The hotel bar is the social blank canvas of our world. Anything could happen in a hotel bar or nothing could happen. It all depends on the quantity and color of paint available, I suppose.
Also hotel bars usually feel modern, but they're as old as anything still thriving in the modern world. For as long as their have been hotels and inns, there's been the intrigue of who you might see in a hotel bar. Earlier this year, I entered a hotel bar in San Antonio where Teddy Roosevelt brought his Rough Riders once upon a time.
The hotel bar might be the most mystical and alluring of all drinking establishments.
There's a new one in town, by the way. I ducked into the Hotel Indigo's Brazos Bar & Bistro on Monday evening for a glass of whiskey and appetizers. They have a good Scotch selection as well as cocktails, wine and beer. My first visit went very well and I will be returning soon. But somebody needs to be the first one to review it.
It's a little strange walking into a hotel bar in the town where you live. The beauty of the hotel bar is that you don't know anyone and no one knows you. You never know who you might meet in a hotel bar.
With that in mind, I'm going to borrow a couple of passages from my favorite pop culture writer, Chuck Klosterman. The first one is a question from his list of 23 questions that he asks everyone he meets in order to determine if he can truly love them.
It is as follows: You are sitting in an empty bar in a town you have never before visited, drinking Bacardi with a soft-spoken acquaintance you hardly know. After an hour, a third individual walks into the tavern and sits by himself and you ask your acquaintance who the knew man is. "Be careful of that guy," you are told, "he's a man with a past." A few minutes later a fourth person enters the bar. He also sits alone. You ask your acquaintance who the new individual is. "Be careful of that guy too," he says, "he is a man with no past." Which of these two people do you trust less?
I believe Klosterman wrote this question before he found himself in a Best Western Inn bar in Dickinson, North Dakota, with a new acquaintance that sort of resembled the advice-giver in the above question. But instead of warning Klosterman about the other people in the bar, this North Dakota man relays to Klosterman the following laundry list of opinions, which can be found in Klosterman's book "Killing Yourself To Live."
1. On the importance of loving your wife: Women need to feel loved in order to feel free, so withholding love from your wife is like sentencing her to prison.
2. On the importance of hunting dog ownership: Even if you lose your job, your hunting dog will respect you. In life, this quality is rare.
3. Why we have fewer windmills than we used to: Something about aquifers.
4. What's wrong with the American League: It's become (expletive deleted) slow pitch softball.
5. How to properly fire an employee: Concede that you've both made mistakes, but stoically admit that you can't fire yourself.
6. How to buy or sell a race horse: Insurance salesmen are no different than chiropractors, whatever the (expletive deleted) that means.
The two new acquaintances in these two stories probably represent the top five percent of interesting people the average person is likely to bump into in a bar. Klosterman seems to have better luck in this area, which is probably what makes him who he is.
It also serves to illustrate how a bar is a good place to make a single-serving friend and how that brief friendship could turn out to be endlessly fascinating.
One more bite: I mentioned in the first part of this blog that I tasted the appetizers at Brazos Bar & Bistro. Specifically, I had the jalapeno bites, which were jalapenos stuffed with a tater tot and wrapped in bacon. I'm currently of the belief that a jalapeno wrapped in bacon is just about the most delicious thing a person can taste.