We were puzzled by the man who came into the bar with a cooler in hand. Did he bring his own six pack? There was plenty of beer already at Miss Kitty’s Lounge; someone had written a little ode to hops on the chalkboard behind the bar: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, when life is a b**ch, beer is a must.” (The *s allow the more optimistic among our readers to think of life as a beach.)
Anyway, there was obviously no need for anyone to BYOB.
We observed a number of people enjoying the drinks at Miss Kitty’s that evening. A couple of guys were playing pool as they drank their beers. “Rack ‘em up” one gentleman said to the other.
“You rack ‘em up, Beach!” (I think that’s what he called him, I could be wrong. I’m having problems inserting the correct vowels today.) Couples were enjoying conversation at the tables. Five women at the bar were very much enjoying each other’s company and conversation amongst themselves and with others at the bar, as well as working on their dance moves (to such tunes as Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”.)
We ordered our drinks at the bar. I made the boring choice of Angry Orchard, and Mindy went with Twisted Tea, which we’d never come across before. A guy at the bar asked about the tea and so we asked him our two questions. (Actually, there are three questions. We always talk about “What makes for a good bar?” and “What makes for a good church?” but we first asked, “What name would you like us to use in our post. You can lie about it.”)
“Slavic Volochy” (I’m guessing that is not his real name.)
“Bar: Never ask for money up front.”
“Church: Stop using tax relief, you’re hurting the public. End Period”
After we thanked Slavic Volochy, Mindy and I took our drinks to a table on the other side of the room. When we were on our trip (visiting a bar and a church in every state), we spent a lot of time together, so we looked forward to spending time with people at the bar.Lately, we’ve been busy with conflicting work (and sleep) schedules, so during our bar time we enjoyed talking with each other. Frankly, right now, we enjoy talking with each other in a bar more than talking to strangers (which takes more energy).
As for what makes for a good church, Cliff wants a church that preaches Biblical truth. He has a problem with some religions, it seems particularly Catholicism. “Mary doesn’t do anything for me. She was a good woman, and she’s in heaven, but she can’t help us. Priests can’t absolve us from sin.” He said he wants a church that preaches “the truth, even when it’s convicting and not what I want to hear.”
Bringing the two topics together he said, “The bars drove me back to going to church.” He talked about going to a karaoke bar and being disturbed by an attractive woman singing vile lyrics and being cheered on by men in the bar. “Sodom, meet Gomorrah” he said.
Mindy realized she’d forgotten to include a tip when she paid for the drinks, so we went back to the bar to pay and chat for a bit with Petra the bartender. (Petra added a little heart when she signed her name on the whiteboard announcing who was tending bar that evening.)
I asked her about Miss Kitty’s. She said she’s been there two years, and what she likes about the place is her customers. She said they make each other welcome, they make newcomers welcome. “People can be themselves here.”