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Sometimes a new venue will throw old colleagues into the kind of mood where something different, wonderful and disturbing happens. I thoroughly blame Shannon, one of the girls at the office, for suggesting that we visit The Elm (5001 East Colfax Avenue, 303-336-5763). For me and the Head of Research at the Institute of Drinking Studies, the Elm is a walker -- a bar we can walk home from at the end of the night, knowing that we'll make it to our doors within an hour, weaving time included. And despite its location on East Colfax -- still regarded primarily as the setting of Johns TV, judging from several people I polled in a well-researched study -- it's one of the better bars we've been to lately.
5001 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80220
Region: East Denver
The sign over the door, back-lit and red (I think -- we'd been lubricating ourselves with John Courage and George Dickel), screamed cool. The interior was just as cool, with metal furnishings, a pool table, a great jukebox, Golden Tee and the concrete floor recommended by frat houses everywhere for ease of cleanup when patrons have a habit of throwing up on their dates. We decided to sit out on the patio so we could enjoy the beautiful weather and converse without screaming at the top of our lungs.
The Elm was brought to us by our friends at the Irish Hound, so I knew the Black and Tan would be excellent -- and it was. The Head of Research was absent when we ordered, so my girlfriend, once again demonstrating why we all love her, got him a Cuba Libre. The drink "went down like ice water," he raved.
It could have been the warm night air, but more likely it was the rising blood-alcohol level that turned our conversation lascivious. Before we knew it, we were delving into the heart of human sexuality. Along with the Institute's new Head of Women's Studies and Head of Drinking Regrets, we conducted the first annual Drunk of the Week sex survey -- with results more profound than any Cosmo "study" or PenthouseForum.
Among the Institute's key discoveries: Those of you looking for an easy conquest should attend a wedding as soon as possible. Our research has been conducted primarily at Irish Catholic weddings, where the night typically degenerates into an old-school-style frat party at which the groom's friends are doing shots at the open bar with every woman present, including the bride's grandmother, and getting the bride's dad to do keg stands. Also typically, the night ends with the still-in-his-tux groom passing out in the honeymoon suite's bathtub and each bridesmaid with at least one of the groom's buddies, who all came to the wedding not to celebrate the love of the bride and groom, but to hook up with a bridesmaid. The bridesmaids, we suspect, came either to find a husband or to prove that they are still attractive even when forced to wear a hideous dress.
Another discovery: Sex is a dangerous undertaking. The Institute recommends that all participants protect themselves against not only sexually transmitted diseases but bodily harm by wearing full hockey gear, minus the pants. We collected numerous reports of bumps and bruises that could've been prevented by simple padding; we also uncovered instances of neurological injury. The Head of Research himself insists that damage to his radial nerve caused by sleeping with an over-excitable badger caused numbness in his hand for days.
Our most ground-breaking work, however, was getting two women to admit to something that guys have known for years -- an inequity that's the root cause of all conflict between men and women and probably the reason for most wars. The bottom line is that women can have sex anytime they want, while guys are totally at the mercy of a woman's desire, approval and schedule. In the beginning, of course, our female researchers vociferously denied this. Ultimately, though, they admitted that, unlike guys, they'd willingly turned down sex for non-physiological reasons. They also acknowledged that a woman is prone to return to an old boyfriend for one night's pleasure instead of "hooking up" with a "strange guy" so that she can feel less "slutty" about it.
Finally, the women insisted that a guy could have a companion every night if he'd just lower his standards. The problem with this assertion, however, is that guys haveno standards -- especially when drinking. Besides, the women freely admitted that they would never lower their standards, so we wouldn't stand a chance anyway.
Needless to say, we at the Institute have little hope that relations between men and women will improve in the near term. Guys will continue to regard sex as a recreational activity they can brag about (and, on a very subconscious level, use to find that special someone); women will continue to regard sex as a life-defining event with someone who could be, or at sometime in the past was, the "one." To further the debate, we suggest a few nights at the Elm. Or crashing the next possible wedding.
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