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Maybe there will always be war. Maybe it's too much a part of the human condition, like those knots of cable that form overnight near the outlet. It just happens. But so, too, does the desire to escape, and being innovative critters, we long ago realized that feeding starches to little critters causes some pretty extraordinary gases to escape, too. Alcohol that combusts in our machines and in our bellies, makes everything seem to run a bit smoother overall. And maybe that leads to peace for a while, and maybe it leads to war subsequent, but that's for you, gentle hoister of glass and bottle, to determine for yourself. We merely project our divining rods into the night and find the wells. So sup deeply here and sip thusly there. -- Brandon Reynolds
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Confessions of a Night Crawler飼
Once I danced until sunrise. Now I just try to make it through "Law & Order."
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William "Mac" McCormack will kick your ass. The owner of Richmond's finest punk-rock Irish pub is renowned for his relentless birthday paddling, regardless of your size or stature. My diminutive frame was almost cracked in two on many a celebratory occasion. When I skipped this year's whacking for a casual become a reformed party girl.
Barely a year ago, evenings would cookout with friends, I came to the startling realization that, only one year into my thirties, before the ink on my tattoos has even begun to fade, I have begin at 11, when consumption of any hard liquor mixed with Red Bull would fuel dance parties throughout the city -- anywhere from Godfrey's on East Grace Street to Mars Bar on 18th Street. And always, at last call, the masses would spill onto the sidewalk scrambling for someone, anyone, with the golden ticket to Fieldens.
A members-only, after-hours club, Fieldens asks that you either pay your dues or become best friends with someone who does by 2:30 a.m. These parties would then last until we'd all come rolling out in the hours before dawn, thinking of breakfast and/or/in bed. As a former member, however, my fondest memories come from nights open to the public known as the Bal de Sade (every August) and the Black & Blue Ball (in March).
Yes, kids AŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸï¨«ï¨«A,飼 I'm talking about the fetish extravaganzas that found me in a cage surrounded by beautiful, leather-clad gay men on a sweltering dance floor. I've never felt more like Madonna in my life. From vendors peddling gag balls and cane crops upstairs to the rubber-suit-with-only-a-breathing-tube fellow who complimented my friend's vinyl nurse's outfit with an approving thumbs-up and a muffled grunt, the mood was always festive. Sure, there are hardcore folks there for a "different reason," but overall the vibe is that of a mid-year Halloween.
But for some, that isn't enough. After one of the aforementioned birthday beatings at McCormack's a little more than a year ago, some friends and I stumbled into what used to be Bottom Billiards, now known as Fallout. Pure evil genius, this dark little gem is, from the wartime memorabilia, chain-link swing and "In Case of Zombie" chainsaw encased in glass. While Fieldens caters to those who want to dress up once or twice a year, Fallout satiates costume cravings on a weekly basis.
Hunter Haglund, media consultant for Fallout, explains that the crowd is "25 percent people who are hardcore, 25 percent people who want to watch those people and then飼 the other half who think it's Halloween all year long." A recent samurai/geisha dress-up affair packed the place to capacity. There's a little something for everyone: Rocky Horror live events, rotating fetish and costume themes on Friday and Saturday nights, and talk of burlesque in the future. Recently, the decision was made to become a members' club, ensuring that revelers didn't become a sideshow for some of the Bottom's less-than-sober inhabitants. But some midweek nights are still open to the public. It's not an all-night affair like Fieldens, but you can have it more frequently. It's like Cheers AŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸï¨«ï¨«A,飼 if Norm had a pierced lip and Cliff sported green fingernails. And so the next generation goes where everybody knows your game.
These days, I can no longer manage to catch the end of any "Law & Order" episode. I'm now in my jammies when I used to be on my first round. Perhaps one night I'll set the alarm for a bit of midnight frolic. Fallout is worth dragging myself out of bed for, and hell, maybe I'll find a friend on the sidewalk who can get me into Fieldens. After all, at 4 a.m. one can certainly justify a Smirnoff grape mimosa served up by a man in hot pants as a prelude to that trip to Denny's just as the sun's rising, right?
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A beer-lover's (surprisingly lucid) rant.
How would you feel if someone served you a steak in a salad bowl? Because that's how someone who loves beer feels in your average bar. You know why a "pint glass" is a pint glass? It's because in England they drink pints of cellar-temperature ale. Simple. A lager stein (i.e., a mug), on the other hand, has a handle because the beer is meant to be drunk cold. Glass is expensive, and it's understandable that most bars don't want to stock all the different types of steins, flutes, snifters and mugs appropriate for the delicious and varied assortment of beers now available at your typical pub or restaurant.
But wait -- glass is not expensive, so it must be ignorance, the most expensive of all luxuries. Perhaps the greatest of all beer crimes is not the wrong glass, but the wrong pour. Guinness, the sweet Celtic nectar, was never meant to be blasted from the tap in a single, long pour (for another tasty Celtic brew, try Murphy's). Fill the class two-thirds to three-fourths full, wait a minute while it settles, then finish it off. That's how you get the thick, creamy head that will hold a shamrock until the bottom of the glass. And if you can find that degree of patience and bar pride here, you are lucky indeed. -- Sascha Auerbach
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Glass Menagerie:Who Does It Right
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Rosie Connolly's
Best pints in the city.
1548 A E. Main St., 343-1063
www.rosieconnollys.com

Penny Lane
A great place to watch football AŸ.飼.飼飼飼A,飼 er, I mean "soccer."
421 E. Franklin St., 780-1682
www.pennylanepub.com

Capital Ale House
Best beer selection in town, and all the right glasses!
623 E Main St., 643-2537
www.capitalalehouse.com

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