LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Starbucks and the Gunfight at The OK Corral

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Starbucks Ueno

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It was a lovely hot and sunny morning here in San Antonio, Texas. I decided to drive to Gymboree to collect Toes and his Mum. When I arrived they were waiting for me at the entrance. It had been a good morning and Toes was clearly delighted with completing his Class. As we drove out of the Centre just off the 281 heading North to Johnson City, we decided it would be a plan to call into Starbucks.  It was only up the road from us, so it made sense. Both of us were famished and a Grande Mocha and cake seemed a good idea. We parked up outside of the entrance, just beside a SAPD Patrol Car, or should I say Vehicle. I jumped out and headed inside leaving  Toes and his Mum outside in the Car. Once inside I joined the small queue which had formed. Right in front of me were two Uniformed Police Officers. One looked Mexican while the other was Ginger. I struck up a conversation with them and the Mexican Cop seemed really good fun. The other guy ‘Ginger’ insisted that he was Irish. I’ve heard this before on many occasions and it usually turns out that they are Not.  Anyway this guy totally lacked any personality unlike his Mexican colleague. I queried him further as to where in Ireland he came from. He said Donegal. Oh, I said, where in Donegal ? I was sorry I asked. He said he didn’t know but that his Grandfather had told him that an uncle of his was Irish. OK, there was tension from this guy so I turned to his Mexican colleague and we made small talk. I told him I was an Attorney from Ireland. That in the ’80 I had done some media training in Boston alongside a Texan Attorney Jim Adler, now well-known on TV as ‘The Texas Hammer’. This story did not endear me to Ginger who gave me that ‘I don’t trust you’ look, that only Policemen the World over can give you.

I don’t know why and I certainly didn’t think this through but I embarked on telling them both about an incident I had with a Boston Cop around the time I’d met up with Jim those many years back. I had been drinking in Cheers Bar, off Boston Common. It was totally devoid of atmosphere. The building and Bar were lovely. Not like you see in the TV Series Cheers. Well, if you build a wall down the middle of the TV Bar then it was similar, if you get my drift. I had sat at the bar and despite trying to engage the guy on my left, who promptly drank up and left and the Guy with the Polo-neck Jumper to my right who buried his head deeper into his newspaper, I was unsuccessful. Then I decided, Feck it, I’ll venture out and find a decent bar where I can spend an hour or two chatting with the Locals. So, off I venture through the Park and head up towards Newbury Street. At the Traffic Lights there was a Cop standing to my left. He looked about seven-foot tall, is my recollection. What do you think I said to him? Well, I looked up and asked quite boldly in my Dublin accent, ‘Excuse me, but can you tell me where the Craic is about here ?’ As the words left my mouth, I knew I had said the wrong thing. Deciding that to speak any more would make matters worse I remained silent. I stood there beside this Giant of a Policeman awaiting to be dragged off to the Local Police Lock-up and to be fair, I wouldn’t have blamed him. He looked down at me and said ‘Are you Irish ?’ I tried to answer and a whisper ‘Yes’ came out. He then laughed and told me that there was a Pub where the Tourists frequented just across the road but that he drank at a small Bar around the corner. With the beads of sweat now quite visible on my brow, I thanked him profusely and assured him that I would be drinking where he drank and nowhere else. I then took off as fast as my legs would take me to that same Pub and remained there until the coast was clear.

Well, the Mexican Cop started laughing and clapping me on the back, having seen the funny side of my story but Ginger went for his Gun. My daughter had been watching me engage with the Police and when she saw the gun being drawn, she leapt out of the car and headed at speed into Starbucks. Toes was whisked with the speed of light  inside and pushed to one corner. My daughter is a bodyguard by profession and quickly got between me and Ginger and confronted him. It was shaping up like ‘Gunfight at The OK Corral’ at this stage. Again, those cold beads of sweat reappeared on my forehead. After a few moments, during which my life flashed before my eyes, the Mexican Cop told Ginger to put his Gun away. He thought my story was very funny. I then emphasised that the Craic I was referring to was Fun. Craic agus Ceoil. Ginger was having none of this. So, I tried to explain it again to him, but to no avail. After some moments the Mexican Cop told him to Cop On (excuse the pun). Then my daughter, who I thought was going to guzzle him stepped back just as that lovely lady behind the counter informed us all that our Coffees were ready.

 ‘Jesus Dad’, my daughter said to me once she had me safely back in the car. ‘You know these people don’t understand our sense of humour’. At that, the Police Car passed me by and I gave the Thumbs Up Sign to Ginger who was staring at me out of the Patrol Car Window. Hope I don’t bump into him again anytime soon. Then from the back seat I hear Toes say ‘ARrrssee’ and I told him that I couldn’t agree more. Though I don’t know whether he was referring to me or ‘Ginger’.

Today is a very special day in our family. Hilda my mother is 85 years young. My son will be visiting her in Nazareth House later and will bring up her Birthday Card to her. We have her presents with us here in Texas. ‘Happy Birthday Mum. We all miss you very much and will be back to see you very soon. Have a Great Birthday.’

LegalEagleStar , San Antonio , Texas , Friday , 16th. September , 2011 .

Written by LegalEagleStar

September 16, 2011 at 7:19 am

4 Responses

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  1. Oh Tom, what a fantastic tale. You have me wishing I was in Boston right now. One of my favourite cities. I never got as far as Texas, but someday, this old hat and me will get there. We might look up Captains McCrae and McCall. Might even go steal some cattle from the Mexican.

    Alan Brophy

    September 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

  2. Loved your story, enjoy Toes sense of humor.Belated Happy Birthday greeting to your Mum too.

    lisa

    September 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

  3. I really enjoyed reading this Tom,
    it was both tense & exciting!
    I’d love to have seen your daughter in action with Ginger!!
    Happy birthday to your Mum.
    🙂

    irishminx

    September 19, 2011 at 3:28 am

  4. Great post, Tom. Love it!

    Monique

    September 19, 2011 at 5:06 am


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