. The police car caught up with the two of them and they took Pat and threw him in the car and sped away. Another friend and myself immediately ran to the Church and told the priest that the Police took Pat away.Later that night, the priest came back laughing. When the priest arrived at the station, Pat had all of the Policeman lined up against the wall and mimicking James Cagney or Humphrey Bogart, “if one of you Dirty Screws make a move, I will shoot Ya.” The police were doubled over with laughter. It turned out that when Pat tried to make his purchase, the man who he gave the money to went in and sat for quite sometime drinking. When he came out, he didn’t have any beer. When Pat asked him, the man responded, “Go to Hell.” with that Pat pulled out a windup Dick Tracy gun that shot sparks and said, “You get me that beer or I will blow your head off.” With that, the man immediately went back in and called the police. While Pat had the Police lined up against the wall, he would wind up the gun and shoot sparks at them. What could have turned out to be a serious situation turned out to be comedy night at the police station and with the Dear Priest laughing along with them. I don’t remember if Pat ever stopped drinking, but this episode should have caused him to think about it or at least wait until he could buy his own beer.38

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