Lobby Lounge

Lesson Number One: Always Talk to the Mustachioed Rapscallion

I happily made the acquaintance of a mustachioed rapscallion named Farley as I was sauntering through the Pfister’s lobby.

Farley runs with a crew of real quick wits. I asked questions, they gave me the straight dope; it was all very polite. Basically, Farley and his gaggle are like…

27 May 8:10 AM 0 Read More...

The Big Ideas Make the Small Moments Soar on Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day and I would like to take a moment to tell you what that has meant during the lead up week to this holiday at the Pfister.

Everyday when you pull into the Pfister parking garage, a succulent smell of great cooking hits you as you open…

25 May 12:16 PM 0 Read More...

Join Me As I Begin to Salute the Women and Men in Silk and Lace Uniform

I anticipate that today I will begin what will grow to become a more public and frequent declaration of one of my favorite harmless infatuations.

Bridesmaids.

Oh, how I love a gaggle of ladies who have all agreed to wear the same dress and stand in front of a group…

20 May 3:05 PM 0 Read More...

The Crumbs of My Shame

I just made a complete fool out of myself for the gazing eyes of the Pfister public, and boy was it tasty.

Call it hubris, call it horrifying, call it so astonishing that you have to shake your head in my general direction. However you slice it, I’m relieved…

13 May 8:00 PM 0 Read More...

She had me at "cheeseburger"

Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for blondes, but something told me I was gonna love a certain couple of ladies who lunch.

You can tell just by looking at someone that they have that unmistakable something-something called soul. And you don’t get soul by shutting…

06 May 10:07 AM 0 Read More...

She Pauses To Nibble On Her Pickle

“You have to travel with people who want to explore

otherwise everything is constructed,”

warns Louise.

She pauses to nibble on her pickle,

and contemplate those frequent trips

she has made to visit her family in Barbados.

The last time she went down there with non-explorers

they whined every…

15 Apr 11:33 PM 0 Read More...

Bar Hoping

Sean runs a trivia company out of Minnesota

called “Trivia Mafia.”

Currently there is only one bar

in all of Milwaukee

(the city with more bars than grocery stores)

where you can play Trivia Mafia

and that bar is Vintage.

Here is why Sean and his dad came down for…

10 Apr 11:31 PM 0 Read More...

The Lady and the Pirate

I meet an accountant. She tells me about her career hobby: her involvement with the Society For Creative Anachronism (SCA) where she is known as ‘Lady Aiofe Cno Capaill,’ which means ‘dark horse.’ What is the SCA? “Basically we do 600 to 1600 (a.d.) everything, from Middle Ages to…

07 Apr 9:54 PM 0 Read More...

Whispering, 1925

My term as Pfister narrator is almost up, so yesterday I finally booked a room.  My best friend Jessie drove in from Ann Arbor for the occasion.   Jessie promptly plopped on the plush puff bed as soon as we had entered and perused our room, #332.

She then jumped to…

16 Mar 11:32 PM 1 Read More...

If he don’t love me, how could he love you?

“My name is Charles Bentley.

I’m Native American,

Cherokee.

My grandmother was Cherokee.

I worked for American Motors

at the corner of Capitol and Richards,

where Wal-Mart is now

from 1958-1966.

I was a spray painter,

I was “The Door Jam Man.”

The Rambler was the first…

10 Mar 9:32 PM 2 Read More...

A Mom Letter and a Dad Letter

I was taking a picture of the roses in the lobby when Val, the bartender summoned me over to see something. I took a stool at the bar and waited for a moment as Val rustled around in her bag, elbow deep.  At last she exclaimed “Ah!” and pulled out…

19 Feb 12:26 PM 0 Read More...

The Backside of Everything You Will Never Think About

Roving the lounge

I roll up to a family

with one of those dual seat strollers

and make my introduction,

“Are those two ‘youngins’ twins?”

“They are almost Irish twins,” says the mama.

Irish twins?

I’ve never heard

of that one

what does that mean?

 

Says mother:

“In…

12 Jan 9:29 AM 0 Read More...

To Properly Crash A Wedding You Just...

