By Liz Tracy
By David Rolland
By Alex Rendon
By Terrence McCoy
By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
"Sure you can. It will burn a little, but your next thought will be how much you love this bar."
We toasted, I gagged down the shot, and then chased it with my rapidly warming Bud.
Stories: Aiding in my continued search for dirt, George called over another regular to help come up with the bar's most interesting stories.
Matt was short, compact, and younger than most of the other patrons.
"Oh, one time I took a crazy girl home," Matt said. "But she peed in front of me, and that was the end of it."
"That's hot to some people," I said. I could name names, but I won't. "What else?"
"Oh, there's a guy named Pete who frequents the bars in this area," said George. "He rides his bike everywhere and claims to be a friend of Bill Parcells. He also says he has 200 lesbian profiles on some website.
"The other day was his birthday," he continued. "When he got here, he was all bloody and bruised. We asked him what happened, and he told us he'd been hit by a car."
"That's awful!" I said. "Then what?"
George shrugged: "Then he had a drink, I guess."
Bartender: George stole my wool cap, and Sabrina was there in a flash. A sharp look was all she needed to make George hand it back and mumble an apology. I'd always wanted my very own bartending Amazon guardian. I wondered if she'd been defending solo girls and serving up frothy mugs her entire life.
"I used to be a professional skier," she said. "Then I did the whole corporate thing, but then I realized what I really wanted to do was be a bartender. It's fun, and you meet tons of new people. Anyway, just call me over if you need anything."
I turned to George. "She's nice. I want to marry her."
"Don't," he said. "Way too much baggage."
I got a bottle of water from Sabrina to try to equalize that sudden burst of Jack Daniels, which was still somewhere between my mouth and chest. When I turned back around, Woody was taking off his coat again.
"The date's over?" I asked.
"By the time I got to the restaurant, she was already eating," he said. "I just left."
"You were late?" I asked.
"Only by a few minutes," he said.
"I'm no Miss Manners, but I don't think that's very good etiquette," I said. "She should have waited."
"Told you," said George with a smirk.
"Well, have another drink," I said.
Good beer and good buddies — Nippers doesn't boast much, but it doesn't really have to. No one here would rather be anywhere else in the world. And that's what I call true love.