Saturday, March 20, 2010

Part 1 of the St. Patrick Holiday Re-cap (edited)

I can still smell the cigarettes on me.  The stale ash is buried in my nasal passages like a band of Hobgoblins making camp from my Dungeons & Dragons playing days. (The above link is an advertisement)

My plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day was to go downtown to Mill in Tempe and walk around downtown on E.  I wanted to visit as many different bars as I could.  That way I could check out the vibe of each place and see which one was the best bar to chill at whenever I used.

But instead I ended up at the Yucca Tap Room all because Emma asked me to meet her at a bar after work.  

When a 65 year old woman asks you out to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day you feel like it is the right thing to do, since you have no idea if she will still be around next year to go drinking with.

I love hanging out with Emma. She has such a young soul.  Whenever we are together she tells me stories form her "whoring around period."  I love listening to Emma remissness about her glory days.

I got off work that night earlier than everyone else.  Emma and the most of the rest of the gang I hang out with from work did not get off work till after midnight. 


I got dressed to go out at work.  I chose the Khaki pants I wear at work, because they look like fake Dickie's, and I wanted to try and pass for hipster.  I wore a black t-shirt that told the world I was "Irish for the Day."  The shirt and pants went well with my new, fake, black converse shoes.

I was feeling good about myself because I had received a number of compliments about the shirt.  not only that but I was feeling skinny because I had skipped lunch and dinner that day.  I don't eat before I drink anymore, because otherwise my liver is too strong and I don't feel the buzz anymore.

After getting dressed in  a stinky public restroom, I walked over to the Yucca Tap Room.  The Yucca Tap is an institution in Tempe and is one of the few remaining dive bars around.  The Tap is just a regular neighborhood bar, but it has worked fiercely to retain its working class vibe despite the influx of hipsters from ASU.

In a nod to the growing influence of the hipsters and the affluent the owners have built a new trendier, upscale bar right next to the Yucca.

I'd never been inside the new bar but was curious, so I took a chance and went inside.      

Once inside the bar I had a nice conversation with the first guy I sat down next to.  He worked promoting Left Foot Beer, a small brewery in Oregon.  We talked about what makes beer special and he gave me a short version of the speech he gives to all his customers.  

He told me how I probably grew up drinking Coors Light and I was all of a sudden interested in trying something new because I could afford it.

The guy sounded a bit like he was reading off a script when he talked, but he still managed to seem genuine.  A neat trick for a guy in his business. 

I did not tell him I had been drinking for 25 years, and had been trying small pubs and different beers since I was in my mid twenties. Not did I tell him how I hated Coors Light (that is until they made those cool temperature activated cans.  Sorry, but I really like knowing my beer is cold.) 

I drank non-mainstream beer from around the time the at-home brewing phenomenon took off.  I was also pretty familiar with beer (mostly because I had friends who had made their own beer.)   over the years my friends have forced me to try hundreds of different kinds of beers.

But I soaked up his wisdom and played the fool for him because it made him happy.  

While he talked I waited for one of my coworkers to get off work.  On my way to the Yucca my friend Mari surprised me by saying she wanted to get together for a beer after she got off work.  She told me she got off work at 9 and I should expect her around then.

I glanced down at my cell to check the time and to the chagrin of my Left Foot sales guy  I ordered a second Four Peaks beer.

"Loyalty to a hometown brew is nice, but other places make a fine beer."  He cautioned me.

"I know you FEEL like you have a connection to a hometown pub, but really it's just that."  He looked over at me smugly.

I thanked him for the psychological insight and accepted his offer of a shot of stout that was made by his company.

He was right they made a nice stout, "But you have to be a  stout person to enjoy a stout."  He agreed with my comment and later in the night before he left he bought me a beer that he told me I was guaranteed to love, "Since I like Kilt Lifter so much."

A female coworker of his offered me a free t-shirt.  Pumped, I gladly accepted the free offering.  It felt like years since the last time I got a free t-shirt,or free glass on St. Patty's Day.

I was excited until I looked down at the tag and noticed 2x Large.  

"Am I fat looking?"

I shrugged off the feeling assuming it was the last shirt she had and that all the hipsters in the bar room wanted extra small shirts to go with their skinny jeans.

At 9 o'clock I was wondering where Mari was.  Like a gypsy with ESP she sent a text telling me she was on her way.

"First condition." She texted me. "Is that you have to buy me a drink."

"You bet!"  I answered her text back quickly, looking forward to talking to some oneI actually knew.  

Not that I did not enjoy talking to the people at the bar.  I ordered food from the bartender after the guy next to me overheard me talking to myself about getting drunk fast because I had not eaten much.

He suggested the pizza. He said it was a lot like Red Devil's Pizza, a pizza I really enjoy.

I scarfed the pizza down as soon as it came.  The crust was thin and chewy.  The sauce was sweet and ripe.  The cheese tasty.  My only complaint would be that half the crust was soft.  I assume from sitting under a hot lamp for too long.

When Mari arrived we gave each other a quick hug.  She sat down next to me wearing the exact same shirt I had on.  We both bought the shirt at work that day for $2.43.  

We made a joke about being twins and Mari took photos of us highlighting our shirt to post later on her Facebook profile.

Mari placed her phone down on the table just as the bartender approached us.  He asked her what she'd like and she yelled over the jukebox that she'd like "a long island." 

I shot a look at the bartender and told him to "put it on my tab."  The bartender gave me an admiring look and whispered "smart move."

Mari and I laughed off the bartenders suggestion and we got to talking about twitter.  I told her how to access her account and how to follow my twitter on her phone.  I then began to follow her tweets on my phone as well.

I am a big phone geek now so we talked about twitter and her cell phone for a good 30 minutes, trying out new things on her phone and twittering to all of our friends in hopes they would show up.

Mari sipped her Long Island carefully and complained to me that her drink was too strong.  Then she ran outside to answer a phone call from her husband.  She told him she was meeting some friends after work for a quick drink.  I think Mari felt guilty telling her husband that she was meeting "friends"  when they all turned out just to be me.

After Mari returned from her phone call I got a text from Leif saying that he was going to show up around 10.  I decided there was no chance of me getting to Mill Ave. so I decided to excuse myself from Mari and pop my e tablet in the dive bar next door.

Stay tuned for St. Patty's on E.

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