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Lackman 9.27.10

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

SW corner of Vine and 13th. A tiny, shotgun space dominated by what it should be dominated by – a 20’ or longer bar. It’s an estimate. I don’t routinely carry a tape measure. Perhaps I should. Lot of uses for a tape measure, you know.

Brown, burgundy and yellow palette. Exposed ductwork. Warm and soothing. Innocuously pleasant jazzy music. Everything perfect except for the damned muted 50” (again, an estimate) televisions mounted on the walls. I’m not arguing that they turn the sound up. I’m saying the T.V.’s shouldn’t be here in the first place. This is an historic neighborhood. How about a little retro, a little authenticity? How about a place where people can drink and talk without being lorded over by the glow of the idiot box? There are plenty of bars where Frat boys can drink PBR and watch the Bearcats. At least turn the damned things off once in a while. If they deserve to be muted they deserve to be blackened.

The measure of a society is what it worships.

Anyway. 14 taps. Raging Bitch and Old Rasputin included. Those are beers, not customers. There are precious few customers on a chilly, damp early Monday evening.

Good beer. I also see an excellent selection of Bourbon but no Single Malt Scotches. That will have to be rectified. No food. I suggest a jar of pickled eggs on the bar. A young woman to my right says pickled eggs are common in the bars in Wisconsin. Keller, the bartender, likes the idea of pickled eggs but thinks I should supply them.

I am the egg man. Koo Koo Ka Choo

The same customer who weighed in on the Wisconsin pickled eggs asks if I’m enjoying the Raging Bitch. I tell her I always enjoy Raging Bitches. I tell her it reminds me of Stone’s Cali-Belgique. A blend of Belgian and IPA styles. A Raging Mongrel Bitch. She says she loves the Cali-Belgique so she orders a Raging Bitch of her own. Careful. I don’t think bitches like orders.

A woman’s measure is her will.

6:45. Twenty or so customers. A good crowd for a drab evening. John Back of Neon’s makes a cameo appearance. An actor out on loan. Neon’s upstairs is officially open, he tells me. They are playing late night movies. I make a couple of suggestions even though they are sub-titled and require attention. Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo and Fellini’s 8 ½. Two of the best movies ever made. I doubt most Cincinnatians have seen either. Too busy watching Adam Sandler, this generation’s Jerry Lewis but even less funny.

Black girls with babies in their arms walk past Lackman. They look in through the open door. Look in as though looking through a padlocked gate.

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.

Bugs come through the open door, lured by malty yumminess. We swat them away. Bugs are to be expected, I say to Keller, it’s still warm enough outside and moist. Don’t say that word. Moist. Women hate it. She doesn’t clarify. Keller and I have a mutual friend, Molly. Molly used to tend bar at Mainstay before she left for California for a modeling gig. Now she’s back. They always come back. Molly likes both sides of the bar. But, I think, not equally.

I want to measure the distance between here and eternity.

The restrooms have a common lavatory, like the Comet. Only newer, fancier and better. A brilliant space-saving design. The architect deserves praise.

Measure a thousand times and cut once.

Amy is a Medical Technical Writer and Photographer. Chris is a construction guy and housing developer. I didn’t need a Facebook account to meet either of them. I just needed Lackman. More Lackman, less “social networking”. That’s my vote.

 “I’ll have an Old Rasputin,” I say to Keller.

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