The Blue Bonnet (457 South Broadway) and I have shared a few life-defining moments. The bar here was the scene of several early dates and setups, with results ranging from "Thank God guys don't really need women" to "Where the hell are my pants?" And at other times, a loud patio and good margaritas were all that were required to properly celebrate an event.
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Many people celebrate events at the Blue Bonnet, so you almost always have to wait for a table. This isn't a big problem if you're good at elbowing people out of your way in order to get to the bar for chips, salsa and margaritas; once you catch the bartender's attention, order a big pitcher of margs to maximize your time. Picking up a pitcher also allows you to reconnoiter the hostess area, where you can make sure your name is moving up the list at the proper pace. On some Bonnet excursions, I've been told that the wait for a table is ninety minutes -- enough time to drink so much that I don't care if I ever eat again. On other visits, I've remained sober enough to see through both eyes at the same time and note that many people who are on the list after me are getting seated ahead of me. I know there are often extenuating circumstances, but when two groups of the same size request a table, the group that gets there earlier should get a table first. Unless, of course, the second group is a pack of attractive, morally casual women who are willing to go the extra mile for that table. Sadly, this phenomenon is typical only on weekends, and usually just for outdoor seating.
Last week, the Redneck Liaison and his wife accompanied my wife and me to the Blue Bonnet for another significant occasion: determining the name of our unborn child. As anyone with kids knows, nothing but the mention of an old romantic fling will cause as much bitter discussion as trying to "compromise" on a name that both of you can stomach for the rest of your lives. Part of the difficulty is that the guy, especially, understands that a bad name is a one-way ticket to consistent physical abuse for a boy or endless emotional torture for a girl. My wife has suggested some names that are so bad I would never let this kid leave the house with money, because five bullies would immediately show up and take it for their own lunch. And then there's the secret suspicion that your mate's pet name must be related to an old romantic fling that is still the subject of fantasy.
457 South Broadway
Luckily, the Redneck and his wife are reasonable people who won't get mixed up in petty arguments that don't involve them -- unless they agree with me, which they did more than 90 percent of the time. I took this as an affirmation of my naming skills. After seeing the ultrasound, for example, I didn't think that John Holmes Osborn was too presumptuous (what the hell is an "umbilical cord," anyway?). I also suggested that Tavaris will really take off once the Vikings' Tavaris Jackson becomes a dominant quarterback. And I said that it was only fair to consider "Ric Flair (the Nature Boy) Osborn," since the first time I felt the baby kick was while watching said wrestler.
But after several hours and pitchers, I was ready to settle for just about any name that won't relegate my son to an unacceptable social clique. Once again, the Blue Bonnet proved that a night here may be the cheapest marriage counseling around. Knock back thirty bucks' worth of margaritas (and that was just on my part), and not only will the two of you forget what you were fighting about, but you will be in a hurry to get home and make up. On your way out, if you pass a table with two people screaming irrationally about how there is no way in hell that their son is going to be called something trendy like "Jackson," just order us another round.