In the lounge by the fire I meet a clump of kids and their parents. There are six empty mugs of hot cocoas and the dad tells me they all came here to enjoy the holiday décor. The nearest décor (that I suddenly notice with fresh décor…

03 Jan 9:53 PM 0 Read More...

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

 

Katherine has been coming here for years

she was married for three decades

to a man who came to the Pfister to just to jog.

He died ten years ago

so, recently she asked the divine,

“could you please send me a boyfriend who does yoga?”

After she asked…

23 Dec 10:29 PM 0 Read More...

Santa and His Retired Friends From The C.I.A.

On a Friday night in December, there is man in a Santa hat having a drink with a bunch of his friends in the lounge. To make conversation I ask him why he’s got that hat on (though the reason is obvious) and one of his many friends says…

20 Dec 8:58 PM 0 Read More...

The Gifts In Life Have Nothing To Do With Money

Jennifer is here. She just quit her job as the director of a troupe of tribal belly dancers. I learn that tribal belly dancing is more athletic than traditional. Apparently traditional belly dancing much more wiggly.   I believe it, having taken belly dancing in college and finding it fairly impossible…

15 Dec 11:07 PM 1 Read More...

The Short Man

A guest in the lobby told the following story that took place over thirty years ago. He told me four other stories similar to this in the period of an hour.

 

I get a phone call from Short Man, he wants to see me. We were best friends in…

13 Dec 12:06 PM 0 Read More...

Employee Benefit Implementors Ruminate While Sipping Glog

The following monologue was created from a conversation I had with two women as they waited for Val to serve them some hot glog. Note: multiple voices and perspectives speak as one.

 

We’re not down here too often

we work in Brookfield and have clients here

so we…

23 Nov 11:28 PM 0 Read More...

Eavesdropping in the Pfister

I am sitting in Blu by myself so that no one will distract me as I eavesdrop in on the conversations. Some old ladies are giggling about martinis. An old man is taking all the plush chairs away from my table to build a nest for all his companions. One…

12 Nov 1:17 PM 0 Read More...

A Love Letter From the Man With a Kind Smile

One day I’m typing in the lobby when a man approaches me. He has a kind face, one that appears illuminated from within by what I’d guess to be a gentle, prolonged love relationship. He just looks easeful and friendly. He inquires as to what I’m doing…

08 Nov 8:02 PM 0 Read More...

The Newest American Citizen of All

Ilda became an American Citizen today in the courthouse across the street from the Pfister. She had to pledge her allegiance to the flag, swear an oath and then was given an envelope that contained her official paperwork along with a letter signed by the President. It is 6:30…

25 Oct 12:30 PM 1 Read More...

She Works 7 Days A Week As A Fashion Designer

“My biggest bugaboo is blue jeans, sweatshirts, flat shoes.

I can’t stand it.

Every time I get on an airplane,

I’m over in Italy,

I’m over in Paris,

I’m over London,

I can tell without even asking which gate I’m supposed to go to

where…

20 Oct 12:23 PM 0 Read More...

Anyway, I Was Converted

Here is the conversion story of Monica who joins her friends Jan and Tom at the Pfister every Sunday after they all attend mass at St. Catherine’s.

 

“I hated it.

I was opposed to it on moral grounds.

Disgusting,

brutal,

a waste of time.

 

Then the Packers…

07 Oct 10:55 PM 0 Read More...

This Is His Fifth Wedding In Three Years

I’m drinking tropical hibiscus in the lounge

when a woman enters the vicinity clopping

her tongue like a horse

along to the ambient music.

I record this occurrence in my notebook,

take a swig of tea,

and stand

to meet the clip clop woman

so as to tell her…

20 Sep 12:16 PM 0 Read More...

The Absinthe Minded Confusion Fusion

My recorder has stored a highly detailed 16 minute and 12 second description of a book this man read a couple decades ago.  It is the autobiography of Bernard Baruch, a wall street guy who hung out at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in the 1930’s.  The description would have…

04 Sep 12:17 AM 0 Read More...
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