9 Jan

 Milton, Pa- Twenty years of drinking free suddenly and abruptly came to an end Saturday night for notoriously frugal Brendan Finley at Pop’s Pub in downtown Milton.  Without warning or prompting Finley casually walked up to the bar and ordered a round of drinks to the complete shock of his friends.

Finley ordered 5 beers (shockingly, none of them domestic), reached into his pocket, and placed a twenty dollar bill on the bar, as his friends watched in stunned silence.

“I thought I was seeing things,” said friend of 20 years Mike Trent, “Brendan, in all the years I know him, has never bought a round.  It’s actually been kind of a joke watching him in action over the years, he usually hits the bathroom when it’s someone’s turn. This is definitely one for the books.”

The bartender rang up the 5 beers and placed the change from the twenty (2 singles and 2 quarters) on the bar in front of Finley who eyed it cautiously for a few moments before folding the 2 singles into his pocket and walking away with the  beer.  Most would have left all the change on the bar as a tip or at the very least one dollar, but this was a big step for Finley.

“Brendan isn’t an alligator, but when it came time to buy a round of drinks he suddenly developed arms like one,” said friend Gavin Muskey, “I’m at a loss as to why he suddenly bucked up.”

Brendan Finley is the rare exception- a man who is known to be cheap with his money, but yet is still  liked well enough to be invited to social gatherings. It is a  highly rare phenomenon and a testament to Finley’s charisma that such behavior has been tolerated for so long.

“To be honest with you I never really noticed. One day a few years ago Gavin pointed it out to me, I really had no idea, that’s how good Brendan is. He always shows up late, which I guess is by design after we’ve all had a few drinks in us. You know we all throw twenties on the bar when we get there and after several beers nobody really pays attention, we’re feeling pretty good by then. I haven’t got a clue why the sudden change of heart. Shit, I hope the guy’s not dying or anything,” said friend Tommy Harris.

Finley only bought the one round and none of his friends are expecting a repeat performance any time soon, especially Pete Tillbury- “maybe he was feeling guilty or had a moment of temporary insanity, but I won’t be holding my breath for the next time. Not from that cheap bastard.”

DD (Wilma Pantzfit reporting)