Friday, October 5, 2012

Flashback Friday - My Favorite Bars......

On a day when I spent most of it sitting in a chair at the hospital, I thought it appropriate to write about my favorite bars when I was in ... let's just say it was in college.

The Other Place - Probably the first bar I went to was called "The Other Place." I thought that was a cool name.

"Where you going this Friday?"
"The Other Place."

Kind of goes along with that whole "Who's on first?" theme, don't you think?

"What place?"
"The Other Place."
"What's the FIRST place?"

The first time I went there, a whole gaggle of us went during our spring break. I was ... let's just say I hadn't yet reached the legal drinking age. And the legal drinking age in Georgia at that time was 18.

We put on a really cool act, breaking into groups of three or four instead of all showing up at the door at the same time. We didn't want to draw attention to ourselves. So we all entered separately and then proceeded to congregate at the same table all together. Nah, that wasn't suspicious at all. We needn't have worried...the closest drinking town was also the college town, and they were on spring break too. The bar was probably happy to have the business, no matter what the ages. Things weren't quite as strict back then. And underage drinking was a rite of passage, not a cause for castigation.

The Mad Hatter - I think this was the same place as "The Other Place," and it was where I went twice a week almost every week for most of my college days. Wednesday night was Ladies' Night, and the featured act was male strippers. I think the only time I ever put a dollar in one of their waistbands (did they wear g-strings? hmmmm... can't remember) was right before I got married, and I felt obligated to do it then. Bachelorette parties were frequently held there, and I've never been able to erase from my brain one of the standard toasts as those gatherings:

Friends may come and friends may go,

And friends may peter out, you know.

But we'll be friends through thick and thin,

Peter out or peter in.

Please accept my humble apology. It's been that kind of day, and if the Braves don't start playing better, it's going to be that kind of night as well.

I frequently went to "The Mad Hatter" with a co-worker who became a good friend. She was a good friend but a terrible drunk, and she frequently got very, very drunk. Her husband was head of the drug and vice squad in town, so she may have gotten a free pass if she had ever needed it. I don't know that she ever DID need it, but still. One night a security guard walked past us, and when he was almost past, she reached out and grabbed the butt of her holstered gun. He whirled around, and it's a wonder we didn't both end up shot. I was furious at her. It was a stupid thing for ANYONE to do, but the wife of a cop? Even I knew better!

The B & L Warehouse - I didn't frequent the B&L very much, but I did go there a few times. They were famous for "Zoo Night," a night when you paid whatever the cover charge was ($5 maybe?) and then beer was free. I went there with a date one time, and I told him primly, "I don't drink beer." He said, "You'll drink beer tonight, or you won't drink." I drank beer. I don't know what the B&L stood for, but it was indeed in a warehouse of a building. They featured cheap drinks and loud music, and what else is there for a college crowd? I ran into my friend's husband there one night (the cop, always out of uniform because he was always undercover), and he insisted we dance to Eric Clapton's song "Cocaine." It was one of his favorites. Go figure. I lost a teeny, tiny diamond earring at the B&L one night, and I mourned its loss for days. I thought the design of the B&L left a lot to be desired. One of the exits required patrons to walk down a steep, dark, metal stairway. I guess you could consider it a sort of sobriety test.

O'Malley's - This was my favorite bar by far, because it sat beside (and over) a river at the edge of campus. It had a winding series of multi-level wooden decks (which collapsed into the river from the weight of all the patrons one night, but fortunately no one was injured), and I don't remember ever being there that we weren't outside. There WAS an inside part, but that was just for going to the bathroom. At that time it was okay to leave with a beer or a drink, but it had to be poured into a plastic cup at the exit. I was sitting there at the exit waiting for some friends one night, so I started helping, reminding people as they left to pour their drinks into cups and handing them the required cups so they could do so. The next week when they tried to i.d. a friend of mine at the door, she said, "Go get [Bragger]. She works here!" Naturally they had no idea who she was talking about. She had seen me enforcing the pour-it-into-a-cup rule the previous weekend, and she assumed I was an employee. Me? Work at a bar? Pshaw. 

These are just a few of my regular hangouts the bars I knew of. There was also "The Last Resort," "The Fifth Quarter," "T.K. Hardy's" (made famous when T.K. himself was murdered one night), "The Station," and I'm sure a host of others. There are about five times that many bars downtown these days, tiny little hole-in-the-wall joints where if you aren't really good friends with the person next to you, you will be by the end of the night.

If it weren't an away-game weekend, I might be tempted to go try some of them out. Just for the purpose of research, you understand.

No comments: