Robin Wheeler writes for the blog Poppy Mom. She also has a strange attraction to drinking establishments with jars of pickled -- or possibly fossilized -- eggs. She reports on these dives for Gut Check every Friday.
When does a bar become a dive? How long does it take to earn that title? Jimmy Mack's
opened in 2007, making it the infant among my bombings. It still needs some work to achieve the ranks of cat-housing, egg-selling, pet-squirrel-discussing treasures that I'm used to visiting.
First things that need to go: the Fat Tire paraphenallia and the $4 pints of Schlafly Pale Ale. Now, I have absolutely nothing against Schlafly Pale Ale. When not dive bombing, it's my favorite brew. While I grumbled about the price of the pint, two hours later I barely blinked when I paid a dollar more for a 12-ounce bottle of the same, poured into a plastic cup, at the Pageant.
Such is my beer hypocrisy.
The crowd at Jimmy Mack's didn't strike me as being a bunch of $4 pint-drinkers. The Bud products, draft and canned, were by far the most popular.
My friend Kristina and I were grossly overdressed. Normally, my bombing attire consists of jeans, no makeup, ponytail, but we were all gussied up for the post-bombing Morrissey show
. This called more attention to us than I normally like. Even though the bar was crowded, as we walked in, one patron lunged at us and squawked, "When you walk in here, Baby, I think you're a cat. Meeeee-OW!"
The bartender assured us that this patron is going to be neutered soon.
Later, Catman stopped at our table to serenade us with some Italian opera. His baritone wasn't too shabby. I hope his upcoming soprano sounds just as good.
I'm loathe to use the term "cougar" to describe older women pursuing younger men. Jimmy Mack's doesn't have cougars. It has really, really, really old cougars. Like, possibly in their 80s, talking smack with guys who can't be a day over 45.
(I can't judge. If I live to be their age, I'll probably be doing the same thing. I am, after all, a cat.)
Jimmy Mack's isn't quite a dive yet. But with the prowling and free opera, it's well on its way. All it needs is a good layer of dust.