There is a bar near our house, a burger joint really – I’ll leave out the name to protect the innocent. The bar is a classic dive. Cheap beer. Deliciously greasy burgers. Red vinyl booths. A single gruff but genial waitress working her ass off. We went to our sweet dive for dinner a few nights ago.

Walking in, I noticed something sitting on the ledge just beside the door: A 24-hour sober chip.

My heart sunk. A 24-hour chip sitting outside of a dive bar. I didn’t even know they made 24 hour chips. That must be for someone who really needs encouragement. Someone who is still working on the whole one-day-at-a-time part of things. Shit.

We went inside and grabbed a booth.

Not long after we ordered a family of seven came through the door. Kids with ipods, parents in pea coats: not the typical clientele of our sweet dive. The man of the family surveyed the room and saw a man of about sixty sitting alone in a booth. The family man asked the other man if he would mind moving to the bar. The man obliged.

The man picked up his paper and his beer and moved to the bar. This move lost him a clear view of the football game and a seat with a back. He didn’t seem to mind but the family didn’t seem grateful either. I felt an irritation with the family, probably greater than I am allowed. These little brats were coming into our neighborhood, our bar, disrupting this man’s nice evening. While that may not have been their intention it was clear they didn’t see the repercussions of their actions.

Worry not, dear reader. Someone (not the family) bought that kind man a beer for his troubles.

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