I have a close knit of about 4-5 plutonic girlfriends that I have known for 15 years. They are all the best friends a guy could ever ask for. It's not often that we see each other anymore and even when our time on the phone has tapered off, that doesn't mean that our relationship has lessened.
Whenever we would get together in our 20's, it would always be a rip-roaring goodtime that has provided us with countless stories that are hilarious. One time in particular, we were in Belleville, Ont. We have a couple friends that grew up in Belleville, and we have always had a good time in that small city. We all went out to the local watering hole after pre-pinting at home.
Now everyone one of these girls is a different character which completes the puzzle of their mystique. The ring leader is a "fabulous" girl whose name rhymes with Richelle. Each girl has her own calling card, and in this case, she can work a front door like a rockstar. Walking into a packed club with her is no problem because she works the bouncer. After a few winks, arm touches and an abundance of smiles, we are all in past the gatekeeper a la gratus. Well done...
So we get to the bar and a round of shots is already waiting for us, courtesy of Richelle. She is the cool girl that every guy wishes he had for a girlfriend; tall, funny, and world of charisma. Hanging around these girls can be a dangerous thing for a guy like me. First of all, they are all good looking girls and they always are having a good time. This attracts a lot of attention from all the guys in the bar; but worse, it draws the wrong kind of attraction of every girl in the bar hating us because we all know how women can get when another woman is getting more attention than the woman watching is...
So I split on my own to seek out my own fortune.
So while I am walking about, I notice a table of people completely silent and their hands are flying through the air like Italians. After a couple minutes of watching, I notice that they are not just passionate people who like to talk with their hands, but they are deaf.
When I was a young boy, my great aunt Gerty who is deaf taught me a little bit of sign language. She taught me the ASL alphabet and through the years, I picked it up and took some courses and some private lessons, and I could have a conversation on certain levels with the deaf. Well, I guess in this case, I was outted because while I was watching the deaf people talk trying to "eavesdrop" into their silent conversation they noticed that I was staring at them. They signed to each other that I was being a loser by staring at them so I immediately signed to them to apologize that I wasn't staring, but I noticed that they were deaf.
Now deaf conversations are very fast and very long. They are often called a "long goodbye" So very quickly they asked me over and asked me what my name was and how I knew sign language. So I sat down and although I had already had too many drinks, I seemed to get right into it. I guess if you are drunk, you talk too much no matter what language you are speaking...
So while I am engaged in conversation with them and this has been going on for about 15 minutes, I noticed our fearless ringleader looking at me in amazement. She walks over to the table and asks me what I am doing so I tell her. I introduced her to the table and they asked her to sit down and the conversation starts up again.
So while this is all going on, her mouth is wide open with awe. "I never knew that you knew how to sign Chuck" she said.
"No offense, but what you don't know could fill an entire library" and I winked at her.
And as I go back to the conversation we are laughing and having a ball. All of us but "Richelle" I turn around and she is sitting there crying. Maybe even bawling. I ask her what the matter is and she tells me, "Just when I think I know you, there's something else that totally surprises me." So clearly, tears of happiness and joy, not sadness.
But the table is filled with deaf people and they don't know what we are talking about. So they ask me what we are talking about and why this girl who is now clinging to my arm is crying.
Now, I don't know what made me think of this, but I decided to tell them that she was crying because she was my girlfriend and I just broke up with her. Now picture this, that I am sitting at the table, the girl on my arm is clinging to me like a drowning sailor and crying and I am signing and she has no idea what I am telling these deaf people. I look like Johnny Cool-Guy. They think that she is a deranged ex-girlfriend who won't leave me alone even though I have "tried" to break up with her many times, and she thinks I am telling these deaf people that she's simply impressed that I know sign language and is impressed with my sensitivity.
While I'm telling the deaf people this, "Richelle" is nodding and holding my arm tighter and tighter and pulling me closer as an endearment, and the deaf people think she's just crazy and psycho. Worse, I keep telling them that she's really hard up for me and I can't get rid of her, and she just keeps laughing and smiling. Well, you didn't need to speak or understand sign language to read the looks on these people's faces. They were laughing and carrying on and we were having a gay ol' time the whole time. And this just makes me look absolutely great that a guy like me could pick up a hot chick like this, so I'm walking on water as we say goodbye and walk away arm in arm.
So, not long after we leave, we are back at the house talking about the night and all the girls are around. "Richelle" is telling all the girls about how sensitive I am, and how nobody knew I could sign. She tells the story in her eyes as she saw it and they all look at me with glee.
Now, I could've let this stand and look like a sweetie to everybody, but I'm just too vain to do this. So I tell them all exactly what REALLY happened and the room explodes with laughter. The look on Richelle's face was simply worth every beating I took from her afterwards times 10. I took that beating like a champ and it was worth every inch of pain, but then we laughed about it afterwards.
We still laugh about this to this day... Thanks girls for the great memories.