Thursday, June 19, 2008


Another excerpt from Second Day Reported. Thanks for reading!

For a bit, I bartended at a bar called The Blade and Wing, a rundown shack on the edge of town. A well-known Vietnam vet hangout, I mixed a lot of boilermakers, whisky shots dropped into beer. Even though I longed to create something more complicated, I liked the simplicity. The guys would munch on peanuts that the owner insisted we soak in jalepeno juice (It makes people drink more! he assiduously concluded as if any of us needed help on that score) and stare at the minimal d├ęcor -- a few nods to Nam (an old jack hung up over the bar with an embroidered map of southeast Asia that said, We were winning when I left), stuff like that.

When Soldier of Fortune listed it as one of the top ten hang-outs for Vets, that brought in the college boys from Ft. Worth looking for a fight. If they talked enough smack, their dumb asses could usually find one. The bar remained windowless and dimly lit no matter what the hour. When someone walked inside, the sun would burn through the door, making the beer bottles shine like jewels. Outside during the Christmas season, the owner would display a blow-up nativity scene. The wind often blew hard, but the scene never moved, weighted down by what I could not imagine.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." Jack Lemmon

Cocktail Hour
Drinking television suggestion: Swingtown

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Anonymous said...

Great excerpt!!! With the lightest of touches you manage, as always, to conger the weight of the world.

I think I recognize that parking lot.


the walking man said...

You should wear platform shoes shrimpy.

A la The Old Miami, although Dan wouldn't have used jalepeno, he had ulcers, he would not be above short shotting the college crowd.

Anonymous said...

After WW II, I drank away my first marriage in a bar just like that.--Jack Lemmon

chris said...

Just tell me it had a jukebox in the corner, and I will really feel at home.

Now, judging from your photo it looks as if you have been working on a car. Nice hand print, the leg aint bad either.

Thanks for all your post concerning Vets, that is all carry on, I will be in the area for the remains of tha day !!!

laughingwolf said...

good stuff, michelle

when a tad hung over next day, we used to pour a small can of tomato juice into half a glass of beer... yum! ;) lol

Charles Gramlich said...

I had some hand made boilermakers in cross plains and man were they bad. You'd have to be drunk to drink them. Or in a hurry to get that way.

robthefob said...

I know this is kind of off topic, but has the Virgin Mary ever visited you Michelle?

Laura said...

That Jack Lemmon. Smart guy. Cute in a dress.

chris said...

Ok, We are,"meaning your readers" I am, drumming my fingers on my desk, making the galloping horse sound. Aghhhhh, we are waiting for something new. Bored, I quit going home had enough work for the week. I hope you at least laugh at my dumb ass. Later.

Anonymous said...