My best friend owns a bar, and I own the seat around the corner from the taps. It's my seat, and she's been more than happy to remind someone of that fact should it be occupied when I arrive.
One afternoon I was grumpy after a craptastic day at work. The usual.
She poured me a double and we talked shop while she cut the limes for that evening's margaritas. Before I could finish my drink, she had another in front of me.
"On the house," she said.
"Funny, I thought they always were."
She walked away to deal with a minor infraction involving a glass window pane and a gentleman's fist and I found myself with a new neighbor at the bar.
"I'm Roy, and I'm going to buy you that drink," he said.
"It's okay. I'm a big girl. I can afford my own drinks."
"Then let me buy you dinner. The burgers are fantastic."
"Yeah, my buddy owns this place. We go way back."
My best friend came back and I mouthed "play along." She nodded.
"Barkeep," Roy said. "Sweet cheeks, can we get some menus?"
"Here, hot stuff," she said to him while giving me a wink.
"And sweet thing, before you leave, can you tell Karl that I'm here?"
"Karl?" she asked, cocking her head just slightly and narrowing her eyes. "Who's that?"
"The one that signs your paychecks, doll." He looked at me like he was really in the know.
"Huh. That's funny. Last I checked, I owned this place." She looked around. "Yep, this is my bar. I sign the checks. But do you still want that burger?"
"No," I answered for him. "But he is buying my last drink."