Bar Louie

Thank God there are only a few more shopping days until Christmas; I've had it with staggering debt. But as long as the malls are going to ruin our credit ratings, they could at least provide a few amenities. For example, they need to do something for us dads waiting in line so that our kids can see Santa. The official Institute recommendation is a keg every fifteen feet, just to keep up morale. And if alcohol is deemed too negative an influence on children, how about if Santa's elves dressed a little more like Victoria's Secret models?

I've also had it with mall shoppers. If one more person cuts me off as I briskly walk the halls, I'm going to slap her. And if another person clips my daughter while rushing to the next sale and talking on his Bluetooth thingie, I'm going to rip it out of his ear and shove it down his throat.

Don't get me wrong: I love Christmas and almost everything about it. I love the fact that there's often snow on the ground and I can watch my dog sniff through it as if it were the purest Colombian white. I love the lights and decorations; in fact, we put up our tree before Thanksgiving, and it provides 90 percent of the ambient light in our place. I love cooking and baking and eating until I'm stuffed, and drinking until I throw up. No doubt about it, Christmas is what the Institute is all about.


Bar Louie

That's part of the reason we so enjoyed our visit to Bar Louie (8332 East 49th Street) the other night. It's located in the newest shopping area north of Stapleton, which has pretty much everything you could want. Numerous stores stock all sorts of crap to entertain the women while the guys go over to the Bass Pro Shop to commune with nature, and then everyone can return to Louie and knock a few back. The entire area is decorated with so many twinkle lights that Clark W. Griswold would be proud, and inside the bar are more treats -- including an inflatable snowman and motorized reindeer. More impressive still is the basic setup; the space is so nicely appointed that your significant other won't be disappointed that you've taken her to a place with "bar" in its name. Even better, the big-screens are situated mostly around the central bar, so there's no way a guy can pay proper attention to his date. With so many games and commercials featuring nubile women flashing up there, I'm surprised more people don't discover they're epileptic.

The service at Bar Louie is quite good, with quality booze served in big or little glasses. (We recommend the big ones.) Our only disappointment was an order of wings. Real drinkers know that the purpose of wings is to set your mouth on fire so that you have an excuse to drink more. Sadly, the Buffalo-style bird had no kick. The only afterburn came the next morning, after I woke up and pulled back the covers.

My wife will be naming Bar Louie in the divorce filing.

If you have any last-minute shopping left, the Institute highly suggests that you head to the Northfield area. You'll find everything you need, including drinks at Louie's that are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. But fair warning: You may have a powerful urge to pee on the inflatable snowman that's situated right by the restrooms. And whatever you do (or don't do), skip the wings: If you eat them, Santa will not go anywhere near your house.


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