Showing posts with label Gert's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gert's. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm not funny

Photo by ~ R. Lynn

Went into Gert's Tavern today to have coffee with the locals at 10.
Shortly after I arrived Dan walked in. He sat down next to me and starting giving me shit about this blog and why I can't find something funny to write about with all that goes on at Gert's.
"I'm not here every minute of every gawd damn day like you are", I retorted. "I miss most of the stuff."
And so I was filled in on the, Rita vs Terry battle; Jocko's large mouth bass; and Psycho John.
All in all, not much new, just a different month.
Gert was gone to the Cities, where she normally is. The "open for launch" sign was taken down and the cook she hired was wandering about with a lost look on his face. He will do that for a few more weeks before he realizes he does not work there anymore. I'm not sure where Gert found this fellow but it was not at a Yale graduation ceremony, for sure.
Psycho John is a fellow who lives with his mother still at age, 49. Flip flops back and forth between two girl friends, depending on which one left him last.
He amazed everybody in town one time when he actually had a job for more than a month. I think it was the third job he has had in his lifetime. Mom still buys everything for him and he sees no reason to exert himself any further than need be.
Jocko is a nice old man who comes up for a week or so at a time. Usually brings some smoked jerky or pickled fish for the locals to sample. Trouble is he also brings several younger fellows with him. I think they are related. Benny and Dave are two that would not be missed by the town if they never, ever showed up again. Sober they are tolerable, but they are never sober.
Two of the most obnoxious people you ever want to meet.
Jocko caught himself a nice bass yesterday. He was excited. He had released it but there were a couple of cell phone pictures taken before it was returned. Nice to see an old man excited like that.
Rita has been with the same person for a couple of years now and it is time for her to move on. The fights with her partner will increase in intensity and occurrence as the summer progresses, cultivating in a separation. She always seems to have a place to move into immediately.
The cooked walked out of the kitchen and stared at the lights that were not turned on in the restaurant part of the bar. He just doesn't get it.
Tim came in and sat down like someone was going to wait on him. "What the hell you doing", said Dan.
Tim let out an, "Oh! What was I thinking" and got up and poured himself a cranberry vodka. "Forgot that Gert was gone."
As he rang up the drink in the register and the drawer popped open he let out a, "Geeeezzzzzz!"
"How the hell is a guy to make change when Gert leaves three dollars in the till?"
He closed the drawer and sat back down. I figured he would either not pay for the drink or drink up twenty dollars worth so he didn't have to make change. Either way I was not going to be around to find out. Had things to do.
"See you guys later."
As I headed out the door Benny was on his way in and already bouncing off the bulletin board in the entry way.
It was going to be a rainy Sunday and I had some plants that needed transplanting. Good weather for it, I was thinking. But like most ideas things got cut short by a phone call from my father-in-law. He had broken his lawn mower; he wanted his dock in; and he wanted the lake pumps put in for watering his garden.

I have been testing a friendship lately.
Jury is still out.

