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After a long hiatus at the Larry Hagman and David Crosby Memorial Cabana for the Liver Impaired, Dr. Etiquette has returned to his top position at the Institute of Drinking Studies. His first area of research: Stampede (2430 South Havana Street in Aurora).
Dr. Etiquette: Two reasons. First, our girlfriends wanted to go there and informed us that if we wanted to continue any sort of meaningful relationship, we'd damn well better go there, too. Second, from our college-days experiments, we knew that many people at this place, especially the women, espouse a morally casual attitude worthy of further research.
Q:So how were the women?
Dr. Etiquette:Very tall. Technically, none of them would actually measure much more than 5' 5", but the combination of big hair and cowboy hats took the average to 6' 2". Many of the women, in fact, looked like professional sport mascots from teams like the Birmingham Hillbillies.
Q: What about their jeans?
Dr. Etiquette:We here at the Institute are adopting a new rule to coincide with our current stance regarding the humane use of spandex and personal freedoms -- Wranglers should only be worn in the privacy of your own home.
Q: I don't know how to country dance. Should I get out there for one of those "line dances"?
Dr. Etiquette:Dancing is dangerous in any form at Stampede, because the dance floor is actually a racetrack where couples weave through traffic, cutting each other off and often spinning out and taking the wall in turn four, much like at a NASCAR race. So our official position is this: Do Not Dance. Line dancing is not an option -- nor is it actually dancing. It was invented by Billy Ray Cyrus to distract people from his raccoon-pelt-style hair and lack of talent. Line dancing is approved only for attractive women whom guys can watch from the bar while they wish the damn song would end.
Q: Is it true that one of the Institute's members was asked by a young lady named Danielle to hold her purse, and he felt compelled to ask her if she had a "rabbit" in there before he took it?
Dr. Etiquette:Yes, but rather than exercise her constitutional right to assault our researcher in a highly sensitive area, she was an extremely good sport in the ensuing discussion.
Q: What causes guys to do inappropriate and stupid things like drive Hummers, start fights, devote their lives to sports or ask about a rabbit?
Dr. Etiquette:Guy mentality is dictated by the presence of sperm, small micro-organisms related to amoebas and tapeworms that were initially thought to cause pregnancy. Researchers now know that sperm are actually parasites that feed on healthy brain tissue. They exert greater control when a guy has had a few drinks because alcohol breaks down the blood-brain barrier, allowing sperm to infest and destroy higher cognitive centers that control basic bodily functions, social skills and judgment. We believe sperm are becoming more virulent in some guy populations, causing them to prove their manliness in unacceptable ways, like buying huge belt buckles or Porsche SUVs.
Q: What, exactly, is a rabbit?
Dr. Etiquette:If you haven't heard of the rabbit, you need to watch more TV -- because we here at the Institute believe that sex ed belongs in the home. Suffice it to say, the rabbit is a highly popular marital aid featured on several programs. The best is on the Oxygen Channel, where an old lady talks about human sexuality. This is easily one of the funniest shows since Seinfeld, because the woman, who resembles our third-grade teacher, Sister Mary of Extreme Purity, speaks expertly about sexual positions, techniques and marital aids. All of your prurient interests would be aroused if you weren't scared stiff (rim shot) that she was going to leap out of the TV and rap your knuckles with a ruler.
Q: How did the night end?
Dr. Etiquette:Some of us here at the Institute have a very difficult time figuring out the optimum time for leaving a bar. In an ideal world, like Milwaukee, the bars would be open 24/7. On this night, we remembered that one of our members stocks a good bar at home, so we knew the fun could continue. The morning-after consensus, however, was that we should have skipped the after-party. Waking up upside down and needing to shave your tongue is enough to make you wish you'd stayed home and watched Oxygen.