This Used to Be My Playground

Everyone has a favorite place. A pub or a restaurant that you're always in the mood for. A place where you and your friends always have a good time. It's "your" place. The food isn't the best but it suits you just fine. You have sincere conversations with the wait staff and probably know a few of their family members' names. You're one of the regulars and even if you rarely talk to the other familiar faces, you share a wordless nod every time you see them.

But not all good things are meant to last. It happens slowly at first. You see a few new faces and your usual spot seems to be occupied every time you go. They start playing different music. You think it's just some minor changes that will eventually pass. But then they rearrange the seating, the menu changes and you see more of... Them.

You try ignoring the differences but every time you go, there are more changes and more... of Them. They've brought friends. You try to be tolerant, be polite, strike up a conversation. You see someone with one of those new drinks they started serving recently. "What'd you got there?" you say.

But They're having no part of it. "Shut up, nerd." Or "Get me some juice, bitch."

And now you can't not notice Them. They're loud and rowdy, stumbling around and bumping into you without an apology. By night's end they practically have to be carried out of the place. It's no longer the quiet, chill place you remember.

You're fine with their lifestyle but that doesn't mean you want it thrown in your face. You just like the way things used to be. If you wanted to hang out with people like that, you would.

The next time you walk in, no one shouts "Norm!" like you've secretly always wanted. They just shout "Juice Bitch!!"

Well who the hell do they think they are? This is your place. And it was just fine before They came in and changed everything. "Those" people. Always flaunting it. Using words I don't understand. You know none of them can hold a job, right? Barely educated, hardly capable of much beyond petty manual labor. And they're hands are always filthy.

But there's no use fighting it. You can only give in to change. "Your" place is gone. It's over. Now it's just a kiddie bar.

Hey DJ. Crank up that new Wiggles jam. The next round of milk is on me. The Juice Bitch.

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