Stir Chattanooga Part IPosted: January 7, 2016
“Dinner and bar hopping Friday night with Max & Erma?” asked Waco‘s email. “Sounds like a plan.” I replied.
Once I opened the attached PDF menu, I knew I was in trouble.
I stifled a giggle when I read the words “Artisanal Ice.” I imagined a walk-in freezer filled with bearded artisans, all man-buns and tattoo sleeves, sipping Budweiser from Mason jars, using dental picks to carefully craft the perfect cube.
I practiced saying “artis-anal” out loud several times. I reminded myself to not use that particular pronunciation while there.
We arrived early, parked in the adjacent garage and walked into the faux “industrial” space. It was massive and every inch of the floor was covered in people. Waco flashed me a smile of excitement. I threw up a little in my mouth.
Max and Erma had not yet arrived, so Waco put us on the list. “You want to get a drink while we wait?” I muscled my way over to the bar, positioning myself next to an attractive middle-age woman. I held out the traditional $20 to get the tender’s attention.
Reappraising my surroundings, I added a second $20 and I was no longer invisible. A tiny bar maid moved to me. I could see just her nose and eyes above the level of the bar. Looking down I noted she had an incredibly straight part.
Two martinis, Tito’s, extra dirty. Waco, standing behind me, mouthed “like a Catholic school girl.” The Oompa Loompa stood on tiptoe to appraise me and asked “is the second for her?” motioning toward Waco. I nodded yes. “OK, I don’t need to see ID.”
There are some things you don’t do. You don’t notice when your girl gains a few pounds. You don’t start a land war in southeast Asia. You don’t mess around with Slim.
And you never consider carding a woman then deciding she looks so old she doesn’t need to be carded.
Stubby Jr. disappeared behind the wall of bartenders. Waco cursed under her breath. The woman next to me flashed a knowing smile and nod. It said “bitch” in the universal language of people who are too old for this shit.
After a 13 minute eternity, she returned with our drinks. As she handed me the ticket I asked “How much?” “It’s on the ticket.” I pushed my glasses up to my forehead to read the print.
“I didn’t know I needed to be your eyes for you.”
Apparently when you order $12 martinis you also get a free helping of fun-sized feculence.
I paid and our table was announced. We tucked our drinks and Heismaned our way to our seats.