He sat down three stools away with his wallet in his hand to signal he was ready to spend his money. She didn’t notice him or, at least he didn’t notice her notice him through his peripherals. He has good peripherals or so he thinks. He estimates them to be at a 210-degree angle, give or take a degree. He wondered what constituted having above average peripherals. He should Google it he thought as the bartender finally noticed him.
“Get you something to drink?” The beardy bartender asked.
“Uhh, yeah. Yes, please.” He answered.
“Okay. What would you like?” The bartender replied emphasizing each word as if talking to a child.
“Any IPA on draft will be good. Thanks.” He hurriedly answered as to not seem like the idiot the bartender was implying him to be. Mr. Rude Beardy nodded and headed to the taps. He stood there awkwardly starring up at the back of the bar seemingly admiring the bottles on display. He didn’t care much though and used his superior peripherals to see what she was doing three stools down. She’s either petting a small animal or rubbing a rabbit’s foot for luck. No, wait she’s just scrolling her phone. That makes more sense. Who actually carries rabbit’s foots anymore anyways he thought? Is it rabbit’s foots or rabbit’s feet? He knew of course the plural of foot is feet but in the circumstance of referring to more than one lucky rabbit’s foot would you still say rabbit’s feet? He figured that could get confusing because then people would just assume you were talking about the feet attached to live rabbits. He assumed if you stated lucky first then it would clarify but still it would be worth Googling.
“$4.50.” Rude Beardy had startled him out of his rabbit’s foot quandary and he jumped slightly. The bartender gave him a quick eyebrow raise to confirm that Rude Beardy did in fact think he was moron. He fumbled with his wallet with sweaty hands from having been grasping it for the last five minutes and pulled out his card. Rude Beardy grabbed it and asked,
“Leave it open?”
“Uhh, yeah sure. Thanks.” He replied and went to sip the IPA tilting it too quickly before it actually reached his lip and dribbled down the glass and his chin. He heard a small titter and looked over at her smiling to herself and staring into her phone.
“Whoops.” He said quietly in her direction getting her attention. She looked over at him while removing an earbud from her furthest ear and asked quizzically,
“Oh, uhh nothing I just said whoops.” He answered.
“Umm, okay.” She replied dragging out the KAY after the O with an upward inflection. Slightly confused he muttered almost inaudibly,
“Cause I spilled my beer down my chin and you laughed so I said ‘Whoops’”
“I’m sorry do I know you or something?” She asked seriously.
“Oh, uhh, no. I just. I heard you laugh when I spilled my beer and, uh, I said ‘Whoops’ because you laughed or whatever so…”
“No I didn’t. I was laughing at something on my phone. Not at you.” She interrupted matter-of-factly and turned back to her phone replacing her earbud in the furthest ear and swiftly finding the other to close out all future communication with him. He promptly turned forward and squinting with manufactured interest, starred at the bottles behind the bar once more for comfort. He could see her scrolling her phone again and slightly turned his head to glance in her direction simultaneously catching her looking at him in her peripherals with a furled lip of disgust and slight fear. He turned towards her and opened his mouth to speak realizing she wouldn’t hear him and tentatively raised his finger to grab her attention. She reluctantly removed her earbuds and slowly and stiffly turned toward him, lip furled and eyes wide.
“What?” She emphatically snapped at him.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to. I saw you catch me looking at you in your peripherals and I…”
“My what?” She raised her voice and this got Rude Beardy’s attention. He looked over as the bartender gave a concerned look in her direction and they made eye contact. Rude Beardy eyed him sternly and headed down the bar.
“Oh no I wasn’t. I didn’t do anything. She was just looking at me in her peripherals. I said, ‘Whoops’. I just spilled my IPA and I said ‘Whoops’ cause I thought she laughed and it. I misunderstood. She was just uh. “ He stuttered.
“Is there a problem her miss?” Rude Beardy heroically asked.
“No!” He loudly interjected causing both her and Beardy to cock there heads and necks back. She looked him up and down with the furled lip but left her mouth agape as well signaling an utter disapproval and said,
“This dude is a weirdo”
“No, no, no, no,” He quickly jumped in to save himself. “I was just. I said ‘Whoops’ and it was an accident with my. I thought she was laughing at me and I saw her in my peripherals. Er, no she saw me in her peripherals. I just. Uhh.” He paused and realized they both gave him the mouth agape, big eyes disgust face and he quickly inquired,
“Is it rabbit’s foots or rabbit’s feet, do you think?”