Monday in Savannah

I’m in my conference all day, from the breakfast meeting sponsored by KeyTech Services, through the morning breakout session on web services, to the lunch sponsored by Syscom Services. That’s a lot of services, now that I think about it.

Then through the afternoon breakout session on TIMS e-business, where I’m actually a presenter. Yikes! Then I’m done, as I skip the southern-style dinner at Johnson Square to have dinner with Dawn.

We wander around the historic district for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, checking out menus in windows. We actually try the Lady & Sons at one point, at 5:45 p.m. There are a lot of elderly folk hanging around outside, so we’re a bit embarrassed to be dining early like old folks. But then the hostess tells us that the earliest she can seat us is 8:45. Goodness, this is a popular place. We end up back down on the water, at the River House.

It’s mostly a seafood place, but they’ve got a little cheese pizza for Dawn. I have the crab cakes, which comes with a caesar salad. There’s also French bread, that Dawn dips in some sauce but I’m having none of that. Just good bread. We of course share a bottle of pinot grigio. Our waitress is Jen, who tells me, when I ask who Eddie is, because there’s a section on the menu called Eddie’s Favorites, that Eddie was the owner who tragically died last year. We have a toast to Eddie.

On the way back to the ferry we stop at Wet Willie’s for frozen drinks to go. While Dawn’s deciding what flavor she wants, I wander over to a cool display they’ve got up behind the bar, of confiscated IDs. They’re all really, really good for fake IDs, I gotta say. I ask the bartender, and he says that a lot of ’em are real, but that they’ve been slightly altered or else were being used by someone other than the person actually pictured. I talk to the bartender about my youth, how the drinking age was eighteen back then, and it was just before Mothers Against Drunk Driving came on the scene, and it was easier because a lot of places didn’t bother carding. Plus I had my brother’s military ID after he got his driver’s license at eighteen. And I remember that my brother-in-law Danny, his driver’s license in New Jersey didn’t even have a photo on it. It was still the old paper kind, with just height and weight and eye & hair color.

I spy a waitress on the other side of bar. She’s got on a sleeveless t-shirt, showing off great tattoos. She comes over to the bar and I ask her to turn around so I can look. It’s some sort of flower motif. Great ink, I tell her, as if I know what I’m talking about. Dawn comes over to check it out too, and the waitress lifts up her shirt in back to show us how it really encompasses so much of her back. She tells us that the whole thing took five hours, in two sessions. Just enough time to stop oozing in between, I figure, and she says that’s about right. She’s got other tattoos that she doesn’t show us.

She tells me that I should get tattooed. I demure, saying that my skin is too old now, no longer young and beautiful like hers. Dawn adds that my back’s too hairy now too.

Ick. She’s right.

The waitress says that they’ll shave the hair before doing the tattoo. But that’s really beside the point. Who wants a hairy back tattoo? Tattoos are for the young. The waitress says that when she gets old and they look awful, well, they’re on her back and she can’t see them. Smart thinking.

Dawn gets the margarita and I get sex-on-the-beach, and we get them in plastic cups and walk back out onto River Street. Who doesn’t love drinking in public?

We walk by a guy in a little mini park area, playing guitar and singing What a Wonderful World. We stop to listen for a while. There’s another guy with him, wearing shades, who sings along and dances on other songs. They sing Kansas City. The guy playing guitar asks for requests. Someone lamely asks for Jimmy Buffet. I ask him to play what I always ask buskers to play: Mean Woman Blues. But, incredibly, he doesn’t know it. He asks me to sing a little for him.

I got a woman mean as she can be
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she’s almost mean as me

A black cat up and died of fright
Cause she crossed his path last night
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she’s almost mean as me

I tell him that Elvis recorded it, Roy Orbison too. He still doesn’t know it. He asks if I want to sing it while he plays. No way. I plead that that’s his job, and he lets me off the hook. And then he and the other guy sing something they say is similar, a funny song called Don’t Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me.

We have to head back to catch the ferry, and but then we end up waiting for like forty-five minutes, and wishing we’d stayed and listened to the guys longer. The ferry is delayed because of some sort of medical emergency on the other side of the river. We hear later that someone had an allergic reaction or something. We have to listen to the guy who leadenly plays the bongos down at this end of the pier.