Location: A sports bar somewhere in San Angelo
You know, this is a nice enough town. Bill has settled right in; he’s even becoming part of the Establishment. Coming up will be his third campaign for mayor. He’s a Rotarian. He volunteers in the community. Yep, Bill is becoming one of them. It’s a large enough town that there are the amenities and while perhaps there aren’t the same cultural opportunities here as in other places at least there is a university to soften the, uh, West Texas Cowboy *cough*redneck*cough* influence.
There are lots of elderly drivers in this town, creeping from light to light and making left turns with agonizing care. The landscape is dotted with small towns, but when people get older and want to be closer to care, shopping, and other old folks this is where they come. I can’t blame them; this would be a good place to be retired.
There is also a wide variety of bars. Bill has shown me several, from the Lone Wolf Pub (which I now call Shea’s bar), which is a fairly divey place but they take their darts very seriously, to the newly-remodeled Oasis which would fit in just fine in downtown San Diego. Not swanky, but nice. Lots of wood paneling, trendy light fixtures turned down low, and whatnot. The modern version of the fern bar.
Those bars all have one thing in common. They don’t open until 4 or perhaps even later. What’s a boy to do? Well, this boy headed to the the mostly-dead downtown. I figured since the government buildings were still down there that there had to be at least one bar. Bureaucrats gotta drink, after all. I went down the main drag, witnessing the destruction wrought by the big box stores and strip malls, a side effect of the automobilization of America. If I was Bill, I would come up with a plan to lure businesses back down there and make that my Mayoral platform. I doubt Bill would agree with the government getting it’s fingers into business’s business.
I found no bar. There was a restaurant that probably would have sufficed, but I was looking for a bar. I drove on, and was suddenly surrounded by giant churches. After the congregation finished praying for their teams, where would they go to watch them? I kept driving.
I don’t know where I am now. I saw the sign for something-or-other Sports Bar. It didn’t look happening, exactly, but there were a couple of cars in front. I pulled up right in front of the reflectorized glass front door and read the hours. Open at 2 p.m. I looked at my clock. 2:05. Pay dirt, baby! I secured my car and went to the door. Locked. With a heavy sigh I turned back to the Miata when I heard the keys rattling in the lock. Praise Jesus. “Sorry about that,” the guy said as he opened the door. “We just barely opened.”
“Dang,” said I, “It’s tough finding a place to drink at two in this town.” The guy sitting at the bar, reading his book and sipping his draft beer, laughed. There is a group of three at one other table and that’s it for the patrons so far, so the bar is not yet smoky. I am currently the only person in here who does not speak Spanish, although everyone speaks English. Televisions surround the bar, while two pool tables in good condition dominate the center of the room. Beer propaganda covers the walls, broken occasionally by Halloween crap. The ceiling is festooned with streamerrs and banners for competing NFL teams and competing beers. The beer selection is limited, but not too expensive. I don’t think they have booze at all. It’s a beer and wine bar, without the wine. As I was typing that, the bartender came over and told me they have free hot dogs. I’m getting to like this place. Lil J’s Sports Bar is the name of the joint. I’ll tell you this, it’s the best bar in town before 4 p.m. on a weekday.