Saturday, June 12, 2010



I was in the mood for a beer but didn't have any money on me and Gert doesn't accept credit cards so I was pondering what to do.
Best to face the problem head on and order a few beers before I mention to Gert I don't have any money. Has worked a few time in the past and there was no indication She had learned from her past mistakes.
I was about midway through my second beer when Merle came in.
"Wooooowheeee! It's a scorcher out there today."
"Yea! Must be 60 at least", I replied. "I would just like it to stay warm long enough for me to get some feeling back in my toes."
"They say by Sunday she should be back down to normal temperatures."
Merle had gotten a new pick up truck (new to Merle) and it had air conditioning. He was in his glory, riding about town with the windows up and the air on.
Me. I'm freezing my butt off and the tomato plants are turning yellow from lack of sun. And in the mean time it just keeps raining and raining and raining.
Gert finally came out of the back to assess the damages caused by the locals getting their own drinks. I was honest with my two beer bottles sitting in front of me and Merle had just his one Windsor/water he was sipping on. Of course his Windsor/water is a ratio of 98/2 Windsor to water when he makes it himself, but hey.
Gert looked at the till and noticed nothing had been rung up yet. She cleared her throat so that we would take notice that she notice that small detail. I ignored her completely since I didn't have any money anyway.
"You seen Becker about?", I asked Merle.
"He's been working for his ma. He does about an hour of work and charges her for eight. I think he spends the rest of the time building a bar in his basement."
"He has been building that bar for four years."
Tim walked in and Gert made some grunting noise and headed into the kitchen. Tim walked behind the bar and made his usual cranberry/vodka, although he went to the back shelf and grabbed the Absolute vodka instead of the rail brand since Gert was not looking.
"If you don't put a swizzle stick in it Gert can't tell how many ya had." Merle said.
"I don't use swizzle sticks anyway. Gert uses them to pick her teeth with, then puts them back into the holder."
"Don't bother me nun. I ain't got no teeth anyway." said Merle.
The logic there escaped me but I was not going to dwell on it.
"Hey. What happened to launch around here? I thought Gert had a new cook."
"He quit when he found out Gert was only going to pay him per meals that he served."
"Well that sucks. The kid could work here for weeks and never make a dime. I don't blame him for leaving."
At that moment Gert came out of the back room. "Hey Gert. What's on the special for lunch today?", I yelled just to piss her off.
All I got back was a middle finger without her even looking up from her newspaper.
"Probably was that no one wanted to see a launch anyway."
That got more than a finger. Gert actually looked up and said, "Swanson, why the fuck don't you shut up."
"Well, I know when I'm not wanted." So I began organizing all the beer coasters I had been playing with. Gert said, "And you owe me $6.50 for those two Becks."
Sorry Gert. Don't have any money with me this time, but I will catch up with you next time I'm in.
As I made my way out the door I heard her yelling. I couldn't make out exactly what it was she was saying but I think it had something to do with that Becker.

The light reflecting off of a small brook just below Brooke (out of the image) made for some interesting patterns on her.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Erin ~ Night to Tango

Stopped over at Gert's Tavern yesterday for a quick beer.
As I approached the parking lot I noticed an immediate change had taken place at Gert's. There were words on her sign. Real words. "Open for launch"
What the f__k? Gert going to have the space shuttle launch on TV? That is not about to bring any customers in.
As I entered the tavern Gert was behind the bar picking straws out of last night's glasses so she could wash them. The glasses she would wait and wash later when she had more customers so it looked like she had a busy morning.
"What's with the sign?", I asked.
"Got a new cook. Kids bright too. He should bring in those Indiana fishermen cuz he knows how to cook them Walleye sandwiches up nice."
"I bet." "You do something different with your hair, Gert?"
"Yep! Washed it last Wednesday. Where you been?"
"Out of town on business."
"Some business. Takin pictures of nakid girls."
I didn't respond. It would end like it always does with her volunteering to model for me if I fixed her chicken fryer. Not only do I not want to ever, ever, ever see Gert with her clothes off, but there is enough grease packed in the control box for that fryer that you would have to chisel it out before you could find any wiring. She bought it (or traded it for god knows what) many years ago. It didn't work then and it has not moved from the sidewalk in front of the tavern since. The day it was dropped off she ran an ad in the paper, "Now serving Broasted Chicken". She also said in the ad that people should come enjoy the outdoor hot tub in the new back patio part of the bar. The hot tub has been there forty years and has never worked either. Actually it is filled with dirt because the previous owner used it for a raised bed vegetable garden. The "Back patio" means anything you see when you open the back door. Usually black plastic bags of aluminum cans.
It was approaching noon and I knew Gert was going to try and use me as a guinea pig on the Walleye sandwich. I don't care one bit about Walleye as an eatable food and the fact that it is shoved between the top and bottom of a hoggie bun does nothing to improve the flavor. Couple that with the fact that it will be fried on a griddle that has not been used, nor cleaned for four years and the anticipation of launch goes down hill at a rapid rate.
"Best go get some work done. See ya later, Gert."
"Not staying for lunch?"
I pretended not to hear as I headed out the door.
As I started up Golden Hooves a car pulled in. Two middle aged guys with fishing poles sticking out every window. I glanced at the license plates. Indiana.
"Try the walleye sandwich", I yelled out the window.
Gert should be hard at it washing glasses about now, I was thinking as I drove down the road. With any luck those two Indiana fishermen should succumb to food poisoning and I will have done my part to improve life in the northwoods.