It was good to be among friends again. After a boisterous session led by Dean, the following reported to the Corner Booth: Dean, Don (and later, Ferne), John T., Jeff, Nicole, Alex, Cindy, Kris, John L., and myself — Tomek. As always, I managed to find myself at one end of the table, cut off from conversation at the other end — though I did catch snippets of discussions about developments in Don’s latest yarn, and later something about Ernest Hemingway and his minimalist style and empty characters (and survival of a plane crash). Jeff and John T. seemed to get into a very animated discussion at some point, with gesticulating hands flying all over the place. At our end, we created a new literary genre: funerary flash. (Kris: This was the episode of Mrs. Brown’s Boys I mentioned.) I was able to brag about our pet bear and other local critters, we delved into handguns for Cindy’s piece (including the iconic Model 1911s), we learned how to discern hard cider from water, explored the revival of the North Shore, and on a northern theme touched on military service on small islands off the North Korean coast. Then there was some friendly introductions for the new folks, and we managed to cover Cisleithania, and why Hungary and Croatia have way too much in common. (Somebody ought to write a book about that.) Towards the end of the evening, as it looked like some of us might start wandering off, the entire table suddenly snapped to attention when some nearby bar room drama elicited an outburst from our Drill Sergeant Waitress — oddly provoking warm childhood memories in John L. As usual, a good time was had by all.