Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wisdom of the Ages

A number of years ago a friend sent me this card from an underage drinking establishment of our youth, a piece of memorabilia which has recently resurfaced. I don't recall seeing much dancing or dining in the place, contrary to what the card says, and can't imagine them catering a party, much less a banquet. It was located in Arbor Hill, even then a predominantly black section of the city. A long, dark "ladies' entrance," smelling vaguely of sweat and ancient vomit led to a darkened interior that looked very much like the inside of a log cabin. A political wink of the eye, so to speak, seemed to keep the authorities at bay, and the lads could get a six-ounce draft beer for ten cents without the inconvenience of showing a draft card. Needless to say, the place was a magnet for the more adventurous youth from uptown and the suburbs. OK, we loved it.
It's only with the resurfacing of the card that I noticed the doggerel on the reverse side, something we young swells would have dismissed as the Runyonesque ramblings of the retired World War I vets and other reprobates who were fixtures at the bar at the front of the establishment. Ironically I have now lived long enough to see it, despite the inventions of viagra, cialis, and other concoctions, as a timeless truism. Unless, of course, we could go back and have a couple more of Mike's clam cocktails....

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