Somewhere out there is a photo of me posed with a woman in an authentic Nazi bomber jacket. I often worry it will come back to haunt me when I am rich and famous.
It was a Sunday night in May, and I was a bartender trying to close up shop, but folks would pop in just as I moved to lock the door. Such was the case with a group of three women. They’d just come from the Rose Festival carnival, haven for … well, haven for people who go to carnivals. You know the type.
These three women arrived and quickly seated themselves. I was in the middle of my closing duties and waited for them to approach me, rather than wait on them at the table. The one who seemed oldest approached and said something about not getting out much, and asked if they could please have just one round.
I was then, as I am now, something of a softy. It was quaint, I thought, these three seemingly harmless bumpkin types came all the way in from the boonies for the carnival. How could I not oblige their wish to get a drink in this here city bar?
The liquor flowed and soon I was pouring them a second round. Soon they were hootin’ it up and I was feeling pretty good about brightening their day.
Emboldened by liquor, the spokesperson made a request.
“Can we take a picture of you with our friend?”
I hemmed a little, but my ego is big so I agreed, also thinking anything which might expedite their departure was worth it. Soon the youngest of the group, who bore the undeniable look of a women scorned, approached the bar.
I didn’t really get a good look at her – my smile and my glance were both reserved for the camera, and my mind was on mopping the floor. The leader instructed this blonde-haired woman to sit on the bar (on which she threatened to dance) while I leaned forward, allowed an arm to be draped across my shoulders, and grinned.
They gathered their things, and smiling all around they moved for the door. As they headed out I saw it. The woman with whom I’d posed was wearing a leather jacket with the telltale white armband and yes, swastika. My jaw dropped, my eyes bugged out. I simply stared in disbelief as they left my confines headed back out into the night.
Maybe wolves got to them or the film wouldn’t print. I can only hope.