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James R. Stout

Green and Cue Days

            It was the fall of 1972 and a Friday night. Me and my friend Keven were on the prowl. I had my mother’s car for the evening. We were supposed to be hanging out at his house. But since his parents had gone square dancing (for real) we were doing some cruising and seeing what was out there. We soon decided to go to a local teen hangout called “The Green and Cue”. It had indoor putt-putt and pool tables. We were there to play pool and see if there were any girls to flirt with. I freely admit that I was the flirt while Kevin was very shy around girls.

            So, we played several games of 8-ball and regular pool, fed some quarters into the jukebox, bought a cold drink and something to munch on and generally had a great time. My eyes may not be Irish, but they were certainly roving. Hey, I was 17! We had just about had enough pool for the evening when a very attractive age appropriate girl stopped at our pool table and started to talk. I was thinking of all the possibilities while Kevin played pool. We finished the game and told her that we were about to leave. I was going to ask her for her name and phone number. Hope sprang eternal in those days. She was my type. Dark hair down to the middle of her back, dressed smartly in a pair of jeans and matching top, not too made-up, a pretty face and just the right height and weight. Well, she surprised both of us when she asked if we could give her a ride home. Could this really be happening?

            So, we go outside into the parking lot and head over to my car. Now, I might remind you again that it was 1972. My mother’s car was a 1967 Chevy Nova. In those golden days the front seat was usually a bench seat. I’m reminded of a song by a group called Cake. It goes something like, “Stick shift and safety belts, bucket seats will never do.” Thankfully, none of those things were in that car. Oh, I guess the safety belts were, but they were pushed down under the seat to get them out of the way. No warning buzzers in those days. We get over to the car and I’m fully expecting all three of us to sit on that front bench seat. And, as it turned out, we did. There was just one problem. Kevin’s shyness was in full regalia that night. I unlocked the passenger door and while I went around to the driver’s door Kevin and this girl stood there looking inside the car. Just exactly what was the problem? I sat down and looked at them and that’s when Kevin did something unfathomable. HE got in first and scooted over next to me and let the girl sit by the door! I was completely baffled and bewildered. Not to mention embarrassed beyond belief. What must she have thought? I get shivers thinking about even now.

            Well, we drove her to her house, and she got out and before I could get her name and phone number she said, “Thanks!” and walked quickly away to her front door. Kevin didn’t immediately move over by the door, so I gave him a punch in the arm. We got to the end of the street and I stopped the car and just looked at Kevin.

            “What is your problem, man?” I asked

            “What do you mean?” he replied.

            “Why on God’s green Earth would you get in the car first? I pleaded.

            “Well, I figured since she would be getting out of the car it would be easier that way.” He said.

            I slowly laid my head on the steering wheel and then started to shake it from side to side. I was genuinely hoping at that point that I would never see that girl again. That’s saying something for me back then. I’m afraid that I berated Kevin on this heinous act. He seemed to not understand though, but I think he really did. I think he was just shy and made a goofy move.

            Well, we lived through it and within a month I met the girl that I would date for the rest of high school. Ultimately, no harm, no foul. But I still cringe at the thought of how it must have looked when we pulled out of the parking lot of “Green and Cue”.

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