P.J.’s Heartbreak

Where: A rural upstate NY town I call Hooterville, population ~2,000

When: 1980-1990

I never worked for him, but everyone called P.J. “the salt of the earth.”

P.J. owned what the locals called The Buck Naked Bar and Grill.

Officially, it was just called P.J.’s.

P.J. and Moonie, his wife, worked their asses off to get the business going, then Moonie worked less after they were able to hire some staff.

The Buck Naked got real popular when an interstate highway was being fixed, and the reroute went right by P.J.’s place. Truckers, all the state cops, and folks traveling through stopped by to eat food and get wasted.

But success had a price for P.J., because Moonie developed a taste for alcohol.

By the way, P.J. called his wife Moonie because she had a pasty complexion, and a really round face; P.J. called her his little moon girl.

P.J. also called Moonie his “bunch a woman,” because she was a little overweight and had the biggest boobs in town. In fact, every year Moonie won “The Best Bazooms in Town” Award at the yearly Hooterville Fall Festival (Which had started, years ago, as a way to celebrate the local fruit harvest being sold. Now it was an excuse to have a carnival and a Genny Beer drinking contest, as well as a way to pay homage to the best boobs in town).

P.J. was a tall drink of water, over six feet, and skinny as hell. Moonie was 5 feet tall, if that. They looked kind of cute together.

What was I talking about?


Moonie’s problem with demon rum.

Well, salt of the earth P.J. was always working, and Moonie didn’t have to work anymore.

And they couldn’t have kids, because Moonie’s uterus was tipped, or something.

So Moonie started drinking at P.J.’s. Soon, Monnie was bar hopping with her girlfriends.

Before you know it, Moonie was gone all night, most nights, makin’ it with other guys.

Course P.J. knew.

This was Hooterville.

Most nights, P.J. said nothing, just kept tending bar and overseeing the kitchen (I called his eggs greasy, but the food was pretty good, especially when Lila was cooking).

But he got his licks in, when he could, and he knew Moonie was listening. One night, P.J. was tending bar and one of Moonie’s girlfriends announced she was going to the 11:00 Mass at the Catholic Church next morning. Moonie piped up, “Gee, I’d like to go sometime.”

P.J. looked at Moonie’s girlfriend and told her, “Yeah, just drive through every street in town callin’ out her name. She’ll crawl out from under somebody’s bed.”

Moonie threw her drink right in P.J.’s face.

P.J. stared at Moonie for a minute, and two big fat tears ran down his face.

Moonie ran out, and wasn’t seen for a few days.

P.J.’s wait and kitchen staff wanted to beat the shit out of Moonie, ’cause P.J. was, after all, “the salt of the earth.”

P.J. paid his staff good wages, besides any tips they might make, and if you stayed with him for two years he paid 50% of your health insurance. That just didn’t happen in Hooterville. And P.J. was a gentleman.

Anyway, Moonie’s partying went on for some time, and then she got really sick.

Doc told Moonie to go right on drinking, but if she did, she should just buy herself a really nice coffin and a cemetery plot on the layaway plan, because she would need it someday soon.

So Moonie started going to AA meetings in P-ville, about ten miles past Hooterville.

And she made some new friends.

Moonie’s new friends didn’t drink and run around, but they did go to the One New Faith Church (ONFC).



So Moonie started going to church.



And she tried to get P.J. to go to the One New Faith (ONFC).

But hell, P.J. was Baptist, and even though he never went to church anymore(a guy has to have one day off to sleep), P.J. informed Moonie that he would “die a Baptist.”

So Moonie, the lady who just a few months before was using her boobs to hook sleeping partners, now thought she was too good for P.J.

Moonie divorced P.J. and moved to P-Ville.

I heard that Moonie (who started calling herself ‘Sister Monica’), married a big contributor to the ONFC a few years later.

And P.J.?

Well, he just kept workin,’ and treating his staff right.

P.J. was never a big talker, but he got even quieter after Moonie left him.


About boomergrl49

Mom, Grandma, retired social worker, blogger. I love reading fiction of all kinds, and I'm also addicted to television (Netflix, Hulu, Acorn, Amazon video).

Posted on January 18, 2009, in Working at the Spoon. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. O.K gran there has to be a sequel to this one,,very intriguing.


  2. thanks, Floyd. I’m planning on another post about P.J.!


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