¿Hay una taberna cerca, dammit?

From April 4, 2005.

My local bar is now a Mexican restaurant, and it pisses me off.   There are now more Mexican food places on Nolensville Road than there are churches, which means there are too damned many Mexican food places on Nolensville Road.

I do not want to drink in a Mexican restaurant.  I don’t want to drink in a restaurant, period.    I want my bar back.   The Boardwalk was a bar.   A real bar.   The kind of bar you just don’t find anymore.   Dark, dirty, and smoky.  Really smoky.   If second-hand smoke kills, The Boardwalk was an assassin.    The regular crowd  was mostly middle-aged and unattractive.   I was a part of that crowd.   It was like Cheers, only in a really shady part of town, with less lighting, free parking, and ugly people.   I miss The Boardwalk.

Last Sunday, having a powerful thirst and no Boardwalk, I found myself at Applebee’s for lunch.  I was having my first beer about the time most church parking lots were starting to empty out.   Apparently Applebee’s is big with the church crowd, and by 11:30 the place was packed.  You’ve never seen such a pretty crowd.  Suits, dresses, matching accessories….it was a thing of beauty.    They filled every table in the place.  There were two of us at the bar.

My fellow bar patron wasn’t much of a conversationalist.   He wasn’t drinking, and had picked a bar stool because the pretty, suit and dress wearing families had occupied all the tables.   He had a steak.  I drank.  I was 2 or 3 beers into the afternoon when I felt it.  People were looking at me.   They were watching me light my cigarettes, and order my beers, and were probably counting my trips to the bathroom.  Parents were lecturing their children on the evils of alcohol and smoking and being unattractive.   I was, officially, a bad example.

I don’t blame them.   How dare I sit at a restaurant bar on a Sunday, drinking and smoking and being unattractive, right there in front of their children.    How dare I.    Isn’t there a place where ugly, middle-aged people go to drink and smoke on Sunday?  There should be.  There was.

I miss The Boardwalk.

About the Author: Jon Carter Jackson

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