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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Memorable Bar Games 

My college roommate, Blue, and I had a few traditions that we kept up until the day we graduated. We'd spend Friday nights at friends' places, making dinner for about 8 usually, drinking a beer or two and watching movies. Saturdays were reserved for Normal Street Bar or Joe's Bar.

Normal Street provided the largest menu of varied Long Island Iced Teas I've ever seen in my entire life. And the teas were served in unbelievably large quantities - bigger than your average pint of beer, probably mid-sized between a mass of beer (1 liter) and a half liter. They were like death in a glass, and named things such as "Giant Long Islands" which looked and tasted nothing like your traditional Long Island and "Adios Motherfucker" which I always considered to be a very telling name for a cocktail. I'd comment on the flavor of the Adios Motherfucker, but truth be told, I never had one.

Normal was a meat market disguised as a bar, and I can't remember a single night when Blue or I didn't hear one of the worst pick up lines of our lives. "Nice shoes, wanna fuck?" "Was your daddy a thief? Because I think he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes." "I lost my phone number, can I have yours?" In a college town, this is more than expected and provided us with countless hours of entertainment. We rarely spent a night at Normal without meeting up with some of our guy friends whom we both thanked on numerous occasions for being our temporary boyfriends to stave off the frat boys clamoring for a lay from any girl in the bar with a heartbeat. But it was one of the best places to people watch, and for that fact alone, we upheld the tradition of Saturday nights starting at Normal.

We'd often make our way the 3 or 4 blocks to Joe's after Normal. Much more laid back and with far less tea choices, Joe's was one of the best known bars in town. They spread sawdust on the floor, served peanuts which you were expected to shell and then toss the shells on the floor, played the most random music from an antique-looking jukebox and offered a back patio where we'd often congregate to play Mexicali. Or Liar's Dice. With pitchers of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

The last time I played Liar's Dice, I was in Tunisia with my entire office on a weekend trip. And we weren't playing with pitchers of beer as I was used to playing Liar's Dice with, we were playing with schnapps. The next day I woke up, had breakfast and spent some time on the beach with a few other people before getting on the plane with all of my co-workers to return to Vienna.

And looking back, the memories are pleasant enough. They just feel hollow. They just leave me wanting something. Something different. And a little bit more...

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