After hearing of One Eye’s surreal assault on the day bartender, I obviously had to ask the next question.
Who the fuck is One Eye?
One Eye was the neighborhood’s most notorious crack whore and lot lizard, who worked the trucking hub a mile down. She was called One Eye for an obvious reason. In place of the second eye was a nice shiny glass one. How she lost it didn’t matter. There is no mystery if no one cares about the answer. She had one eye, which was just a fact. Robbie the manager, chuckled at the thought of this and had to tell me an accompanying story.
First it was important to note, before One Eye got flagged from the bar, she was a regular who was drink chip rich.
At the 2 Street bar, the tradition of buying people drinks was an obsession. Guys would come in and immediately buy three people drinks before they took their coats off. Some guys wouldn’t even bother to order themselves a drink because they knew that three other guys would be buying them a drink too. To keep track of the drinks, the bar had custom poker chips made. One chip equals one drink. This created a micro economy and people would trade drink chips for cigarettes, bar food and even drugs.
One Eye knew better than to try and turn tricks there, but she would hang on the old rummies and get them to buy her drinks. But that wasn’t how she filled her pockets with bar currency.
Seems the bartender I had replaced was a sporting man and had devised a game that put One Eye to work. When there were no saps willing to buy her a drink, the bartender would ring the old brass bell hanging over the bar. All the guys would crowd at one end to play. He had an old wooden box that he kept by the register containing twelve small paper cones. He would neatly arrange them into a triangle at the opposite end of the bar. Guys would line up and toss drink chips for One Eye into a big pile of 2 Street doubloons. One Eye would then pop out her glass eye and hand it to the first person in line.
You know what happens next but your brain is still trying to say, “noooooooo.”
Yes, he would bowl with her glass eye. (In truth, a glass eye is concave and oval, so I guess technically one should say they played shuffleboard with her glass eye.)
Then the next guy. Then the next. Apparently it was a great racket, and a real crowd pleaser. Robbie said her socket got so infected that she looked like she had a grapefruit coming out of her head; but for months she would dig and pry under the swollen skin to get at that free beer.
Oddly, the infection didn’t put an end to the game. My predecessor’s bookie found where he worked and he split without warning. Without the drink chip bowling, it was only a matter of time before she started rushing drinks.
Lucky for me, she never came in during my shift, so I was never faced with having to hit the woman named One Eye with the bat.