Cheers to Raising the Bar!
You, my friend, said outrageous and this is what I started writing and it makes me very happy to think about. It may take the genie. I don’t think even Santa can pull this off!
If I could have anything today, I’d want it to be ‘a day in the life of bar owner, Leni Sosa’. I loved Cheers and having read Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s series, I felt camaraderie with the regulars, sympathized with the unusual visitors and fell in love with Callahan’s. Callahan’s where the friendly regulars are always willing to listen but mind their own business when a loner wants to be just that … left alone. As in the tradition of Callahan’s, “Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased—thus do we refute entropy.”
Although the camaraderie would be there, my bar is quite different. The Watering Hole has dark raw wood, exposed beams in the ceiling, brown leather booths and extra long picnic tables in the centre, with a few small intimate tables by the window and one single round table. Unlike Callahan’s, the bar has more of a rawness with all the brushed metal and wood, but not without its warm charm, in part due to the sconces, fireplaces, candles, which are incapable of causing fire. The mysteries of the Watering Hole! From the outside, regular people see the bar front as an out-of-business Sentinelese language learning centre. The regulars see the Watering Hole for what it is, as do some with a very unique seventh sense.
The patrons? All the talents of the galaxy, most of which no one knows are earth-loving Aliens. Actors, musicians, athletes, chefs, writers of all sorts. There are some humans that have been trusted with the seventh sense and know the secret of this ‘club’, and hence are now honorary members of the club!
Tonight is a great night for Leni. There are several missing friends but the vibe is relaxed, patrons are content and everyone that has come through the door, up to this point, is a favourite actor. It’s a Tuesday and half price on drinks and apps for anyone in the TV or Film industry. Even people with money love a good bargain.
Joseph Gordon Levitt, Leni’s best friend, is filling her in on his day. Sandra Bullock cuts in and agrees that sometimes it does get challenging to keep up appearances and remember she can’t slip to the native language of Quorlaxin. Levitt was explaining that Third Rock was a challenge for him… it made him miss home. Thank god for The Watering Hole, which serves as a second home to so many. Leni doesn’t understand when they communicate with each other in their language but appreciates the smiles on their faces. Joseph is wearing mismatched socks like he always does, and Sandra looks really relaxed like a girl straight off the ranch. God, she’s funny, and Joseph flashes a crooked grin. Hey, John Lithgow just walked in and he’s headed to meet Joseph … as if the night couldn’t get any better.
There is a table at the back off the bar by the washrooms, where comedians tend to gravitate to. Tonight Adam Sandler and Jack Black are discussing a future collaboration. David Spade pops in with Chris Farley and says “Look who I just found!” Good old Chris, faking his death like a master … only second to Andy Kaufman who is currently on a mission in search of a ship called The Racketeer. Leni remembers when they forgot to tell her it wasn’t real and she was sad – Farley has always been the one to make her laugh the most.
There are two other comedians, Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander. They’re on their own, laughing and animated, in a booth. They drink coffee every time they visit.
Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson come from the backroom. They love to help Leni out and reminisce of the good old days. Besides, Woody promised Matthew McConaughey an unforgettable Whiskey from Planet Zero (whiskey can be found throughout the solar system!) Matthew’s supposed to be by at eight. Leni keeps telling Woody to stop bringing in bottles but Woody still does. “Awww, come on Leni, you’re going to love this stuff!” Of course, she always does and can’t deny Woody of anything. He is so darn likeable.
In a small intimate table at the back is Leo. No human that young can be that great of an actor. He’s working on a non-fiction book about global warming. He feels a little responsible since the last planet he was on, he kind of caused it. Yikes. As redemption, he fights the good fight. The Earth has always been his favourite planet so he would want to keep it safe anyway. He’s got that classic Hollywood look which, of course, makes him even more extraterrestrial. He’s waiting on Scorsese, who is human and late again.
Right by the fireplace to the left is the single round table in the establishment. It is appropriately occupied by Pacino, Mirren, De Niro, Hoffman, Lang, Hopper, Duvall and Streep. Meryl Streep is working the table and usually ends up being King Arthur for the night. They roar in laughter as she does her fabulous impersonation of Kellyanne Conway who is not an alien … very, very human.
Matt Damon and Forest Whitaker are co-producing a drama which is based on one of Leni’s novel’s – she helped with the script. It will star Milo Ventimiglia and Matt Dillon as brothers. They’re be some tender moments but a few good laughs. They’re at a table by the window. Milo is going to be a huge star and Matt is going to be the ‘comeback kid’ when his career is revived.
Mickey Rourke is at a back corner of the bar waiting for Harvey Keitel. He doesn’t mind because he’s got his dog at his feet and his cup is full.
The long tables in the middle are occupied by the casts of Supernatural and Walking Dead. They’re all celebrating Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s birthday. A good share of them are humans but fortunately, they all have the seventh sense. Jensen Ackles is about to do a toast for Jeffrey. You know who doesn’t have a seventh sense and isn’t an alien? Tom Cruise. Everyone is sort of relieved, because as talented as the guy is, he’d somehow turn it into a Scientology thing. The casts that are clearly acting in all those reality TV shows are also unable to see the Watering Hole.
There is one table that has a reserved sign. Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are waiting on Natalie Portman, Joquin Phoenix, Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley to join them for a reading of a script. The tables have been pulled together and the reserved section beside them will soon be occupied. There’s already buzz between the actors that the film may receive an Oscar nomination. They are excited about this project.
Speilberg and Straczynski are also scheduled to show. They’re going to join Patrick Stewart, who has finally agreed to work with them on a new film, but also because they want a drink at the Watering Hole. Stewart has a cup of Earl Grey and little shortbread biscuits (which Leni keeps just for him). It is Patrick Stewart, after all.
Kris Kristofferson is in a corner about to play a few accoustic numbers. It will be mellow and laid back like the evening. It is always good that there are a few crossover actor-musicians.
Leni looks up around at the photos in the room. They’re all autographed and you can see the faces of the greatest musicians, actors, athletes, writers smiling right by the bar with Leni. There are three particular photos that are larger than the rest and each one sits above one of the three fireplaces: Daniel Day Lewis, Patrick Swayze and Eric Bana. Leni has a few of the large ones to sit above the fireplaces and she rotates them depending on the bar schedule. On singer-songwriter night you may see Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and all of U2 coveting those spots. Tonight it’s the actors. Lewis because he is Leni’s favourite actor, and Swayze doesn’t require any explanation. No one can figure out why Bana is up there but they’re too afraid to ask in case he’s some high undercover official from the galaxy. Leni just thinks he’s so darn good looking.
Leni wonders if she’s forgetting any scheduled reservations. Something is missing for her. Leni feels like there is something out of place… than Matthew Mcconaughey walks through the door rather boldly with “Hey, hey, hey!” All is right with the world again … which is funny because it takes a bunch of aliens!