Issue March 6, 2012

Bar Belle: Can you beer me now?

Because of beer and stupidity, I have a fancy new iPhone for the first time in my life. The story opens on Fat Tuesday. Picture a wide shot of Check’s Café during happy hour. (As I relayed last time, they offer $2 drafts of all 19 of their beers. I was two Southern Tier IPAs in and definitely feeling a fat buzz for a Tuesday.) The camera zooms in to my table of fine-looking but loud ladies. I fiddle with my shitty red dumb-phone as I enjoy the first few sips of my newest beer. Delicious. I laugh at Steph’s attempt to remember the chorus to White Lion’s “Wait.” Suddenly, we are interrupted with the rest of the table’s topic of discussion.

“What the hell is planking?” Zanne asks. The others chime in: “You know, laying down in random places?” “Taking a picture of yourself doing the toothpick, but you’re not in water.” Confusion ensues. I grab my shitty phone and plank it on the rim of my pint glass. “Look, pretend you’re the phone,” I say. “You’d be planking on my pint!” And just as I try to make something dirty out of “planking” and “pint,” in dives the phone to the amber, bubbly beer. The table is rendered silent. At least 30 seconds go by before anyone makes a move. I am called away to a flashback of a childhood incident involving matches and burning drapes. Finally, someone lunges for the drowning phone and Baywatches it — dismantling its pieces, shaking and blowing the keys I once typed on.

I nervously smile and shrug it off. “It’s fine, I’m sure. I’ll just let it dry out. Like my liver.” Stories of accidental plunges in toilets and sinks fuel my hope. I decide to downgrade into a smoother, safer ride, so I order a Miller Lite on draft. Time goes by, beer goes down, and all worries fade like the jeans I wore in fifth grade. A dapper newcomer arrives at our table and witnesses the scene. Loud? Check. Buzzed? Check. Nothing out of sorts so far. And then … “Why is your phone in pieces?” she asks like it’s an alien sprawled across an operating table. I fumble to gather up my science experiment — my hands shake as I reassemble my shitty wet phone. “Oh nothing, it accidentally fell in my beer,” I say with a wink and a smile like it’s as normal as a dog in Nachbar. “I was doing this with my phone and—” plop. In goes the machine for a second dip, this time in yellow fizzy liquid.

Cut to my face turning eight shades of tomato. Turn up the table’s roaring laughter. Fade out on the image of my phone’s parts marinating in a bag of rice (a quick fix to soak up moisture, Steph insisted). Cue some Lionel Richie. My phone took a beer dive not once, but twice, making me three times a lady.

Bar of the Week
My Barret Bar is back, and I’m gonna get in trouble. Hey now, hey now, my Barret Bar is back! And not only is it back, but it’s all cleaned up and wearing a spiffy new tie. Just a few blocks from my house, the Barret is my new late-night stomping ground — a decent place to shoot pool or just shoot the shit with an old friend. Located at 1012 Barret Ave., the bar, which has been around since the ’40s, has plenty of pool tables and quiet booths to tuck into. The menu has been revamped and features such delicacies as portobello sliders, white chili and beer cheese, which is on par with, if not better than, the late Zeppelin Café’s. James the bartender will set you up with a fine drink and, if you’re lucky, a taste of coffee from a land far, far away — he’s into that sort of thing. And you might catch owner Rick behind the bar or fixing up your hummus platter. I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of the comfy patio come springtime, when our weather is back on its bipolar meds.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• I wont vote 4 anyone who doesnt believe n immaculate contraception
• I hope you have pet insurance, because Im about to destroy your pussy
• If you werent all the way in bumfuck, Id offer you up a stiffy to make it all better
• So if thode were ur last wirds to me. Susy q you are fine with tgem

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.