Day 1 in my quest to find a new, cheap dive bar has not met with success.
Granted, I haven’t put a large amount of effort into it, unless you count walking a half a mile through the baking, 101 degree Arizona sun in order to try somewhere that I had hoped would be promising. Regardless, I’m here to tell you that this first venture has been a failure. I should have known right away that the omens did not portend well. You see, I always think that this one particular street is really another one. The one I think is the one I’m always thinking of is really much further away than the one that I think it is, which is literally right next to my home. Needless to say, it’s very disappointing, each and every time, that this turns out to not be true.
I should back up.
Perhaps to really determine what makes a satisfactory, cheap, dive bar, I need to first lay out a set of parameters. You know, since I’m so very logical. Keep in mind, these parameters are completely subjective, not only to me, but also to the state of mind I’m in when critiquing them. So far, if I’m being honest, the main point of failure is cheap beer.
Yes, cheap beer is key. I don’t care if it’s PBR or Kiltlifter, I need it to be cheap. This means that it can’t cost $5 for a pint. One of the defining qualities of any of the legendary dive bars I’ve deigned to frequent is that there must be a $3 pint (or less) of some kind. This seems to not be the case here. Except… and this is a big EXCEPT… there are $2 pints of PBR.
Which just turned this bar around on it’s ass.
I suppose I should lay down some supporting information for why this may be an interesting place after all. To do this, I’ll go back an half an hour in time to set the scene. No, I’ll go back a couple of months.
Once, after picking up one of my Uber fares, he wanted to be taken to Nacho Mama’s. Great name, right? Anyway, he extolled the virtues of this place as being a wonderful dive bar, and it stuck in my mind (and somehow also cemented itself as being right next to where I live). So, flash forward to now, I found myself searching Yelp for local pubs that only have a single $ next to them. Lo and behold, what pops up but Nach Mama’s.
I’ve already bitched about how I had to walk further than expected to get here, so I won’t do that again (see what I just did there?), and instead I’ll skip to what made me start wondering just whether or not I was still within the expectational parameters of what I believe my current reality to be.
I feel obliged to point out that the first pint I ordered, a Kiltlifter, was not cheap. Admittedly, this soured my first impression of the place. But then I sat. And I began typing, in of itself a positive thing, and I should give points to this place for inspiration alone. And I started listening and observing. What I discovered was that my pre-conceived notions were about to be shit on.
I could probably write extensively about the experiences that have gone on for the last hour or so, but instead I’ll summarize, likely in order to pique my interest later.
The bartender sat down next to (who I incorrectly assumed to be a patron) one of the people in the bar, and started talking to [them] about the game they were playing on [their] laptop, some version of Zelda that spawned a conversatio about whether Occarina of Time or Mask was a better game.
The patron in question is not only gender unidentifiable, but is also the sound assistant for karaoke here, and is a former Marine.
Someone walked into the bar, known to the bartenders, asked for something, and left. Normally not srange, aside from the fact that he was wearing a light blue London Fog trenchcoat. In Arizona.
For the first time ever, I heard one of the only other people in the bar request November Rain to be played on the jukebox, and his buddy has the same ringtone as me – The Sickness. It kind of threw me for a loop, on both accounts.
The bartender left the establishment to go to the store so that he could acquire the necessary components for making deep fried pickles, which he is now making in the deep fryer.
I’m now trying to decide if I should stay for karaoke – where, I’ve been told, someone once requested Sweet Transvestite to be sung, by the bartender, who worked Rocky Horror for 8 years.
I do believe that I am no longer in Kansas.