A Close Encounter with Burt Reynolds’ Legacy


I’m having dinner at a Japanese restaurant . . . in the booth behind me are a couple straight out of Sons of Anarchy. The man is about 45, large, with a shaved head, tattoos and a motorcycle jacket. Same description for the woman, except for the shaved head.

Her jacket is emblazoned with PROPERTY OF TROG (or FROG or ????, couldn’t make it out clearly), which I assume is the name of either a motorcycle gang or the gentleman sitting across from her.

Midway through the meal, Trog wonders aloud if Smokey and the Bandit is available on Netflix. To his chagrin, the movie doesn’t seem to register with his girlfriend, so to jog her memory, he pulls up the “Eastbound and Down” song on his phone and plays it loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the vicinity.

He then launches into an analysis of the film in the reverent tones reserved for cinematic masterworks. I can’t hear all of it but it includes Sally Field, Peterbilt trucks and spinning donuts in a Trans Am.

He’s so inspired by the Smokey and the Bandit “one step ahead of the law” ethos that at the end of the meal, as he gets up to leave, his girlfriend reminds him that they didn’t get the check yet, but he gives her an ix-nay gesture and they walk out.

There’s a commotion out in the lobby . . . I hear someone yell “Hey you didn’t pay!” Trog does not return but his girlfriend comes back to take the check and pay it.

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