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2:00pm Sunday 12 August 2007

Prologue: OK, it’s an Irish pub. Got it. Now, for something really thought-provoking, did you know that ladies’ nights at bars are technically illegal in California?!?!?! It is apparently true. Which does not, by any stretch of the imagination, make it proper. We need to get this ruling overturned and pronto! Thank goodness Bars By The Book has the brilliant legal cousel on retainer (Dewars, rocks) that we do. We’re taking this one to the Supreme Court, if necessary! Women couldn’t vote for centuries in this country, and now we can’t get cheap drinks purely on account of being female? That’s just plain wrong.

Come out and sip away this Sunday afternoon with me, won’t you? This Bars By The Book outing is going to be a celebration of being unmarried, as a couple of Barflies recently became legally un-hitched, so I am in even better company in my singleness than ever before. I further propose that any married people there buy the drinks for those who aren’t!  An unwedded bliss-fest — I like it!

Afterword:  The Official Visit to The Chieftan Irish Pub certainly called into question the wisdom of that “sipping away a Sunday afternoon” business.  Don’t get me wrong — I still consider that a pleasant enough prospect, and have actually pulled it off in practice more than once elsewhere.  The Chieftan Irish Pub experience, however, left a lot to be remembered…

The bargain-priced $3.00 Bloody Mary’s have something to do with this.  But really, The Hostess might as well  “blame it on Rio”  for all the good it would do to obscure the fact that any particular one of the various combinations of assorted alcohols she consumed that day was any more responsible than the others for the drunken state she wound up in.  The bottom line is that afternoon drinking should be structured around a little thing known as lunch.

The funny thing is, The Chieftan Irish Pub serves food.  Delicious food, from the look and smell of it.  They make something called “Cottage Pie” that is more or less the Irish spin on Shepard’s Pie which I do believe I shall go back to The Chieftan Irish Pub specifically to sample someday.  Nora Charles had a hamburger (how she stays so svelte is beyond me).  I can’t say for sure that other dishes weren’t ordered and shared by the Barflies.   I can say for sure that by the time any ‘Flies buzzed in, it was probably too late for The Hostess to be saved by a meal, no matter how tasty.

This is not to imply that I minded sitting at the bar by myself, waiting for familar faces to walk in the door.  Even though the afternoon was ridiculously gloriously sunny and downright hot and The Chieftan Irish Pub is noticeably devoid of windows, I was perfectly happy to sit and drink $3.00 Bloody Mary’s.  There were about as many customers as employees, for a grand total of either six or seven of us not enjoying the sunshine.  So at least I had company.  When I commented on the wonderful aroma of the Cottage Pie the guy on my right was served, the bartender (hi, Leslie!) explained to me what it was and offered me a menu.  Instead, I had another of her Bloody Mary’s and the guy on my left, who was also having a liquid lunch from the looks of things, introduced himself (hi, Jim!).   In other words, The Chieftan Irish Pub is a friendly sort of place.

At least, The Chieftan Irish Pub is a friendly sort of place when the owners have to go out of town for an emergency and a couple of the Pub’s regulars step up and volunteer to tend bar and keep the doors open.  Which is what turned out to be the case that afternoon.  And if Leslie and Dave (hi, Dave!) are typical of The Chieftan Irish Pub’s regulars, then it ought to be a friendly festival when it’s busy. 

I originally mistook Dave for the owner.  Or at least the manager.  It was probably his accent.  It turns out that he does electrical work for the owner, and is Leslie’s boyfriend, and the two of them spend lots of quality time at The Chieftan Irish Pub.  They introduced me to Tina — who is an actual employee (hi, Tina!) — and I decided it was time to tell my new acquaintences why I was there that day.  A round on the house (the first of many, I might add) ensued.

As did a long conversation about everything from the uinque merits of prior Bars to golf and how old The Hostess’ favorite professional golfer, John “The Lion” Daly,  is (Dave was right, I was wrong; more about the greatness of Mr. Daly later…).   I believe shots of Fernet were done.   One of the lovely female Barflies arrived, but I can’t even remember which one got there first.  Things were already devolving into a sun-drenched (the doors were wide open), strong-drink-soaked blur…

A word to the wise about the two doors at The Chieftan Irish Pub: if you think you might need to hightail it out of one of them, you better be sitting right next to it and the subject of your potential avoidance better come in the other one, have bad eyesight, and be very slow to realize you are there.  Granted, one door opens onto the corner and the other one leads to the street, but they are very close to each other and if you make it out of one, you’re not going to have much of a head start if your pursuer(s) sees you flee.  Also, if you take the precaution of carefully remembering how to get back to your car based one of these particular doors, you should probably make sure, if you storm out of the Bar blindly drunk, that you exit via the same particular door, or else you will most likely not find your car, even if you are, in fact, walking the correct number of blocks up and over, etc. 

To be clear: any storming out of The Chieftan Irish Pub, blindly drunk or otherwise, was not on account of anyone connected to the Bar.  It’s a great place, even without windows.  Leslie and Dave and Tina are fine folks, and I’m sure the other regular clientele are just as friendly.  They serve good food and the drinks are priced properly.   In fact, The Chieftan Irish Pub experience had me in such a fine mood that I beleived inviting Paladin to join our merry party was a good idea.  And let’s face it: Paladin is pretty lousy company in August.  Let’s just say his mind is elsewhere, and it is really probably better to avoid him altogether for the duration of the month.  It is definitely a bad idea to attempt to enjoy his company along with that of anyone else who has been similarly brainwashed to think that sleeping in a tent in a desert during dust storms and using Port-a-Potties for a week is “fun”. 

This all goes to show how alcohol does cloud one’s judgement, in addition to sometimes contributing to one’s wandering around quite lost in search of one’s car.  Of course, in the tradition of the “Happy Ending”, The Hostess was rescued from the streets of SOMA and did not drive herself anywhere that day.  In fact, records show she actually made it to work the following day, which is nothing short of amazing.   The photographic record suggests that I made it behind the Bar (which I always love, even if I sustain a toe injury) for a great shot with Leslie and Dave and Tina, and Dave took some pretty adorable Offical Photos before any storming happened, so ultimately the Offical Visit was a success and one more “C” was crossed off The List.

Bathroom Biography:
I don’t recall anything egregious about it, so it’s probably fine.  If I am mis-remembering something, please let me know and I’ll duly note it here.