Again our very own Bagwan has looked beyond ‘Valhalla’ and has decided we the unwashed could use a lesson in exiting. Ironically his rhapsodic zealotry works to our collective advantage! If one is lucky enough to witness our holy fucker checking windage, surveying surroundings, and most importantly make sure everyone is watching–leap from his stool and sashay to the door….if real lucky he’ll fall on his face trying to click his heels. But the man truly knows how to “leave the building.” Please join me in reading his very fine account about ‘the exit.’ Enjoy:
While some put a great deal of emphasis on a grand entrance, I think this crowd ought to focus on a graceful exit. We can address all kinds of exits all the way from leaving a room gracefully to exiting life itself. Zuki has bragged to me on more than one occasion that he has perfected the exit. When questioned how he knew this he proudly replied, “Have you ever heard all the cheering and applause whenever I leave Blondie’s.” He doesn’t have much, so I think we should just let him hang on to this one.
There really is something to leaving a bar properly both in terms of timing and style. I think we can all agree that it is much better to leave too soon rather than too late. I remember some old sage once telling me to “leave them humping” – although that may refer to a different activity. Still, all in all, pulling out of a barroom a little early is not a bad idea.
The style of the exit is strictly a matter of personal taste. I like to leave to music and if I can time it right, I leave while the next to the last of my jukebox selections is playing. Not the last because that is always that Green Beret song by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler and I hate that song. I have found over time that some of my best exits come from sashaying out the door to “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” by the Steve Miller Band.
Two other exits to consider are the stealth exit and the angry exit. In the stealth exit you silently get up and act like you are going to the restroom or the alley to burn one and then you simply don’t return. Contrast that with the angry exit where you make a great deal of noise, slam down your beer on the bar and then stomp out the door. Just as a matter of protocol, Dawn the Bartender insists that you settle your tab before you attempt either.
Exiting life gracefully is an entirely different matter. Just about every day you can hear someone down at Curmudgeon Corner singing the opening to “My Way” – you know the part about facing the final curtain. My buddy Frank did a great job on that song but he struggled for a while with ageing gracefully. How embarrassing was it when Frank abandoned his cool, elegant style of the ‘50’s to try to get hip with the ‘60’s by wearing Nehru jackets and marrying Mia Farrow. Although today Just Joe might benefit by adding a Nehru jacket to his wardrobe while squiring around a 70 year old Mia Farrow.
You know a guy who seems to be headed to the exit gracefully is old Uncle Warren Buffet, but then $72 billion could add a lot of grace to any of us. I got to thinking about Warren since he was holding his annual meeting in Omaha this weekend with over 40,000 in attendance. This year is special because it was 50 years ago that he took over Berkshire Hathaway, a failing textile company, which today has a market value of around $350 billion. That’s right on May 10, 1965 Warren started his empire and then just 4 days later I started mine when I married Mrs. Bagwan. There won’t be 40,000 at our anniversary which will be just a simple dinner at Olive Garden. I chose Olive Garden because in addition to being the golden anniversary, the 50th is also considered the “bread stick” anniversary in certain cultures.
Just as an aside, Warren’s favorite food: hamburgers, French fries, Cherry Coke and See’s Candies. “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds,” he once told Fortune Magazine. “So I decided to eat like a 6-year-old.”