FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR: The Tourist Bar

Posted: April 9, 2010 in FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I was on vacation in Venice l for a week.

Why Venice? I sponge off my sister who has a home there.

What makes Venice unique? It has the second oldest population in the US. Your grandparents go to Sarasota to retire. Their grandparents go to Venice.

What else is Venice famous for?

All four 911 terrorist pilots got trained at the Venice airport.

Yeah, I know, creepy.

While there I went to a couple of tourist bars. Now, I like bars, you know that already. Are tourist bars, bars?

I mean, I like bars for the atmosphere, the regulars and the food and drink unique to that specific place.

A tourist bar has transients, forced atmosphere and predictable food.

You have to wait in a serving line for a drink. They asked me for ID and I’m 48. Okay, not impressed? They asked to see my mom’s who is 87.

I’m not kidding.

They give you those things that hum and flash when you can eat. I hate those things. Why don’t they just stick a ring in my nose, hang a chain on it and lead me to the trough.

I’ve heard just enough Jimmy Buffet and Beach Boys’ songs. I’ve drank enough Corona.

Tonight, I’m going back to The Orchard. It doesn’t overlook the Gulf of Mexico. It overlooks a cookie factory, a place with junk cars and a parking lot. I’ll be drinking draft and listening to the same conversations I’ve listened to for the last 30 years. There will be no music. I’ll eat one of the pizzas they’ve been making for 100 years. The bartender will insult me.

Nothing will buzz to tell me it’s time to eat. The employees won’t be wearing floral shirts. The beers won’t be $9.50.

The air will have that sicky sweet smell if they’re making the red goo that goes in the middle of the sugar cookies. I hate that smell.

The Yankees will be on the TV.

There’s something about watching the sunset over the cookie factory silos.

Ahh…to be home.

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Comments
  1. Jen Forbus says:

    So you prefer for them to bellow out your name? Or better yet how about announce it over an intercom? The freakin’ “chow bell” is better than that. Thanks. I’ll hold the vibrating hockey puck.

    And not that I think you look young enough to be carded, but you don’t look or act 48, so you really shouldn’t expect people to just KNOW that.

    And why oh why are you giving those poor people a hard time about their floral shirts? The one you wore to Ginny’s was pretty festive! And that’s what people expect when they go to Florida…

    So, these are touristy spots. I’m sure you could have hunted around and found something less touristy…but then again, if Venice was like Albany: 1.) would it be a tourist attraction? and 2.) why would you need to go there to get away?

  2. Mark Terry says:

    I don’t know … the Yankees?

  3. Ginny says:

    Like Jen said.

    The day after you and Sue left I walked into a Bed, Bath and Beyond and they directed me to the suntan lotion isle – I was a little sunburnt – that’s what I get for sitting in the sun drinking mimosas all afternoon!

    Guess I should be glad you did not spend more time in Whorelando. I don’t call it that for nothing, but I mainly call it that cuz of all the TOURISTS who descend upon us all the time! None so welcome as you and Sue, however. Bring Mom on over next time!

  4. Pasquale Palumbo says:

    If bars like that are my only option when I’m traveling, I’ll just grab a case of beer and drink in the hotel room. Bathtubs full of ice make wonderful coolers.

  5. Menzie says:

    Husband and I have a long-standing rule. We don’t eat (or drink) ANYwhere that has a wait of more than then minutes. We find another restaurant instead. We look for small, local, hole-in-a-strip-center places when we travel. When we lived in big cities (Atlanta, Houston), friends would always try to get us to go to some giant trendy place, with 90-minute waits for a table!!!! That’s nuts – NObody has food that good.

    If you ever travel to Atlanta, email me. I can give you a list of small, family-owned places that have awesome food, any kind you like- barbecue, Vietnamese, Thai, dim sum, sushi- awesome,c heap and NO waits.

    there’s even (moving away from food) a couple of places in Atlanta where you can get good old-fashioned steam baths – like the kind all the Russians have – separate areas for each gender, giant steam rooms, cold plunge pools, masseuses, the works. Awesome.

  6. Paula Matter says:

    “The bartender will insult me.” Tom Schreck

    Intriguing sentence. Care to share some examples?

  7. NRW says:

    Love it ! Mr Insult himself he is and we love it ha! You have it explained to a T, and if you happen to still be there on a Friday between 8 and 8:20pm or so, you will witness Uncle Jerry make his candy delivery to the Friday night regular employees….If delivery is not made by 8:20, we all start to get nervous and also go through sugar withdrawl. Throughout the evening one may overhear an employee say “Is Jerry here yet?!” This can be translated as “It’s busy, I am tired and I need sugar!” Cheers Tom!

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