So, there’s this bar. It’s close to work and therefore a convenient suggestion when the inevitable “wanna grab a drink?” comes up as our shift ends. And it’s horrible. Maybe it wouldn’t be if they didn’t allow people to smoke inside (yes, actually, that is illegal), but they do and there’s a constant haze of smoke that instantly surrounds you and clings to your clothes and hair. It’s grody.
I don’t know why we like the place so much. Except that the booze is cheap, the place is usually empty and the bartender, who calls everyone “bud,” remembers my preference for Kettle One and always puts quarters in the jukebox so I get to play as much terrible music as I can stand.
Of course, waking up in the morning with a throat that’s raw and hair reeking of cigarettes, I wonder why we continue to go. Especially since NONE OF US SMOKE.
And everyone in the bar DOES.
And did I mention IT’S ILLEGAL?
But apparently the bartender and the doorman have this sweet little song and dance routine worked out so that the ashtrays and smokers miraculously vanish when necessary. I still haven’t figured out when exactly it’s “necessary.” Is there a cop cruising by? A security guard patrolling the area? A neighbor making a late-night Pop Tart run to the next door 7-Eleven who likes to snitch? Whatever the case, this bar manages to get away with it.
(I’m not the only one who makes late night Pop Tart runs, am I?)
(I swear I haven’t done it recently. At least not in the last few days.)
(Also, I’m hungry.)
Anyway, despite all of its obvious flaws (of which there are many), I like it. I like the people who drag me off to this godforsaken place. I like the laughs. And it makes me happy.
It also sometimes makes me sick to my stomach, but, you know, mostly happy.