This was one of those weeks. From stupid mistakes in writing, to the flu, to Mom's hip replacement surgery, to the sleet that's coming down right now, it's just been a week I'd rather forget. Sure, there were some highlights, like the stripper who came to HotHouse Tuesday night to celebrate her birthday by taking in Motep's "Soul Sessions" series (and if you don't know about Motep, you need to). She was fun, especially when she took the stage during William Kurk's set, announced that she and her girlfriends were the "finest bitches on the South Side", got in a plug for their place of employment (Cowboys Gentleman's Club in Markham, for the curious), let loose a lingering fart in front of the guitarist just before I escorted her off stage to her handler "Blu", and used her goldmine to make it rain on a cameraman's face.
Oh, and she gave me a package check, too.
So after a week of insomnia and illness, I was finally healthy enough to go out. So Sue (who was pissed at her roommate for not telling her about their clogged bathtub drain) and I braved the sleet and headed to Bernice's for metal night and cheap beer. That's when the other highlight of the week occurred, in the form of our bartender, who came in lit up like a Christmas tree jamming to "Bitchin' Camaro" by the Dead Milkmen, drinking jager bombs, and telling us that she thought "Crash" was a comedy when she first saw it. I wouldn't know, preferring the serious drama of "This is Spinal Tap" and "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle." I thought getting Sue out of the house would be enough to get her to vent, but we were both just too tired to do anything but watch Iron maiden videos and stare incredulously at Mary Beth whenever she opened her mouth.
My only other experience with a bartender named Mary Beth is, well, Mary Beth Puffer (now of Mitchell's, formerly Puffer's). She takes what I like to call a "scorched earth" policy to tending a bar. You know in "It's a Wonderful Life" when Clarence grants George his wish that he never was born, and Bedford Falls turns into Pottersville? Remember that scene where they go to Martini's, except it's now Nick's Place, and Nick is a jackass who "serves hard drinks here for folks who want to get drunk fast" and doesn't have room for "folks with character?" That's Mary Beth Puffer, except she's not giving out wings after throwing George and Clarence out on their asses, and wishing that her shift would end so she can "stop dealing with these jagoffs."
But she grows on you. And so does this Mary Beth at Bernice's. Hell, Bernice's grows on you. The put up a sign at the request of the 11th ward office, indicating that it was, indeed a bar. But you still need to get buzzed in. And when you do, you either drink Miller, Bud, or any of a handful of Lithuanian and Czech beers that don't taste good when they warm up, if you're the type of person who nurses a beer. But they have Metal and Punk night on Saturdays, for fuck's sake. And they have a sizable number of ex-Puffer's regulars. It's a dive, and a good one, at that. It's what the Skylark wished they could be.
And now, I'm off to get a new start to hopefully a better week.
With eight hours of sleep.