"I've got this new theory," said Jack Nolan to no one in particular.
Everyone in the bar groaned, except for the punk playing pinball. The punk didn't know Nolan.
Nolan, as always, plunged ahead. "In every relationship between two people, one is the John Lennon and the other the Paul McCartney."
"What the heck are you talking about?" asked the bartender.
"You know, the musicians, the Beatles."
"Duh. Of course I know the Beatles."
"Well, Lennon was the visionary, the rebel," explained Nolan. "McCartney was the stabilizer, the organizer."
"Oh," said a man slumped precariously over a Pabst Blue Ribbon."Like Nixon and Agnew."
Nolan ignored him. "Take any two people in a relationship - siblings, friends, spouses, lovers. One is always more like Lennon, the other like McCartney. You can even be the Lennon in one relationship and the McCartney in another."
"But why Lennon and McCartney?" asked a vaguely attractive woman two stools down. "Why not Abbott and Costello, Mantle and Maris, Martin and Lewis?"
"Or Lewis and Lambchop," said the punk, who had tilted.
"I've worked this all out," Nolan insisted. "I'm sure it's Lennon and McCartney."
"OK," challenged the bartender. "You and me, Nolan. Which is which?"
"Oh," said Nolan. "I'm definitely Lennon. I'm the more daring, you're the more stable. I'm the creativity, you're the salability. I order Killian's Red, you never have it."
The bartender waved his hands in disgust and turned away.
Just then, While My Guitar Gently Weeps floated from the jukebox.
"Criminy," said Nolan. "Of all the . . . ."
"I like George," interrupted the punk, who had dropped the quarter. "He reminds me of my dad."
The Pabst man looked up from his beer. "Come to think of it, my ex-wife looks a lot like Ringo," he said.
"Hey, Nolan," said the woman. "If you and me got together, would I be Lennon?"
"If you go out with Nolan, you'd be Mother Teresa," the bartender said.
"Yeah," said Nolan softly. "You'd be Lennon."
"That's what I thought," she said. "Sorry, Nolan. I've had my fill of McCartneys.
-- Feb. 17, 1992