We may only be halfway through September, but already October beckons, along with thoughts of the beery excesses of Oktoberfest. With that in mind, I took myself to a local tavern -- in the interest of research, mind you! I definitely needed a refresher course. It's been years since my bar days and suburbia seeps into your soul like warm Pabst into cracked Naugahyde. You don't even notice it until one night you find yourself in an actual dive bar blurting out the kind of clueless drivel that never would have entered your brain much less exited your mouth back when you knew how to roll in a dive bar.
But more about that later.
In an effort to save you (and my future self) from humiliation, I called my friend Squid, who knows dives for a check list. I recommend you print it out and carry it with you if it's been more than five years since your last bar crawl:
13 SIGNS YOU'RE IN A DIVE
So, I'm in this dive, right? And even though I'm trying to be cool and all, I just couldn't stop the burbs from rolling out of my mouth like a Toyota Prius heading to lacrosse practice. The barmaid comes over to our slab of peeling Formica and asks in a hoarse, barmaid baritone what we want to drink. I shoulda ordered beer. Wasn't that what I was there for? But no. Suburbia hijacked my mouth. And it wanted wine. And that's when the words just slipped out:
"Do you have a house red?"
She looked at me blankly for about a week before the light finally flickered on, "Oh, you mean wine?"
Realizing my error, I wanted to slide under the table, but... ewww. I just nodded.
She grabbed a menu and peered at it, mouthing the words and squinting. Then she found it.
"We have a car-bo-nay."
"Fine," I said, "I'll have that."
I shoulda asked for the mat drink.
What would you add to the dive check list?
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