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Punch Drunk

A bartender's life in Richmond. This week: In defense of Manthers.

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Swine Crew

Breaking news for all of you who spend less than 50-plus hours a week in a bar: Older men who enjoy the nightlife are dirty. I don't mean physically dirty, I mean foul-talking, cheating, smoking, drinking, ass-pinching, Joe Dear-tay dirty. Let it sink in. Married, single, David Letterman wannabees or Spitzers, all of them, disgustingly filthy.

Give me 14 more years, a garish Hawaiian shirt, a platinum membership for Match.com and I'll be that guy at Metro hitting on recent James Madison grads. We can't fault these men and their blatant disregard for propriety or even their excessive cologne use. Married life just wasn't their thing. They loved being the fraternity treasurer, the keg standee, the unremorseful coke hound. They have so many notches on their bedposts the damn things fell off years ago. They once scored four touchdowns in one game! One game, damn it!

I've had many conversations with these guys at the bar. Most are divorced. Most of them are nice guys even when they're seven Dewars deep. Yes, they sometimes manage to creep out the younger ladies with their come-ons, but really, who doesn't creep out a younger lady every now and then with an inappropriate invitation to the bar's bathroom? Right?

I may get burned at the stake for saying this, but every man, young and old, has a bit of the dirt in them. We should even consider calling it the John Edwards syndrome. A finely coifed little man who lives on our shoulder with a penchant for cheap thrills and young women. Instead of vilifying these gents and glorifying their leopard prints, why can't we let these manthers, as the make of the breed should be known, keep on keepin' on? It's not easy to get laid, period. It's really not easy when you're balding, paunchy and prone to slur after a few cocktails.

Young women, if you haven't already been accosted by a manther, you will be, and hopefully my high praise for their species will make you see them in a new light. Who knows? That dirty old man who somehow convinces you to join him in the bathroom just may be the sugar daddy you've been dreaming of since you were a little girl.

Bar Tidbits: Much-beloved Fan bar, industry hangout and world-class brunch spot, the Border Chophouse, is closed. The reasons behind its demise are blurry and probably not printable in this column, but the word is that the owners of hotspot Mezzanine have bought the place from the former owner and will do something with the building.

Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback consumes and slings drinks at a number of local establishments. He also writes a surly blog at www.jackgoesforth.blogspot.com. Find him on Twitter @jackgoesforth. Have a question or comment for the bartender? E-mail: bartender@styleweekly.com.

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