You know the fancy pants bar because something about the name will typically piss you off. The Rusted Pumpernickel, the Weathered Bettina, the Anal Passage ... Or they'll take an Irish pub and class it up until it's painful nonsense: Sgt. McGornicle's Gaelic Blarney. You'll go there because you're an insufferable douche or because the place you want to go to is too crowded and what are you supposed to do, not drink?
The Selection Offered & What You Order
I don't know. The beers are never the same, and they come with a menu to describe them all, and you can do a taste test with a tiny cup. There will be a citrusy beer, a super hoppy beer, an insanely high alcoholic content beer, a beer you eat with a knife and a fork, a beer that pretends to be a light normal lager that is inexplicably messed up in some way you won't be able to articulate and you will wonder if you got a bad one or if it's supposed to taste that way. And all of it will be way too expensive.
Be sure to ask us about available financing for our finest imported microbrew!"
The liquor will all be top shelf, there will be scotches with weird names you can't remember, and if you order Jack Daniels, an alarm will go off and seven French mimes will jump on the bar and sneer down at you.
Excellent, knowledgeable, and boring.
Quiet. The quietest bar ever. People who actually send drinks back. People who order things the bar actually doesn't have. People who do that swirl the glass thing and know what they're looking for. Very few numbers exchange. Most of the laughs are about laying off workers and sexually harassing minority employees.
"... and she's all like 'Please, sir,' and I'm all like 'Uh, pretty sure I'm whiter than you!'"
Dive bars are a fact of life. They are places where rejects go to drink and hope goes to die. I once hit a dive bar in NYC with Cracked Editor-in-Chief Jack O'Brien. I wanted to go someplace cool, but Jack has absolutely no class and goes into shock if he has to pay more than $4 for a beer. (Also the place I picked was too crowded.)
Pictured above, Cracked Editor-in-Chief Jack O'Brien months before being poorly libeled on his own site. Oh, the humanity.
The Selection Offered & What You Order
Budweiser, Jack Daniels, Budweiser, Jack Daniels, Jagermeister, and Budweiser. Go for a Bud -- preferably from the bottle so you don't have to rely on the bars' dishwashing skills, which don't exist.
The dive bar usually has no food but will let you bring food in and give you the phone number to a sub shop or pizza place. On the day you order a pizza and then bring it to a dive bar, be sure to call every teacher or parent who ever said you'd never amount to anything and let them know they were right.
"Mom? Remember when I said, 'I'll show you'? Uh, yeah, about that ..."
Angry dudes and/or skanks. Unlike the misguided child staff of the college bar, these people don't pretend to have a skill. They don't aspire to anything. They stand behind the bar. You sit on your stool and shut up. You give them money. They give you drinks.
Losers, rejects, prostitutes, ex-cons, Jack O'Brien, alcoholics, incredibly sexy Cracked columnists just trying to have a nice drink with their editor who insists on going to dive bars because it's where "his peeps are."
Don't talk to the dudes. They will feel insulted and want to fight you. Don't talk to the women. They might have sex with you and give you a disease. Root for the local sports team. Nod approvingly when Bruce Springsteen comes on. Look at your Bud and shut up until you leave. If you get home without being knifed or poisoned, fate has smiled upon you.
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