The 1998 Great Guinness Toast

Callie always liked to date older men stuck in middle management. When she worked at an outlet store after high school, she dated the Assistant Manager until he gave her a fake engagement ring, which she threw across the room after she had it appraised.

(Total aside, I suspect he suggested a threesome but Callie never told me. Thank you, Callie. Thank you. Even though I know you were reading Anaïs Nin at the time and maybe considered it).

Callie, true to form, zeroed onto our favorite bar’s manager and started dating him right away. We started to get drinks comped and I suggested Callie also hook up with the landlord so we could live rent-free.

It was a traditional Irish pub conveniently located across from a Metro stop. While it wasn’t a kiddie bar, we always got in with chalked NY licenses.

The owners were no dummies though. By adding a strobe light to their unused basement, they could charge an entry fee into the pub by calling it a “club.”

Upstairs is where Callie and I spent a great deal of our income; often replacing dinner with pitchers of Guinness. We rationalized that we were never hungry after drinking it, so clearly it was akin to an entree.

I said pitcher, but it was more like pitchers, so bathroom visits were frequent. This bar was particularly popular and women always had to wait.

Here I was first inspired to wear adult diapers to avoid the long lines. I’ve never had the guts, to this day, to try. I still believe I was onto something.

We would hijack the jukebox and that summer must have spent a $100 in quarters listening to Barenaked Ladies’ 1997 re-recording of “Brian Wilson”.

It spoke to the twenty-year-old girls we were; a song about a man not getting out of bed, and Pavlov’s dog, and dreaming about being three hundred pounds.

Yep, rounds of Guinness until we floated and didn’t see the ground.

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