for 23 February 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Yeah, I live in Allston, once a blue collar ghetto, now home to yuppies and rich college kids. There are still a couple hangers on from the old days here.Every Sunday in the Model Cafe a group of ex-allstonians come from the AA meeting for a late dinner. I'm not kidding, they don't drink, but they can't leave the Model behind, even though its full of 20 somethings drinking $3.75 Tremonts. Right across from the Model is the Silohette, which serves a much more hard drinking crowd of mixed generations and national origin in a tradition, drink to get drunk sort of way.
On the other hand, what was once Bunraddlies is now Wonderbar, where you can't wear sneakers or a T shirt.
Fuck that shit.
No T-shirts? The Wonderbar sounds alright to me!
I moved to Seattle in 1990, to the Lake City neighborhood. There used to be quite a number of dives, like the Back Door Tavern. I remember three or four of these taverns had signs that the police required them to post. The gist of the signs was that this tavern was frequently the site of drug deals, and that would not be tolerated anymore.
I had moved to town to attend college, with a couple of friends from Spokane. We were checking out the local bars and we ended up at the Back Door. We hadn't been there all that long when an old barfly came over to us and said, "You know, this isn't really your kinda place. You might be happier hanging out somewhere in the U district or something."
Fortunately, my friend had grown up in a dysfunctional family with alcoholic parents. During his childhood, he had spent many nights fighting with his siblings in the car in a tavern parking lot, while his father was inside getting drunk and occasionally stepping out to check on the children and give them some peanuts to snack It had prepared him well for this situation. We began playing darts, and got into an argument about scoring, when my friend promptly threw a dart at me, hitting me in the face. As I was in the bathroom, washing up the blood, I heard my friend having a conversation with another woman at the bar. Apparently, she was chastising him for throwing the dart at me. I heard him yell "Why don't you just shut up, you fucking cunt!"
When I came out of the bathroom, the old woman who first told us to go elsewhere approached me. She said, "I guess I was wrong. You guys'll fit in here just fine."
I only went back to the Back Door once or twice after that. It really wasn't "my kind of place". But is one of the best bar stories I have.
I just hope your friend doesn't do any drug deals at The Back Door, since that won't be tolerated.
If you are interested in extending your 'winning' streak of moving into divy, blue-collar hell holes just a few years before the yuppies discover them, then consider moving to Chicopee, MA. Or Chicopig, as locals call it. Oodles of old factories, most empty and decaying, lots of old world eastern European immigrant dives, tons of white trash atmosphere. Plus, just across the river is Holyoke, mostly the same but with a 30% latino population you can get yourself socked in the eye by Olaf OR Juan! Nothing adds a certain zest to a night of drinking no-name beer like a big steaming plate of tostones or arroz con pollo.
If your ability to pick 'em is as good as you say, the mayors of these respective snot holes will thank you profusely for bringing their cities out of their deindustrialized stupor, staggering into the bright light of the information age!
If the town of Chicopee will offer me a tax break I'll relocate in a heartbeat!
I love your columns and illos for SUCK. I loved today's column about Ballard, WA, and I'm not even a dot-com-yuppie or a Microsoft Millionaire! (I live in IBM's hometown. Does that count?).
Do you plan to sell books of your on-line words and pictures?
Keep 'em flying,
Thanks for the kind words. And my old comics publisher collected a few of my Suck stories in the new HATE ANNUAL, which you can order from www.Fantagraphics.com.
I would love to have a book of just my Suck stuff, but I have to go look for someone to publish it first.
It's strange that Polly Esther wasn't included in 'Woman to Avoid' issue. So bad.
Doesn't it go without saying that I'm a woman to avoid? How else do you think I come up with all those objectionable types?
It takes one to create one.
Bad as in good,
Gee, thanks Polly.
You just had to blow this one out on Valentine's day, thus filling minds of your male readership with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
You are a cruel, cruel woman.
Dating a guy who's filled with fear, uncertainty, and doubt at the slightest provocation is about as pleasant as training a Jack Russell Terrier. If anything, I'd say I'm providing a valuable public service to women dating Flinchy men. What kind of a wimp is afraid of Valentine's Day, anyway? All we want is an excuse to eat some fucking chocolate. How tough is it to pick up some chocolates once a year?
Cruel to be kind,
I just know a bunch of high functioning single moms, career women who are perfectly happy to be dating a guy and not living with him, cheerfully self employed bisexual gals who go on scuba trips with strangers without freaking out about not having a special someone to go with, single women who have never had sex or masturbated or even thought about men in any kind of terms at all, without being the slightest bit gay, either, and party girls who love their husbands/boyfriends/lovers so much that they volunteer to clean up before an impromptu party. (Still shaking my head over that one.) Oh, and although my sample size is kinda small, most of them don't have a problem with blow jobs as long as that's not all that's on tap, so to speak.
Demographically, I really am out around Pluto, there's no avoiding it.
Thank you, Allegra, for continuing to demonstrate to all of us what fabulously diverse yet uniformly healthy friends you have. Before I invite Miss Jealousy and The Terminator over for our monthly meeting, at which we complain about how much we hate blow jobs and plot to crush men like bugs under our steel-tipped stilettos, let me pause to consider some of the so-called perfectly happy women you describe: "Single women who have never had sex or masturbated or even thought about men in any kind of terms at all, without being the slightest bit gay, either." Do you know more than one woman who fits this description? How would you describe these women, if they're not "the slightest bit gay"? Are they simply asexual? Do they scatter spores occasionally? I'd venture to guess that women who have never had sex or masturbated, and don't think about men at all yet refuse to define themselves as gay or bisexual have some pretty severe emotional problems. They'd qualify as Women to Avoid, actually, if they were fucked up in a funny ha-ha way.
You may be on Pluto, but I'm not sure the aliens out there are any healthier than the ones here.
Another Valentine's Day, another buncha pathetic creeps I can't identify with. I'm thinking, maybe you hang out with too many white people? (I'm white, but I don't hang out with anybody.)
"Highways of Agony" was the name of this really hilarious scare film they used to show us every year in Driver's Ed, and is completely irrelevant to anything except, I suppose, to the fact that I still don't own a car & therefore, living in the sticks as I do, never get to actually meet anyone.
So maybe your stereotypes are well-founded. If so, I'm gonna keep living as I do (blues all around my bed, etc.). Cheerio.
I definitely hang out with too many white people, but I'm not sure that's the problem. I've got no corner on the pathetic creep market. Besides, aren't we all pathetic creeps when reduced to our least likable traits?
I suggest you get out there and meet some pathetic creeps of your own. It's a lot more fun than isolation, trust me.
I should know. I am a medical doctor.
Honey Nut Cheerios,