Story Two: The Temper of the Irish

This is the other extreme in humanity that I mentioned in the previous post. (NOTE: If you haven't read the post before this one, read it now!!! Continuing from this point may result in paralyzing confusion!!!)

Nate and I headed into Asheville Sunday night to seek out a good dinner and, Nate's favourite, some good microbrews. We found ourselves in Jack of the Wood, a great Irish pub on Patton Ave. And when I say great, I mean it fully. I don't complement bars often but this setting, unlike any in Columbia, felt completely sincere--no contrived atmosphere here. It probably had something to do with the amazingly talented improvised Irish/Celtic music circle that lasted throughout the night and the narrow but well-chosen selection of draughts and microbrews.

Nate and I are enjoying our drink, the music, and the atmosphere when a woman at the end of the high bar we're occupying stands and says to her date, "Here, I'll find out." She promptly approaches us and asks Nate directly, "So tell me--guy with a belly ring. Gay or straight?" Well, fate herself could not have chosen a more perfect candidate for such a question. Nate is an incredibly kind and caring person, and his temper does not often get the best of him, even in the face of such blatent stereotyping--a fact made even more amazing by what you'll read next.

Nate: Well, it depends on the person. But I would say straight.
Woman: (jaw drops and then...) WHY?!?
Nate: Because. I have one.

And with this simple response, Nate lifts his shirt to reveal that he does indeed have a belly button stud. Needless to say, the woman is absolutely mortified. She apologizes for ten minutes, interspersed with drunk whispered insistances to her date that they leave immediately...props to her date for making her sit there while he finished his beer. Nate and I openly laughed at least five minutes after they finally left, but then Nate surprised me with a very serious comment about how angry such comments made him. Understandable. We work in theatre--stereotypes are not exactly our favourite view of people, as our own stereotype is not exactly positive most of the time. It ended up being a rather sobering moment of realisation. Be careful making judgements--they'll probably bite you pretty hard in the ass.

Nate and I, not allowing our evening to be ruined, enjoyed our dinner and drinks and finally, loathe to leave, made our way to our campfire. It was a great night all in all, and hopefully a woman somewhere in Asheville has learned that appearances do not the man make.


Anonymous shlee said...

Whoops. Some people are dumb.

10/19/2005 11:05 AM  
Blogger fastlad said...

props to you both. i love it when a straight guy or girl calls homophobes on their shit.

i'm irish and gay and i work in the theatre too and i am often told "you know what, you don't look gay..."

it's the most offensive comment. what the hell does it mean, really?

10/19/2005 11:24 AM  

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