1. God I hope this place is good. I never know where to go on these things. I'm always like "where do you want to meet up?" and the person online is always like "wherever you like!" as if I have like a rolodex of good "drinks" places. Like, what are good places for "drinks"? Bars, right? Like that's just the definition of a bar. Bars are for drinks.
  2. But "drinks" is different from drinks. Any place is good for drinks, but not every place is good for "drinks."
  3. The picture online was poorly lit, so that's just going to have to be good enough for Christina, 25.
  4. God, I'm nervous.
  5. I need to shut up, but, like, in my mind.
  6. Ok, here I am. Stoney's. Has four stars and only two dollar signs. Looks nice.
  7. Guy just asked if I was here for "George's thing."
  8. "Um, no. Just grabbing a drink."
  9. Well, if this place is good enough for George.
  10. Should I pull out a book and read at the bar so I can be all like "oh I was reading?"
  11. No, Luke. Christina will see right through that.
  12. Hmmmm, there's a lot of people in the back in suits.
  13. Should I get a drink real quick? She'll probably be five minutes late.
  14. "Hey, I'll have a Killian's."
  15. The bartender just sighed and said "of course. That was George's favorite."
  16. Hm.
  17. Well, that's curious.
  18. Check out the back room, Luke.
  19. Yep. Flowers and lots of poster boards full of photos.
  20. George's wake is in the back room.
  21. I picked the wrong place for drinks.
  22. Ok, quick, quick. What were the other options in the neighborhood? The Thirsty Jackal is like a block away. Three dollar signs. Four and a half stars.
  23. Sprint. Run. Get there before she gets here and be like "hey the Jackal has good vibes tonight. Let's go there instead."
  24. Well, no, don't text that exact thing.
  25. DAMN IT, SHE'S HERE! Who shows up at 7:03 for drinks at 7?
  26. "Hey! Christina, right? I'm Luke, and yes I already ordered myself a drink."
  27. Solid start.
  28. "What can I get you?"
  29. Ok, Christina is cool. She said she has never been here, and I acted like I go here all the time. Just relax. The wake is in the back. We're in the front. Never shall the two meet.
  30. Oh, yep. They just started playing Amazing Grace.
  31. "What bagpipes? Oh, you mean the bagpipes coming from the back room? Yeah, I think there's a wake going on back there."
  32. Christina is alarmed.
  33. "Yeah. It's for George. I don't, uh, know who he is... Say, do you want to go to another bar?"
  34. Christina says this is fine.
  35. This is not fine. This is sad.
  36. "So how many siblings do you have?"
  37. I always pick the worst places.
  38. In December, I went on five dates at five different bars that were all having massive office Christmas parties.
  39. Hey offices, have your office Christmas parties at the office. You already have a space. People are trying to find acceptable places for first dates.
  40. "I'm an only child. Also, one time I was bit by a snake."
  41. Luke, you can't pull out the snake bite story out of nowhere. Save your fun facts for when you guys are trading fun facts. Don't be so desperate.
  42. "So I used to be a camp counselor..."
  43. Well, I'm telling it. She appears amused.
  44. Oh no.
  45. What if George was bitten by a snake? Is this in bad taste?
  46. Luke, people aren't just bitten by snakes.
  47. I was. At camp.
  48. Wrap it up. Wrap up the snake story.
  49. "And yeah, basically the snake was in the pool and my friend flung it out with a stick and it landed on my hand and it bit me. So I saw on Tinder you've been to the Grand Canyon. Tell me about that."
  50. Oh man, people are crying very loudly.
  51. George died way too young, apparently.
  52. This is bad.
  53. "Do you want to go somewhere else?"
  54. Wait, where did these shots come from?
  55. Oh boy, George's brother bought them for the bar.
  56. The wake is no longer contained to the back room.
  57. We can't leave now. Not during a stirring toast.
  58. "To George."
  59. Well, Christina. This is me. I am Luke, and I don't know how to pick places for dates.
  60. "Ok, let's go."
  61. This woman wants to know how we knew George.
  62. "We are just here on a date. I'm sorry for the loss."
  63. Wait, what are they passing around?
  64. Oh, wait, that's an urn. That's George.
  65. Everyone is saying something nice and passing George around.
  66. Boy, did George love the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  67. The urn is making its way down the bar.
  68. "They have my card. I'll close out tomorrow. We can go."
  69. Christina, chug that vodka and soda. We are obviously never seeing each other again, so be as messy about it as you want.
  70. Oh...
  71. I was just handed the urn.
  72. "Well... I know I'll be thinking of George... on Opening Day."
  73. That got quite a cheer.
  74. Don't pass it to Christina. Don't hand your date an urn.
  75. I had nowhere else to pass the urn.
  76. Christina says she loved George's gentle soul, and everyone muttered an "amen to that."
  77. She passed off the urn like a pro.
  78. "You really loved George, didn't you?"
  79. She smiled and said, "Go Pirates."
  80. Look, more free beers. Any friend of George is a friend of Stoney's.
  81. We are doing this. We are continuing the date despite the wake.
  82. Turns out George had a heart attack.
  83. Good, I can tell the snake story in more detail.