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Long Wait for Seats

Fridays are generally the hardest nights of all to go out, especially if you’ve had a full and busy week, but this past Friday we decided to bite the bullet and go out anyway. We went to Chances first, a bar we walk past constantly since it’s on our way to the comic book shop and our favorite sandwich place (King Foot Subs), but have never gone into. Personally, I hate going into strange bars. I always feel out of place and unaware of all the unwritten rules and nuances that a regular might know. That, and I almost always get carded, something I’m not used to, being a regular at the Toronado and all. We had fun talking to Jocelyn, then decided to get something to eat and maybe meet her at the Toronado later.

Another reason not to go out on Fridays is that it’s generally the most crowded of the weekend nights, what with everyone going out after work. Every time we’ve tried to go to the Toronado on a Friday, we’ve always ended up getting pissed at the crowds and tired of trying to jockey for a seat at the bar. Ian and Robert were working together, though, which is the main reason we decided to give it a try.

When we got there, we welcomed back Tad, who had been at Joshua Tree since the middle of December. Since the Toronado was a mob scene even at the early hour of 9:30 PM, we got our beers and hung out near the door and talked to Tad, which ended up being OK, since the regulars that braved the weekend crowds also hovered around that area. Pauly, who was on shift right before Ian and Robert, was still there and decided to have a beer with us while waiting for his wife. Pauly was in rare form, talking and joking around…even doing his Larry King impersonation: “Whitewater, Wisconsin, you’re on the air with Darth Vader. To my right, the Dark Lord. So, Mr. Vader…can I call you Darth?” Around 10:30 or so, Jocelyn came in and stood near the door with the rest of us. She had never seen Robert in person before, and mentioned that he was pretty attractive (as are all the rest of the bartenders, I think), to which Pauly responded, “Yeah, we got a lot of good lookin’ meat behind the bar tonight.” [Note: let me interject here that some readers may think that we at Scowl may be slightly exagerating when we talk about San Francisco and all of its negative points, and the crowds at the bar, and the amount and/or intensity of the annoying yuppies; being too “hypersensitive.” On Friday, while standing in the corner of the Toronado watching the annoying Tommy Hilfiger-Wearing Crowd of Annoyance grow larger and larger, Jocelyn herself said “Y’know, I always thought that you guys were being too hypersensitive about this place…I thought, how bad could it [the crowd situation] be? Now I see that you’re not exagerating at all…and you can quote me on that!”]

After three, count ’em three, hours of standing by the door, two seats finally opened up at the bar. Since we were finally sitting, we decided to stay for one more beer, and Ian welcomed us to our seats with Underbergs, as usual. A little while after that, Johnny (who wasn’t working because he had gone to a Black Sabbath concert with Kirsten — the other Friday night bartender — and some friends) came in and ordered Underbergs for everybody. When Ian asked me if I wanted another Guinness, I told him no, because my teeth felt fuzzy from the other ones. “Yeah, my teeth are fuzzy.” Johnny hoarsely repeated to no one in particular. 

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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