i pointed at it and laughed at the archaic relic from a time when you could smoke in bars. i've been out like three times since the statewide smoking ban took effect, but already i'm used to finding an outdoor alcove to use as the evening's smoking tent.
"oh, wait," i said to chuck, suddenly understanding this was not decorative. "you can SMOKE here in wisconsin!"
"that's a REAL ashtray!"
"that's why i suggested superior," he said.
honestly, my eyes welled a bit. it was like i'd woken to find a unicorn peering in the window.
"granted, i'm not going to be able to breathe tomorrow ..." he started.
but i barely heard him over the sound of my lighter lighting.
we got great corner seats where we could watch a bleached blonde woman bully her less-dynamic friends into drinking a shark tank.
"is it, like, her 21st birthday?" i asked chuck, concerned about the amateur status of these women taking a pull off a straw and making sour faces.
"nah," he said, "it's norm's."
he began itching his arm.
"got an itch?" i asked.
"nah," he said. "it's just norm's."
norm's, to the uninitiated, is not a destination bar. it seems to be a warm-up bar. by 1 a.m. the place is empty and a bartender is turning chairs upside down and calling a cab for the other lone patron.
we begin to feel that we've overstayed our welcome.
we go across the street to striker's. apparently, when it isn't winter, there is a mini golf course outside. one thing that knows no season at strikers: a pitcher costs less than a glass of beer.
this fact makes this a bit of a struggle. bar bathrooms should not be puzzling. and should not require hand-eye coordination. that's for boys.
vending machines sure have changed since when i was in high school. whatever happened to good 'n' plenty's?
this is starting to get fun, all this drinking and smoking. these, i tell you, are the faces of fun.
the night ended just like all of our most romantic dates: a 20 dollar cab ride and burritos from the ghetto spur.
today i spent a great deal of time reading "endless love." i had a pizza man pizza party in my face and watched such a horrible episode of nip/tuck that reconfirmed that i am doing the right thing by believing it is truly the greatest show to ever come through a tv set.
then i made a food comprised primarily of marshmallows.