If everyone else is problematic, perhaps they are not the problem

It was 7 p.m. on a Friday. The regular crowd had already arrived. Restaurants are the bell curve personified, from nothing to everything and then back, all within a measurable amount of time — a living, breathing example of the Greek letter omega.

Billy sat with his back to the wall. He calls it the “gunfighter seat.” But I am sure he means that alliteratively because Billy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is willing to talk about anything, except for politics and religion. Maybe that is what makes him so agreeable.

Sara sipped her chardonnay by the beer taps. She likes to talk about wine almost more than she likes to drink it. If wine truly is liquid poetry, then Sara is its poet laureate. And she is always willing to share.

Ned stood next to his bar stool. Working in the trades has done damage to his body, the kind of damage that makes it uncomfortable to sit. You would not know it by talking to him because he’s not in the bar to preach, he’s there simply to stand.

Between those regulars sat scattered couples, some regular, some irregular, but all there to enjoy what was on offer. Peace reigned in the bar.

Bang! A woman in a raked straw hat walked right into the front door. I guess “pull to open” wasn’t printed large enough on the door.

“You need to fix that,” she told the host, as if he could, or would, do anything about a door that had been pulled to open for decades.

“I just moved to town, and heard this is the place to go,” she told the busser.

It wasn’t apparent why she picked him, but it might have been because he was walking by.

She sat at the empty bar stool, oblivious to the half-full wine glass, sunglasses and appetizer on the bar in front of the seat.

“I’m sorry,” said the woman who returned to her seat a mere moment later. “That’s my spot.”

It didn’t seem like Ms. Straw Hat was going to move at first. But a whipping of her shawl and an exaggerated pushing back of the bar stool followed.

“Entitlement,” she muttered under her breath, not considering the irony.

She then sat next to Sara and looked at Sara’s wine glass.

“I don’t care for California wine,” she said for no apparent reason.

“OK,” Sara said.

“It’s just so pretentious,” she continued.

For once, Sara didn’t want to talk about wine. In fact, eventually she didn’t want to talk about anything with the woman. And when Sara later returned from the restroom, she sat two seats farther down.

“Do you have to do that?” Ms. Straw Hat asked, turning to Ned.

“Do what?”

“Stand there like that. You are making me uncomfortable.”

Ned explained about his back, but she didn’t listen. Instead, she turned to the bartender.

“Can’t you do something? she asked.

“I’m not a doctor,” said the bartender.

“No, about his standing there.”

“He always stands there.”

“Well, I don’t like it.”

“You can always move,” the bartender replied.

She really didn’t like that. Another toss of the shawl and she found herself sitting next to Billy, the nicest man in the world.

Five minutes later, she raised her voice. And Billy did what he never did — he left.

“That man was horrible,” she told the bartender.

“Billy?” asked the bartender incredulously.

“Yes, he attacked me.”

“Attacked you?”

“Yes, aren’t you going to do something about it?”

“That seems pretty out of character for him.”

“You are just going to let a woman get attacked?” she asked, her voice rising slightly.

“He didn’t attack you,” interjected Sara from two seats down. “I saw the whole thing. He just said that he didn’t want to talk about politics.”

“Well, he was rude about it.”

“Not wanting to talk about something isn’t rude,” Sara said. “Or attacking.”

“Are you going to let her talk to me that way?” Ms. Straw Hat asked the bartender.

Eventually, the manager had to get involved and then he was also responsible.

“This place is terrible; I am never coming back here,” she later proclaimed loudly just before she tugged on the front door right below the sign that read “push.”

Leaving me with these thoughts:

• There are some people who believe they are the good in the world. To the rest of the world, this can be quite frustrating.

• If you run into nothing but jerks wherever you go, maybe it’s not them.

• People don’t exist to fix your problems, especially not the ones you have created yourself.

• She will come back — people like that never live up to their word.