Sunday, October 4, 2009

Neighborhood bar.

O’Terrill’s is a bar down the street from our apartment complex. From the outside it looks like a low key place that would most likely be inhabited by alcoholics in their mid-forties, women wearing Looney Tunes shirts, and extra greasy bar food to wash down your beer. We had talked of making this bar our “Cheers,” but haven’t actually made it there before last night.

We walked in and sat at the bar on one of the many open barstools. Saturday night at ten o’clock and the bar is near empty. This is a good sign.

After ordering our drinks and making the usual conversation with the bartender, we get introduced to Rufus. Rufus is the owner of O’Terrill’s. His last name is Terrill, but his bar is called “O’Terrill’s.” Why the extra O? “Rufus’s middle name starts with an “O” and Rufus's bride's middle name starts with an “O." So there you have it: O’Terrill’s!” states the bar’s website.

The first thing he tells us about is the Bumbot, which sat seven feet behind us. Turns out, Rufus worked for the Department of Defense and built weapons. Now that he owns a bar, he still finds time for engineering experiments. “Google it, it’s one of the top five most evil robots of all time,” he told us. Turns out, he wasn’t lying.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Difference Makers - BumBot
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Bumbot is a PG version of the robot that protects his house. We’ve all seen the kid’s toys that are little dogs, take a few steps, bark a few whimpy yelps, and then do a backflip. Right? Well, he has one that has a gun for a nose. Once it does a backflip, it shoots you. This is what protects his house, or so he tells us.

He then went into the story of how he came to Atlanta forty years ago. He grew up in Florida in the Everglades where his family poached alligators. They would take out about twelve every night, skin the stomachs, and leave the carcass where it was. When his Dad got caught, the judge realized that if he sentenced him to prison (he was facing twenty years) the state would have to support Rufus and his two siblings. The solution? The family was kicked out of the state and can’t go back. Or so he tells us.

We asked him how he felt about the location of his bar, which is located a few blocks east of Peachtree, a popular bar street. Piedmont, the street O’Terrill’s is located on, is much less happenin’. Across the street from the bar is Renaissance Park. The park is nice but it’s the large population of homeless people that live there that make it an undesirable neighbor for a bar.

“The location sucks. But at least it’s good for bum fishing,” he tells us.

“Yeah, okay. Bum fishing…”

“Seriously, you want to see my rig?”

“Of course we do.”

Rufus leads us to the patio where we see what looks to be a barber chair. Once we get close enough we realize it’s actually a deep-sea fishing chair. Resting on the railing in front of the chair is a large fishing pole. At the end of the line is a lure covered in electrical tape with a one dollar bill scotch taped to the end.

“You see, it takes them about thirty seconds to get the tape off, so you got about a thirty second fight every time,” he tells me after he makes me sit in the chair.

“Do you actually go deep-sea fishing?” Ted asked.

“Yeah, for bums,” replied Rufus. “I’d much rather fish for people. They’re smarter. It’s more fun.”

I’m not sure how much of these stories should be believed, but I’ll just tell myself they are all true. The Bumbot was proved true, so maybe he really is a fugitive gator-poacher that builds robots in his spare time. Either way, we’ll be making sure all the bartenders there know our names by the end of the month.

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