Bar Belle: Good girl gone bad

“It’s Derbytime!” seems to be my excuse for being bad these days, and it works quite easily when you’re begging others to keep you company on your spiral into the deep, dark, dank stretch of hell-hole known as the first week in May. Sleep, brain cells and healthy eating are thrown out as effortlessly as a bartender dumping an ashtray. You’re suddenly fast friends with happy hours that stretch to midnight, bad decisions and many OK-I’ll-have-anothers. Say goodbye to the gym, the tan and the laundry. Say hello to the bourbon, the mint and the Derby.

I’m looking forward to pitching a tent with my buddies in the Infield for Oaks. I gave up on Infield debauchery years ago, as you tend to do when you graduate from your 20s. But like a high school reunion, I’m going back for another round of rowdy regret. And I already know which horse I’m betting on for the big race on Saturday — a shocker, I’m sure — I’ll Have Another. In fact, that is my motto this week as I treat myself to a few days of living life outside the lines. You should try it, too. Don’t worry … you can start your detox on Monday. As long as you remember to eat before drinking and call a cab, you’ll survive it and have the time of your life … like Swayze grinding on a dance floor.

I often wonder why I’m drawn to a life of reckless abandon. I tried to remember the first time I did something wrong, and it wasn’t easy. Sure, I told a white lie here and there to cover up for my brothers’ bad behavior, or in explaining why I missed curfew. But I didn’t even drink a beer till I got to college. So what was it?

And then it hit me like a train on the tracks. The train tracks! My friend and I used to put pennies on train tracks so they would get smashed like the flat chest I had when I was 13, which was highly illegal, my mom warned (the pennies, not the flat chest). She said the FBI just might show up at my doorstep and throw me in jail, meaning only bread and water for me — no Magic Shell, Pizza Pockets or Super Pretzels.

But like Lindsay Lohan to a kegger, that didn’t stop me. In fact, it added cred. And when you listen to Debbie Gibson and The Jets, you need all the cred you can get. So perhaps I’m still collecting cred and chasing the thrill of being bad. Perhaps the first half of my life was so structured, safe and rigid that I’m finally breaking free and getting closer to who I want to be. Or perhaps it’s just Derbytime, and it’s in our nature to run as fast and wild as a thoroughbred down the final stretch. Whatever the case (and I’m sure my therapist is now on the case), let’s do it up right this year.

Remember, Derby is the one time of year the world thinks we’re Southern. So put on that damn hat, talk like a country singer and be generous with the handjobs. It might get you into a fancy party.

Bar of the Week
There’s not a lot of pretension at Sal’s Pizza and Pub (812 Lyndon Lane, 365-4700) in Lyndon, and that’s how bartender Jo prefers it. With 12 draft taps and a decent happy hour (six-for-$10 buckets of beer, $3 double-shot wells) that runs from 1-7 p.m., Sal’s is a neighborhood joint that folks flock to after work. And when your corner watering hole has great food, it’s all the better. Sal’s specializes in pizza — delicious, made-from-scratch pizza, just like owner Salvatore Rizzo enjoyed as a child in Italy.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• He’s not in band. Just plays with himself.
• Who you gotta blow to get breakfast at Amy’s?
• Im home fixing to go get a 6pk and if I ask nicely maybe me some taco bell. Sex then bed … You?
• By the way … please delete those pictures of my penis as I hope to run for U.S. Senate

Send your drunk texts to [email protected]. My blog is at Word.