The Dive Bomber: Save Screamer's

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.

For sale : one neighborhood tavern. Great high-traffic location. Darts, jukebox and walk-in coolers. Loyal patronage. Rubber roof. Unique bar top. Buyer must contract with the Dive Bomber to not change one damn thing about the place.

You know the fuzzy photos I include with my reviews? I try to be covert in taking them. I parked across the street from Screamer's and took a few shots while hanging out my window.

I walked in a few minutes later, confident in my super-spy skills. The woman behind the bar greeted me with a hearty, "Any particular reason why you were taking pictures out there?"

Um. I take pictures of all the bars I visit. So I can remember them. Yes, I agree, that's weird. What can I say? I'm a weird girl.

click to enlarge The photo that almost got the Dive Bomber shot down - ROBIN WHEELER
Robin Wheeler
The photo that almost got the Dive Bomber shot down
A suitable response. The barkeep introduced herself, then introduced me to the other three customers.

They bemoaned the slowness of the night while playing lottery pull-tabs. I didn't tell them that, really, it's pretty typical for Monday night in most bars I visit.

I busied myself with drinking my beer and counting pennies. The top of the bar is covered with them, epoxied long ago. Some have been chipped away. One of the patrons kept asking if anyone had change for a one hundred dollar bill. No one did, but if he had a putty knife, he could have made change from the bar.

A man named Grandma often hangs out at Screamer's, I was told. No one know why he's called Grandma. One of the bartenders sometimes brings her tap-dancing daughter to visit. She used to dance on the pennies as a toddler.

All of this could be yours for only $159,999. Please, somebody, save Screamer's. We need more bars like this.
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