Besides that dopey bachelor party a couple years back I haven't been in a strip club for decades. I don't recall the last time I entered a bar or tavern.
Strip clubs are out of the question. I briefly worked in one and that was long enough so I could see through them. I won't get into it here. Suffice to say they hold no appeal to me.
I blame that one on Kodiak because after several years there I realized that I wasn't going to fit in as a part of the local scene where I moved to.
When I first arrived in Pittsburgh I had too much of a 'Yeah, So?" attitude. I had moved to Pittsburgh after living life in a three ring circus. Not much surprised me.
I was used to speaking my mind and generally behaving like an Alaskan of the 70s and 80s. I was full of dry sarcasm and it started getting me in trouble fast.
Alaskan bars at the time were pretty much a night at the barricades. You never knew who was going to say or do what, especially in late March when cabin fever was at its peak. Surprisingly there was less violence than one would think, although I suppose we had our share.
Early on after my arrival to the Iron City I had one non- incident in a bar. Some man-boy invited me to step outside because he didn't like the T-shirt I was wearing. It wasn't a Steelers shirt and truth is I think it was a Goodwill special, actually. Most likely it was a team shirt from some team that beat the Steelers. I do remember it had paint on it from a paint job I had done somewhere.
Anyway I picked up my empty beer glass and snapped it against the edge of the bar Old School style and told him the door was too far for me to walk. We could settle it here and now or he could go back to his stool and sit down and shut up. He took one look at me and fled.
The look on his face was funny, actually. It was the look of shock of a person that had invited someone to a friendly boxing match only to find out that his opponent doesn't quite understand the Rules for the Governance of Boxing as laid out by the Marquis of Queensbury and has discovered he has just invited himself for a ride in a chipper/shredder.
Of course I left right after he went back to his stool. I noticed the bartender was headed for the phone and figured she was calling the police.
After I left the scene I thought for a minute about things. I had paid cash for my drink and figured that I had left no paper trail. After that I resolved that any time I went out for a drink I would pay cash and not use any plastic just in case I had a problem.
While paying cash would not insure a successful escape it would not create a paper trail leading directly to me and make it easy to get caught.
I later met one of the patrons that was there and he told me that it wasn't so much what I did as how I did it. He said my aura was that of a semi-amused bored guy that had been in a weekly bar brawl since he was twelve. Sounds like grounds for an Academy Award to me.
I stayed out of the bars pretty much since. Truth is rural Alaska was generally far more cosmopolitan than Pittsburgh, believe it or not. The town is pretty much all about the Steelers. It is also the most provencial place Ihave ever lived.
Alaskans travel. They do things. The average Pittsburgher doesn't. It's really just another dopey oversized small town for the most part.
Still, the Pittsburgh bar scene managed to run me off shortly after I got there and I have pretty much stayed out of them since pretty close to Day One.
I'm pretty sure I haven't missed much.
On the other hand every now and then I get homesick a little and wish I could piddle away an afternoon having a couple of beers in an Old School smokey Alaskan gin mill.
I think that as I look at this post I have to say that the biggest thing that kept me out of the bars is that I applied for a concealed carry permit. When it was issued my behavior changed quite a bit and probably for the better.
As soon as I got the permit I realized that I had a duty and responsibility to keep myself from getting into a position where I had to use it.
I think that the CCW permit was the final nail in the coffin that kept me from hanging out in the bars. Interesting point. While we are on the subject it has occurred to me that most CCW holders admit to having changed their habits so as to diminish the odds of having to use their firearm in a defensive situation. It's somewhat of a paradox but it makes sense to me. People are often more afraid of winding up in court than they are winding up in the hospital.
Years ago in Kodiak when the drunk driving laws started being enforced I simply stopped driving after I had more than a single beer. While I would not drive drunk I would get into a car with a drunk driver and not think anything of it. I wasn't afraid of the morgue or the hospital as much as I was afraid of jail and fines.
Come to think about it there is one attempted annual bar event I take part in. If I am not at sea on St. Patrick's Day, my wife and I go out for a single Guinness and an order of fried cheese sticks. I usually manage this every couple of years depending on my sea schedule.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY